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The Truth About Color Psychology In 10 Minutes

For years psychologists have studied how colors affect people and their perception and it happens that there exists a strong correlation between colors and emotional responses. We are here today to take a brief look at how colors affect people, what emotions a particular color conveys, and how colors are used in marketing to deliver the right feeling to the audience. But first, we need to understand what color psychology is and how it works.

What is Color Psychology?

Color psychology is the study of colors in relation to human behavior. It aims to determine how color affects our day to day decisions, even the most usual one such as the items we buy. Did ever cross your mind that you bought something just because you really liked the color and the branding? Do the colors of a package make us choose one brand over another? Well, yes. The why part is a bit complicated.

Color meanings can have an impact on why we prefer certain colors over others because they evoke feelings and incites emotion. The same color can also have different meanings, dependent on our culture, values, and a variety of other factors.

How And Why Is Color Psychology Important in Marketing?

Picking the right colors for your business can make a huge difference between your brand standing out or blending in. Color can be used to influence how people think and behave toward a brand, and how they interpret any information. using colors strategically, you can get your audience to perceive you the way you aim to be perceived.

While choosing the right colors can enhance your brand, a poor color selection can do lots of damage to your brand image. If you choose the wrong colors for your content, it can turn out to be less readable, and hardly understandable or you can risk being totally ignored. That’s why the importance of color must never be underestimated.

Since the human eye can detect a wide range of colors, this blog could have 1000 pages, but not to be outdone, we will briefly explain the primary and secondary colors, the most common ones.

List of Color Meanings

Red

Being the most intense color surely provokes intense emotions and captures a lot of attention. The red color meaning is associated with excitement, passion, danger, energy, and action. Red can also trigger danger so the best is to add the color red to your website for the call to action or sale icons if it’ll contrast well with your store design.

Red is the iconic color used for brands like Coca Cola and YouTube. Coca Cola also associates the word happiness in their branding so they use the color red to build excitement. YouTube uses the color red as a part of their logo and makes the play button a sort of call to action encouraging people to press play on their videos.

Orange

In color psychology, orange represents creativity, adventure, enthusiasm, success, and balance. The playful fun color it’s not as commanding as the color red but attracts anyway. It’s not the best choice for a call to action but is better used to highlight an important detail.

Orange’s color shines through in logos like Nickelodeon. The famous children’s channel accurately represents the creativity and enthusiasm of a little child.

Yellow

In color psychology, the color meaning for yellow revolves around warmth. It’s linked to feelings of happiness, positivity, and optimism, but also of deceit and warning. Some brands choose to use a cheerful yellow color as the background or border for their website design. A little touch of yellow can help your website visitors associate you with something positive.

The color yellow is used by brands such as Ikea. You would think what does buying furniture have to do with happiness? Well, if you think about customers that visit Ikea they are mostly people who’ve just bought their first home, parents that just got their baby and need the baby stuff or are moving out for the first time. This milestone is usually filled with happiness and optimism and the best color to show it is a warm yellow.

Green

Growth, fertility, health, and generosity are some of the positive color meanings for the color.

The use of green is made popular by brands such as Roots. Roots is a fashion retailer. When browsing their marketing materials, you’ll often find their models in natural outdoor settings. The green logo blends well with their nature imagery helps them attract outdoor enthusiasts as their target market. So even if your products don’t necessarily tie to a niche, you can use color to help you attract a specific demographic.

Blue

Stability, harmony, peace, calm, and trust are just some of the feelings your customer may feel about your brand when you integrate the color blue into your branding but it can also bring a sense of coldness. Certain businesses add their guarantee, trust certification, or free shipping icons in a blue color to strengthen the trust aspect the color is known for.

Tech brands like Facebook, Twitter, and Skype often use blue in their marketing. But retailers like Oral B also use the color. Healthcare niches, like Oral B, typically use blue in their branding to help people associate the brand with a quality, reliable, and safe product.

Purple

Purple is a royal color, connected to power, nobility, luxury, wisdom, and spirituality. Some perceive its overuse as arrogant so it’s better not to use it that much. You can add hints of purple to your website’s design such as accentuation color in your graphics, on your free shipping bar, or your logo.

Purple is a color brand like Yahoo use. When browsing Yahoo, you’ll notice that purple is an accent color. Yahoo icons like Mail use the color purple as well as the logo and top navigation words.

Finding your own palette

We’re at the end of this post and there’s still no cheat sheet for choosing the perfect color or color scheme. We may have raised more questions than answers. Everyone perceives colors differently based on their liking, differences in cultural attachments to colors, so color psychology can only be utilized through observation and experience of how color has influenced brains over the years, leaving us with no way to pick the “just right” color right away.

Ania Tuljak
ania@theorionlabs.com