In many cases, colour is stronger than language. It is a subliminal way of speaking. This is because we associate strong meanings with colour. By taking advantage of those meanings, you can communicate your message more easily.

The parameters of colour psychology in PowerPoint


Colour psychology, How to Improve Your Presentations With Colour Psychology


PowerPoint supports the RGB colour model. That is Red, Green, and Blue. Though they are built around only three colours, they can combine to create almost any colour.

RGB is the colour scheme used by most computer monitors and screens. Conversely, CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black) is the colour scheme used for printing. Unfortunately, CMYK is not supported in PowerPoint. For more information on how to apply colour psychology to print design in PowerPoint, read our Ultimate Guide on the subject.



Cultural colour association


Colour psychology, How to Improve Your Presentations With Colour Psychology


Before we begin talking about colour psychology, it’s important to note that not every culture feels the same way about colours. We talked about this more in our article on how your PowerPoint presentation can overcome cultural borders, as it’s important to consider. For instance, white is associated with health and hospitals in Western cultures. However, white is the colour of death in Chinese cultures.

With this in mind, we must acknowledge that not everyone within a culture will share those associations. This leads to the most important point about colour psychology: it is largely individual. Those stories you see about blue boosting productivity aren’t backed by any hard science. All the same, there are a few fundamental rules for using colour in your presentations.





Harmony is something you should strive for in every element of your presentation design. Without harmonious colours, your presentation can either be chaotic or boring. To create colour harmony in your presentations, keep the following formulas in mind:


Analogous colour schemes

An analogous colour scheme uses three to five colours that sit side by side on a standard 12-wedged colour wheel:


Colour psychology, How to Improve Your Presentations With Colour Psychology


Complementary colour schemes

These are colour schemes based on colours that sit directly opposite each other on a standard colour wheel.




There is an odd phenomenon wherein different colours have different “temperatures”. Specifically, all colours fall into two temperature categories:


Cool colours

These are the colours from purple to green in a standard colour wheel. These colours are considered “cool” because they tend to remind us of calming things like cool grass and clear skies.


Warm colours

These are the colours from red to yellow-green in your standard colour wheel. They are considered “warm” because they tend to remind us of things like fire and sunlight. Things that imply energy and activity.





Context is one of the most useful tools for making impressive presentations. It is also one of the most fundamental reasons for why we feel certain things from certain colours. For instance, nothing could be more calming than a blue sky. At the same time, nothing could be more repulsive than a blue hamburger.

Placing colours in context with other colours can create all kinds of interesting effects. For instance, placing a bright red against a cool colour can make that red feel less threatening. On top of that, you can draw attention to an important element by making it a different colour to the elements around it.


As you can see, colour can make your message more effective. To take advantage of this in your next PowerPoint presentation, speak to our expert designers today.

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