How to Nail Your Colours

Last Updated Apr 21, 2010 6:08 AM EDT

One of the processes for someone who is trying to develop their authentic personal brand and developing their congruent image is to go through a colour analysis session, so here's a heads-up on colour and what it can and can't do for you, from a political point of view.

Firstly, there's the psychological value of knowing what will raise hackles in others and what colours to choose to wear when faced with certain situations, but, of course, all of the political parties have already raised their colour standards and whether they are stimulating, interesting, calming or just plain dull, they have to make the best of them.

Labour's Red. Here's an obvious correlation. The positive psychological power of red is high energy, confidence, assertion and excitement. Red can also be perceived in a negative way and appear to be aggressive, domineering and threatening.

Red is used for anything that requires immediate attention. It is in your face, it is not subtle and if you wear red you are either looking to be noticed or signalling some form of sub-conscious danger. For example, if you're going into a confrontational situation, wearing a dark suit (buttoned up) and a red shirt, blouse or tie will mark you out as standing no nonsense and being absolutely sure of yourself in a disagreement.

Red is not good politically as it is harsh â€" did you notice in the big debate lately that Gordon Brown's red tie was a more subtle and softer shade of deep rose? It is also not advised for television as is the use of bright red lipstick on women as quite often the technology won't pick up the correct tone.

Choose Red:


  • To project authority
  • To give a visual boost of energy
  • For occasions when you want to draw attention to yourself
  • When you want to attract the opposite sex

Avoid Red:


  • When you are being interviewed on television
  • If your position is controversial
  • If you are not prepared to defend your views or position
  • If you are over-tired or overstressed â€" you will just look more so.

Tory's Blue. The positive power of blue is trustworthiness, strength, control and orderliness.

And, this applies to navy, clear blues, medium blues and royal. Pastel blues and aquas are not included. The color blue often stands for relaxation, fidelity, happiness, wisdom, faith, peace, patience, and loyalty. However, it is also commonly associated with sleepiness, sadness, and depression. On the United States flag, blue symbolizes vigilance, perseverance, and justice.

Choose Blue:


  • The darkest blues project the most authority
  • Mid-tone blues work well on television
  • Mid-tone blues inspire confidence and trust

Avoid Blue:


  • At meetings of bankers, lawyers, accountants and conservative party conferences unless you want to blend in!
  • When working in a creative field such as advertising, design and marketing, it doesn't differentiate you enough.
  • If you're feeling 'blue' â€" for obvious reasons!

Liberal's Yellow: Yellow's a happy colour. Cheerful and sunny yellows are used to colour food to make it more palatable to children such as fish fingers and processed cheeses. Lemon yellow has connotations of iciness, though. The positive psychological power of yellow is cheerful, positive, filled with anticipation, joy, active and uninhibited. Yellow is very effective for attracting attention, so use it to highlight the most important elements of any design. Men usually perceive yellow as a very lighthearted, 'childish' colour, so it is not recommended to use yellow when selling prestigious, expensive products to men â€" nobody will buy a yellow business suit. So is that why the Liberals have chosen it as their symbol of choice? But beware the negatives include impulsiveness, volatility and instability.

Choose Yellow:


  • To elevate your mood.
  • When you are in a fun and playful mood
  • When interacting with children

Avoid Yellow:


  • When you want to be taken seriously.
  • In negotiations, you'll be seen as a pushover.

(Pic: Lincolnian (Brian) cc2.0)