how to use primary colours to maximise graphic design
When it comes to graphic design, colour is hard to escape. It’s estimated that the human eye can detect up to 10 million colours, any of which could be skillfully applied to a design by the right team. Graphic designers understand how to use colour in their work to help you achieve the best results. In this short guide, they’re giving you a peek into how to use the three primary ones: Red, Blue, and Yellow.

Each of these colours can be used to craft how people perceive your brand. While the effect may seem subtle at first, the psychology and symbolism behind each choice powerfully affects customer engagement and overall profit!


Red is a warm colour, meaning it tends towards feelings of vitality and passion. Historically it is a colour that symbolises images of love, like the classic red heart or a lipstick kiss mark.

Red is also thought to actually elicit a physical response in viewers, increasing heart rate and firing up the brain. For this reason, it’s used heavily in marketing for food companies, as it’s thought to psychologically encourage people’s appetites.

Because of its attention grabbing nature, red is also a very useful tool when it comes to calls to action. Within a website design, for example, it may lead to more engagement if the link you are wanting your customers to click is designed as a red icon.

Using colour within a website design is a topic we don’t have time to delve into, but we recommend contacting professional local web designers to help gain more insight into how to properly use colour on your website.


On the other side of the spectrum, blue is a cool toned colour that is associated with tranquility and stability.

According to some metrics, blue is one of the most popular colours in the UK, and even in the world! The universally soothing hue brings to mind images of the ocean, or a clear blue sky, which gives a sense of calm in contrast to the more arresting red. In this way, you are able to use a more heavy hand when it comes to blue, as it doesn’t overwhelm the design in the same way that a more attention grabbing colour would.

dtgwSource – DT Groundworks

Read also: Best Colors Schemes to Use in a Business Website

Psychologically, blue also gives the viewer a sense of trust. This is why it is so often used in corporate branding, or medicine. Generally, if you want to use blue, the research suggests that it’s great at communicating that you provide reliable and honest services.


Yellow is a colour most readily paired with feelings of happiness. The colour of sunshine, yellow is an overall energising hue. While it is perhaps not as in-your-face as red, it can still be incredibly useful to grab attention if used sparingly throughout the design. For example, a cooler toned background with yellow typography can make the text really pop.

More muted yellow tones can also be used to communicate a vintage feeling, while brighter yellows can represent a more youthful, fun attitude.

Another positive of using yellow is that it has no strong associations with any particular gender, so can be used flexibly depending on your target audience.

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