Researching Colour Palettes for Greeting Cards –  Colour is everywhere and it forms such an important part of our lives. From the clothes that we wear, to the cars we drive, through to the food we eat. Colour is so intrinsic to our lives and yet so many of us are scared to use it.

Colour is such an important part of my job; as a designer I love the black, white, red and grey combination. However, these colours are not always what a client or customer is looking for. For a long time that was my comfortable palette –  my go to for design and I shied away from using bright, vivacious and bold colour.

In some ways I was limited by what my original printing press could produce so I was often constricted to two colours. This was challenging but also limiting and as I stepped away from letterpress printing, I started to discover more about colour. Things like the Pantone colour of the year for example – being able to use a wider variety of colours in my work helped push forward the business and the brand.

Did you know that this year’s Pantone colour of the year is: Greenery – a refreshing bold green colour; Greenery symbolises spring, new beginnings and nature. It is a stunning colour and makes me think of lush vegetation, big palm leaves and warmth. Now I bet if you looked at it without reading my thoughts, you might come up with a completely different image. That is what I love about colour and what it represents to us as humans.

Pantone colour of the year greenery

When we start a new project or design, colour is almost immediately discussed. This is because we understand how important the message has to be. It is important to understand the emotional quality that colour conveys. ‘About Education’  wrote, ‘colour can dramatically affect moods, feelings, and emotions. It is a powerful communication tool and can be used to signal action, influence mood, and cause psychological reactions.’ – Seems heavy that such a small thing could impact our lives so much.

Here is an example of colours and their meaning:

We don’t quite understand the psychological affects of colour but there are some colours that people react very differently towards.


Red is a colour of stimulation, being lively and powerful. Some people find it is forceful or intense colour. Often associated with love, warmth and comfort we tend to use red in our work for Valentines or high level swearing. It brings a strong emotive reaction.

Researching Colour Palettes for Greeting Cards



Turquoise is one of my my most favourite Blues.  Often blue is associated with stability, trust and responsibility. It’s a calming colour that conveys peace and tranquilty. It’s a great colour for health-based businesses, or businesses where trustworthiness and calmness are stable qualities.

Researching Colour Palettes for Greeting Cards


Is such a happy exuberant colour that it instantly fills you with joy and bounces right at you.

Resonating with the left side of our brain. Yellow is the best colour for stimulation and enthusiasm and joy! It’s a great colour for accents, though be wary as used with fonts it can disapear into light or white backgrounds.

Researching Colour Palettes for Greeting Cards


Green suggests health, harmony and balance. It is strongly associated with natural neutral tones. It’s such a positive colour for birth and growth and a favourite seasonal colour especially at Christmas.

Researching Colour Palettes for Greeting Cards

At DYP we have kept our logo simple and use black and white as a good contrast to the high colour usage of our cards. This gives us a freedom to ramp up colour or tone it down. It was this realisation that helped create some of our most colourful and dramatic designs.

When you choose colour for your own work or for a client here are some questions you could bear in mind to help you with researching colour palettes for greeting cards.

  • How do I want my customer’s to view my brand and designs?
  • Do I get a good emotive response from my work?
  • Ask people what they think when they see your brand name and design.
  • What are my favourite brands and why? How do I engage my customers with colour?
  • Who are the brands I least like and why?

Share you thoughts with us on your colours and what you are your favourites. Do you have a favourite process you follow? If you are also interested join in with the GF Smith search for a colour – What’s your favourite Colour?  Add your your choice and you could have your colour made into a paper collection.

Find our work at: Do You Punctuate

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