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The Psychology of Print: How Colours and Typography Impact Your Audience

The psychology of print: How colours and typography impact your audience

Are you utilizing colour and font psychology in your branding and direct mail campaigns? If not, it’s time to start doing so. Your colour and typeface choices are hugely significant, influencing audience perception, behaviour, and action. 

With the right colour or font, your commercial print marketing campaign will be on the path to success.

If diving into the world of design seems overwhelming, Troi Mailing Services is here to help. Our design team is highly skilled in creating impactful artwork that uses colour and font psychology to its full potential.

Colour Psychology (And Why It Matters)

Colour psychology is the science of understanding how humans respond to certain colours. It’s essential to be aware of it when designing marketing materials for your business. 

Psychologists and anthropologists believe that we are hardwired to recognize colours and associate them with specific meanings, which was vital during our hunter-gatherer days. Different colours helped early humans navigate the world around them, identifying ripe fruits and spotting dangers lurking nearby.

Since colours carry specific meanings, they can influence audiences and encourage certain emotionally-motivated behaviours. Consequently, colour is a powerful tool in the world of print marketing.

It can be used to alter customer perception and inspire action, such as encouraging audiences to associate your brand with luxuriousness or inspiring consumers to make a purchase.

Here are some of the common associations we have with different colours:

  • Red: Love, passion, energy, strength, danger, anger, aggression.
  • Yellow: Happy, light, creativity, optimism, instability, illness.
  • Orange: Confidence, success, bravery, friendliness.
  • Green: Nature, healing, growth, wealth, money, envy.
  • Blue: Peace, loyalty, security, trust, depression, fear, cold.
  • Purple: Royalty, luxury, faith, spirituality, fantasy, mystery.
  • Pink: Sincerity, sweetness, compassion, playfulness, femininity.
  • White: Purity, innocence, pristine, sterile, emptiness.
  • Black: Dramatic, formal, sophistication, grief.

Colour Psychology Is Also Deeply Personal

Humans all respond to colours; however, the way we respond does vary. Culture, gender, age, and personal life experiences all shape the way we perceive different colours. 

Therefore, doing your research before committing to a certain colour scheme is essential. This is especially significant when marketing to different cultures, where colour associations can vary greatly. 

For example, the colour white signifies purity and cleanliness in Western cultures but connotes death in China.

Choosing the Right Colours for Your Brand

Whether you’re picking out the colours for your logo or determining a colour scheme for your upcoming direct mail campaign, selecting the right colours is vital. Utilizing colour psychology will help create the right associations and motivate audiences toward a desired action. 

To select the best colours, you must consider the message and tone of your campaign (or brand), the target audience and their preferences, as well as the environment and context in which it will be seen. 

Colours are critical to building a strong visual identity and consistent brand image. You should think carefully about your brand’s personality and which traits you want to be associated with.

This is where colour psychology comes in. For instance, blue tones suggest professionalism and trust, whereas green hues indicate sustainability. Men tend to prefer bolder, more saturated colours, while women are drawn to more subtle colours.

You should use the same brand colours across all media, print and digital. Although specific campaigns may utilize different colour schemes, your brand colours should be just as consistent as your logo.

Font Psychology: What You Need to Know

Typefaces, commonly known as fonts, also help to set the tone for your message and convey emotions. Different typefaces possess distinctive characteristics, evoking specific moods and associations. 

Consequently, the typeface that you choose for your commercial printing project shapes consumer experience and impacts their behaviour.

There are six modern font styles that you should be aware of:

  1. Serif: Traditional, reliable, authoritative, familiar, trustworthy.
  2. Sans-serif: Simple, straightforward, modern, highly readable.
  3. Script: Personal, feminine, elegant, personable, creative, romantic.
  4. Display: Friendly, quirky, unconventional, artistic.
  5. Modern: Smart, trendy, forward-thinking.
  6. Decorative: Fun, unique, casual, creative, interesting.

More Typographical Elements to Consider

The font isn’t the only typographical element that impacts your audience’s perception. Let’s take a look at a few more factors.

  • Size: Directs the reader’s attention and highlights important information. 
  • Contrast: How well does the font stand out against the background? This is crucial for readability.
  • Colour: Typography colour palettes influence mood and perception.
  • Letter spacing: Also known as kerning, this impacts readability and aesthetic appeal.
  • Line height: The vertical space between lines of text influences readability and the flow of content.
  • Text alignment: Left, right, centre, or justified. This affects the visual structure and the way readers interact with the text.

The Power of Typeface in Branding

Just as with colour, typeface is a vital component of branding and marketing. Your font choice communicates your brand’s personality and values, establishing powerful associations in the audience’s subconscious. 

Selecting a font that reflects your brand is crucial, as is using that font consistently across all marketing channels. Consistency is the foundation of a strong brand identity, and typeface is part of that. 

In print marketing, you must possess a solid understanding of your target audience and their preferences. You should tailor your typography choices to your audience so you can effectively inspire the right response. 

Don’t be afraid to A/B test different fonts, colours, and typographical elements. If you’re unsure where to begin, Troi Mailing Services’ design team is ready to help. 

Unlock the Power of Colours and Typography With the Design Experts at Troi Mailing Services in Toronto

Colours and typefaces are more than just aesthetic choices; they are powerful communication tools that influence the emotions, perceptions, and experiences of audiences.

Thus, it’s important to consider colour and font psychology whenever you are designing printed media for direct mail campaigns. Alternatively, you can rely on the design experts at Troi Mailing Services in Toronto.

Our design team understands the complexities of colour and font psychology and knows how to best utilize these tools for your next campaign. Contact us today for help with your next commercial printing project. We are your one-stop shop for all your printing and direct mail fulfilment needs.

To learn more about commercial printing and our direct mail services in Toronto, call Troi Mailing Services at 1-866-486-9350 or contact us online.

About: Seamus Barton
Seamus Barton - Author
Seamus Barton joined Troi Mailing Services in 2014 after graduating from York University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Writing. As a manager of print and direct mail solutions, he sees how words play an important role in personalizing any experience. Seamus’ passion for writing motivates him to provide frequent direct marketing content that supports each Client’s individual needs. Please chat with Seamus about commercial printing and direct mailing campaigns, or about how to marry digital and physical strategies for optimal Smartmail Marketing success.

You can connect with Seamus on LinkedIn or by calling Troi Mailing Services at 1-866-486-0423 or via email at Read his latest article featured in Direct Marketing Magazine on “Dimensional Mail: Marketing’s Buffet Lobster

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