Clinical trials explained: Why adding colour matters…

October 11, 2023

Just like any product or service, a clinical trial is essentially a brand. It has objectives, a ‘personality’, and a look that helps it to be recognisable and, therefore, trusted. Trial branding also needs to resonate, and empathise, with those people who might take part.

As is the same with all brands, colour plays an important role in creating its identity. Our association with brand colours runs through every aspect of our lives. Think of the red of Coca-Cola, the purple of Cadbury and the blue of the NHS. Barbie pink, anyone?

Colour can be used to emphasise mood, evoke emotions, and determine first impressions of a brand. So, ready to learn a bit more about how colour can help your next clinical trial campaign to stand out and connect with the people who matter?  


The psychology of colour

This is where colour psychology (how colours can affect perceptions and behaviour) comes in useful.  

For centuries, colour has been used for its therapeutic properties; blues and greens to calm and reassure, yellows and reds to provoke excitement and happiness. But, while there are some common responses to colours, it’s rarely that simple — many things affect how people react. When creating a brand for your trial, patient insights can help to shine a torch on what patients are thinking, their concerns, and what’s important to them. Our experience at Cuttsy+Cuttsy has shown that this can be influenced by many factors, and that paying close attention to them really does pay off.

Using a branding model can help (you can see ours here). Patient insights can be used to shape a trial’s personality and identify the emotions that participants might associate with the study: supported, altruistic, comforted, intrigued, and so on.

What’s the context?

Different colours evoke different emotions and, depending on the context, they can make materials stand out or blend in. Our association with certain colours — and shades — can also influence how appropriate they may be for clinical materials.

There are no hard and fast rules for the use of colour; it’s about what connects with patients. So, it’s crucial to revisit the brand model and assess the impact of colour for your audience.


Colour for everyone

Once an initial palette has been selected for your clinical trial, there are some practical matters to consider. Colour blindness, visual impairments, neurodiversity and even some medications can affect how an individual perceives colour. At Cuttsy+Cuttsy, we carefully consider colour psychology, together with other design elements, when working with our partners to finalise the branding colours for their clinical trials.

Understanding the power of colour and marrying it with the needs and perceptions of potential participants is a key part of clinical trial identity, personality, and gravitas. Is this something you would like to explore for your next clinical trial? If so, and you’d like a colour consultation, let’s talk.


You can read all our latest clinical trials explained blogs here.

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