Humans are very visual by nature, which means we respond intensely to color. While there are exceptions in persons with color blindness or other vision issues, at least 80 percent of the population would characterize themselves as visual. The remaining five to twenty percent experience the world with a more kinesthetic or auditory nature, but color still has an impact.
We live in a visual world, and Western society in particular is very visually-driven. From television to the Internet to billboards and print material, visual media is a major driver of our culture. The world of industry has been aware of this since the rise of the modern economy, and the advertising and marketing fields developed shortly after.
One of the strongest components of marketing is color psychology. Colors evoke emotions, send bold or subtle messages, brighten things up, or take an inspiring message to new heights of impact. While each human being is different, there are some consistencies when it comes to how we respond to color. There can be individual or cultural exceptions, but for the most part, the following psychology comes into play when selecting colors for logos, branding and advertising content:
Reliable, Dependable Blue
Marketers are aware that blue is the favorite color of most people around the world. This preference even transcends cultural upbringing. However, blue also has a calming and sedating effect. It is the color of the sky, the ocean and other bodies of water.
Beyond its atmospheric and oceanic connections, blue also conveys the qualities of professionalism, reliability and strength. Because of this, many corporations and technology companies use blue in their logos and advertising materials. Brands that sell cars, machines and appliances gravitate toward blue as well, but it can help to convey trustworthiness for just about any brand.
Making the Heart Beat Faster with Red
Red is known as the most stimulating color on the color wheel. It actually causes human pulse rates to rise measurably when they see it. The feelings and associations evoked include excitement, love, passion, urgency, hunger, and sexual energy.
Red is also connected with Valentine’s day, red lights and stop signs. Red is attention-grabbing, and savvy marketers know how to parlay this active reaction into excitement for a brand, product, or marketing event.
Promoting Positive Vibes with Yellow
Yellow is connected with the sun and with bright spring flowers. It is an inherently cheerful color that most people associate with optimism and happiness. Deeper shades of yellow conjure up images of gold and riches. Marketers use yellow to raise the energy around a company or product, and it appeals to kids as well as the Moms who shop for them.
Enthusiastic, Confident and Creative Orange
The color orange doesn’t quite make the same impact as red, but it is still assertive and undeniable. Warm colors generally stir up positive emotions, and orange is no exception. It is positive, kid-friendly, and can help to generate buzz and enthusiasm about a product or service.
Green for Eco-Friendly Vibes
Green is often favored by companies that are connected with the environment, and with good reason. Green is the main color viewed in nature, and it is the most sedating and relaxing color on the spectrum for most human beings. Green can also convey growth; however, the darker shades are often associated with money and financial institutions.
Mystical, Spiritual, Regal Purple
Purple is associated with royalty, wealth, and mysticism. It is connected with the seventh or crown chakra in new age circles – the chakra of spirituality. Businesses that aren’t in the mainstream often use purple with effectiveness, as making this color prominent sets logos and marketing materials apart. Purple is also associated with creativity, wisdom and exploring new frontiers.
Down to Earth Brown
Brown is considered an earth tone and is a grounding, masculine color. Business that wish to convey a trustworthy, pragmatic, and reliable image are drawn to this hue. It can also be paired with green for businesses connected with the earth or environment.
Human beings have strong responses to color, so it’s no surprise that marketers use them strategically in branding and advertising campaigns. Being aware of the effects of color psychology can help anyone to navigate the visual stimuli around them and make more informed choices.