According to color psychologists, every color has the power to influence human behavior. The psychology of color uses this fact to convey our feelings, emotions, and actions in order to achieve a desired response from others.
Color is a huge part of branding. In fact, it is now said that 70-93% of communication is non-verbal. That means that color can make or break your brand!
There has been research done on how the use of color psychologically makes people react either positively or negatively towards your brand. Color psychology has gone through the centuries but has only recently been brought to light in the marketing field as a powerful tool to improve your sales and brand presence. Read the article and learn what hidden meanings lies behind your favorite color
Color psychology is predominantly the study of color based on human perception and demeanor to it. For example, when you intend to snap up a dress for yourself from an apparel showroom, you look for various colors of different dresses.
Until you find the perfect color gratifying your mind, you don’t make the purchase. Even though the choice of color is subjective for different products, there are certain colors that always influence our minds.
If you are a marketer or someone who just started a business, you have to be very meticulous in choosing your product color. While doing online marketing, you have to pick a compelling color for your website design to stand out from the competitors.
No matter whether you are a fashion house striving to mesmerize youth with a variety of dresses or a tech company trying to build the trust of your customers, color is a powerful tool to help you in your aim.
Now, how to know which color to choose for different entities in marketing? Dig deep into the concept of color psychology!
While picking perfect and fetching colors can boost up your brand perception, wrong and dull colors can cause damage to your brand image. For example, when you are doing content marketing, your textual, as well as visual content and logo, play a key role in driving traffic to your website.
If the content color is imperfect, you are likely to fluff in content marketing due to readability and comprehensibility issues. Not only in content marketing but also in conventional marketing color influences clients’ behavior towards a brand. Hence, it’s indispensable for marketers to perceive the meanings of different colors and then utilize them in marketing properly.
If you want to avail of different colors for different purposes, you must know and fathom how they stir emotions in you. This will let you choose the right color for a particular entity, whether tangible or intangible. Let’s take a look at the psychological effects of some popular colors below.
Positive: Strength, energy, excitement, courage, warmth, desire, love, determination, masculinity, and passion
Negative: Danger, defiance, aggression, strain, and war
Red color is related to the body and is a widely-used color for different purposes. It’s an intense color denoting excitement, energy, passion, danger, etc. It captures attention and you might have observed businesses deploying this color often for packaging products. They also use this color for the “Order now” button on their websites to prompt shoppers.
Besides, the color is also an emblem of danger as we see various types of warning signs on roads designed with red color. Red color stimulates us and scales up the pulse rate giving the impression that time is flying. It enhances human metabolism and blood pressure as well.
Red has the longest wavelength among all colors and so it’s a very powerful color. The color reflects liveliness and has a property of appearing nearer than it really is. Due to its strength and intensity, it easily grabs our attention. Just look at YouTube how they are leveraging red color in intriguing viewers.
They have sensibly used the red color in the play button part of their logo to spark excitement as watching videos online is full of fun and excitement. The red color is likely to compel viewers to press on the play button. Likewise, Coca-Cola is another company that makes use of the red color in their branding as it stimulates appetite. They also use words like happiness in their branding to stir excitement.
Positive: Intelligence, serenity, peace, communication, trust, logic, and reflection
Negative: Coldness, unfriendliness, aloofness, and lack of emotion
The blue color is meant for plenty of things including peace, trust, harmony, stability, and intelligence. The color is closely tied to the sea and sky eliminating anxiety and evoking serenity in our minds.
It, however, also reflects some negativity like depression and coldness. When it comes to branding, it’s a perfect color to use in order to entice customers towards you.
You can use it in your website logo or top navigation. There are retailers making use of this color in guaranteeing products, designing trust certifications, and creating shipping icons as it represents trust.
As per research, blue is the world’s favorite color due to the calmness it stirs in the mind. Unlike red color, objects don’t appear closer to blue color. Tech companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Skype make use of the blue color in their branding to reflect communication. Likewise, Walmart and Oral B leverage the color too.
The blue color logo in the Walmart represents trustworthiness, and reliance of the brand by customers. Oral B, a dental health company utilizes the blue color in its logo to showcase the quality, reliability, and safety of its products.
Positive: Confidence, Optimism, Self-esteem, extroversion, emotional strength, creativity, and friendliness
Negative: Depression, anxiety, fear, irrationality, suicide, and emotional fragility
Yellow color is associated with sunshine and stirs a vibe of jubilation, positivity, confidence, and summer. But it also reflects worry, hoax, and warning. Many companies exist that avail of yellow color to design the backdrop and border of their websites.
Yellow is also an excellent choice to use for the free shipping bar at the top of the website if aligns with the rest of the website design. The yellow color blends with other colors smoothly if it gets a deft touch.
Psychologically, yellow is the strongest color and has a long wavelength. When it comes to global brands, Ferrari and Ikea are the ones who take advantage of this color intellectually. Ferrari produces cars that people dream of driving as they are connected with luxury, standard lifestyle, and internal happiness.
So, they rightly utilize the yellow color in their branding. Similarly, Ikea’s branding is also associated with yellow color. You may wonder how snapping up furniture is connected with joy and happiness.
The happiness is reflected mainly while buying a new home or shifting to a new home and this is exactly why Ikea makes use of the yellow color.
Positive: Peace, rest, reassurance, equilibrium, harmony, refreshment, universal love, and environmental awareness
Negative: Blandness, enervation, boredom, and stagnation
Green color has a strong relation to nature due to the scores of green trees contained by it. The color revolves around development, fertility, health, and generosity.
The color meaning of green also creates negative connections like annoyance and envy. Healthcare companies and fitness centers can make use of this color in their website designs and logo designs to imply refreshment.
The best area to use green color can be the background of the website’s homepage. When most parts of the world contain green, it signals the presence of loads of water around us.
Green color is a balance of mind, body, and emotion. Many brands avail of the color to market their products. John Deere, for example, has a product line entirely centered around landscaping, agriculture, lawn care gadgets, and so and so forth. The color is so much associated with their brand that the equipment shade has the identical shade of green as of logo.
It eases for anyone to understand the products of John Deere. Another brand is Roots, a fashion retailer that deploys green color to display models in natural outdoor settings. The green logo also blends with green nature images luring outdoor buffs.
Positive: Femininity, love, sexuality, physical serenity, warmth, nurture, and survival of the species
Negative: Emotional claustrophobia, inhibition, physical weakness, and emasculation
Pink color basically revolves around girls and expresses playfulness and unconditional love. It’s an in-vogue brand color serving especially for females. Fashion houses dedicated only to female clients make use of the pink color to a great extent.
Even companies while targeting female clients can’t but use pink color. Many brands use this mesmerizing color in packaging girls’ fashion items and toys. Apart from that, brands can utilize pink colors to complement their logos and spice up website designs.
As the color is a feminine color, companies like Barbie and Victoria’s Secret are bound to avail of this color in their marketing. If you look at Barbie, their CTA’s color is bright pink. Even their drop-down menu and top navigation also boast the color subtly. No doubt, the use of pink color in logo and product packaging bolster up their branding.
When it comes to Victoria’s Secret, they even have a brand named Pink. Their logo and key marketing messages reflect the pink color as well. Aside from that, they utilize an amalgamation of both pink and black on their website.
Positive: Simplicity, purity, cleanliness, hygiene, efficiency, and sophistication
Negative: Unfriendliness, coldness, barriers, and elitism
White is the most common color used in umpteen areas. It reflects goodness, innocence, humility, hygiene, etc. But in some parts of the world, the color also showcases negativity with sterility and coldness. Hence, depending on the target audience, the white color should be used. When it comes to companies, e-commerce companies are utilizing the white color extensively to sell their products.
White color is a magnificent color to use in the backdrop of your product photos. Your product page can display product photos with a white background along with black texts. This will better the readability as well.
Iconic companies like Adidas and ASOS brand themselves making use of the white color. If you visit Adidas’ online store, you can view their top navigation in black color with a white logo placed on it towards the left. This creates a striking balance of the display.
Their website has a white background and so they have picked grey to use for the background of product photos to add variety and splendor. Likewise, ASOS is another brand that avails of the white color in their marketing.
Their website showcases white texts in the header, logo, and background. If the background shows up as white, texts appear with black and vice-versa.
Positive: Efficiency, sophistication, emotional safety, glamour, security, and substance
Negative: Coldness, menace, oppression, and heaviness
Black color symbolizes elegance, power, mystery, and security and is highly deployed in the retail market. But the color represents anger and sadness as well. Scores of fashion retailers leverage black color to design their logos for successful branding.
Besides that, black is a readable color along with a white background. Hence, the retailers take full advantage of the color while designing lifestyle banner images and icons to spice up their websites and entice visitors.
Among the retailers, Nike and Chanel are using the black color on their websites. Chanel’s entire logo is black and they use many black and white images on their website to create consistency. If you browse their website, you can view the thick blacktop navigation background appearing.
Their CTA’s are black as well. When it comes to Nike, they use white, black, and, a grey scheme for their website. Their logo and font are black across the website. Like Chanel, they also have CTA’s in black to enhance visual appeal, thereby prompting you to add items to your cart.
Positive: Support, seriousness, warmth, reliability, nature, and earthiness
Negative: Heaviness, lack of humor, and lack of sophistication
Brown is another catchy color that adds variety to different objects. In general, the color is known to be earthy color. After all, the color of the earth is brown. Besides, the wood and stone also appear with brown color. In color psychology, the color brown is related to warmth and comfort. It’s a reliable, solid, and supportive color that has properties of both yellow and red colors.
In the marketing context, many companies use color for food and natural products. In contrast to the white background, brown is a complementary color for logo and font like black color.
When it comes to a company using the brown color in their branding, UPS is worth mentioning. If you visit their website, you can notice their logo having a brown color in combination with yellow. The use of brown color in the logo reflects uniqueness along with enhancing visual charm. You can also come across colors like green that they used on their website to complement other colors. All these colors surely reflect something.
The green may represent nature while yellow may refer to nature. As a whole, using brown color along with complementary colors makes UPS a reliable and secure parcel delivery service that you just hunt.
So, here we are at the end of our journey. We’ve certainly covered a lot of ground and had extended discussions about the different cognitive effects and emotional associations of color. But as you go forward in your design journeys, remember this: Color is a powerful tool, but it’s only a single element in design.
The right pairing of colors can speak volumes to your audience (just like the wrong pairing can have just as much impact), but it still must be combined with design elements to make an impact.
Use your knowledge of the psychology of color to inform your decisions, but don’t rely solely on it. Color itself is far from objective. It depends entirely on the person viewing it, and that’s something that you can’t control.