The field of color psychology provides answers to how different colors have different meanings, connotations, and psychological effects. It began in the early 1900s and has since been used by businesses to make informed decisions about product design, packaging, and marketing. Color can have a significant impact on how people see and respond to products and services. For example, specific colors can drive people to feel a variety of emotions or can even fabricate a brand to look more or less professional. Understanding what each color means and what reactions they convey can help you select what you would like people to take in and experience when they look at your brand and services.
Color psychology is the study of hues and how they influence perceptions and behaviors. Different colors can evoke different moods or emotions and affect different areas of the brain. For example, the color blue is often associated with feelings of peace and relaxation and has been found to have a calming effect. On the other hand, the color red is often associated with feelings of anger and aggression and has been found to increase a person’s heart rate and make them feel more excited. Color psychology is a relatively new field, and more research is needed to understand all the ways that colors can impact our perceptions and behaviors. However, the existing research in this area can be helpful for businesses when choosing colors for their branding and marketing materials.
Colors can affect how consumers view the personality of a brand. Jennifer Aaker, an American behavioral scientist, published a classic paper in 1997 suggesting that there are five core dimensions to brand personality:
Sincerity: Includes honesty, earnestness, and genuineness
Excitement: Comprising of spirit, adventure, and energy
Competence: Encompasses intelligence, skill, and reliability
Sophistication: Involving worldliness, glamour, and upper-class
Ruggedness: Embraces the outdoors, toughness, and strength
This later became the most widely used brand personality model in marketing.
The most important thing you can do when selecting your color palette is to ensure the colors support the desired personality of the brand. For example, if you want your brand to be seen as friendly and approachable, you might use warmer colors like yellow or orange. If you want your brand to be seen as more serious and professional, you might use cooler colors like blue or green.
Ask yourself the following: What personality do I want my brand to have and how can I utilize color to reflect it?
Think about some of the most well-known brand colors out there... Let’s start with Twitter. Did those shades of blue automatically come to your mind? How about UPS. I bet you instantly imagined that signature brown behind yellow text.
If a company always uses the same colors in its branding, its clients will be more likely to recognize them. Studies show that advertisements with colors are more effective than those without colors. Colors for advertisement campaigns should not be random. They should be carefully selected to produce certain reactions and to reach a certain audience.
Color can have a significant impact on how viewers perceive a work of art. If a designer is aware of how colors can make people feel, they can use this to their advantage to create art that looks appealing and has a desired effect. There are various color schemes that can be used to achieve different looks.
Let’s take a closer look into each type of color and each individual color.
Reds, oranges, and yellows evoke feelings of closeness, energy, and compel people to act. Warm colors make a space feel more intimate. Our eyes are drawn more to warm colors.
Orange is a cheerful and optimistic color. It is energetic, spontaneous, and dynamic. It resonates with youth but can also be arrogant and prideful. Orange is a color that is stimulating and attention-getting without being too aggressive. On one hand, it can be seen as superficial and insincere, but it can also reveal transformation. This color is open-minded and willing to take risks. It changes with the seasons. Overall, orange is uplifting and offers emotional endurance, igniting motivation in dark times.
Yellow is the color of happiness, cheerfulness, and fun. It also represents the mind and intellect. It is a striking color that enhances creativity and services clear thinking. Yellow is a considerable color to use when you want cheerfulness and enjoyment, but also when you need to be innovative and focused. Although it tends to exude positive emotion, yellow can also be identified as a color of cowardice, impulsiveness, jealousy, and fear. Yellow is a color that screams for attention, so it is generally used in highlights or as a warning.
The cool colors are your greens, blues, and purples. They are more reserved, relaxed, professional, and calming.
Green is the color of life. It is associated with nature, health, growth, and prosperity. It represents hope for a brighter future. The color green is a combination of blue and yellow. It takes on the properties of both colors, creating a relaxing but also energizing ambiance. In addition to these beneficial emotions, green can also depict jealousy, envy, and greed. Generally, green is affiliated with balance and renewal.
The color blue is appealing to most because of its non-polarizing hue. It possesses a calming and relaxing effect and is often correlated with peace but can also demand authority. Still, blue is a complicated color. It can be tranquil and soothing, but it can also be cold and depressing. Too much blue can suppress the appetite and generate insomnia. For the most part, blue is a versatile color that can conform to nearly every situation.
Purple is a color that is perceived as mysterious and supernatural by some because of its rarity. It is also associated with royalty and religion, although some people may discern it as artificial. This color possesses an uplifting spirit that evokes devotion, but also intimidates for its superiority. Purple may tend to have a negative connotation, as it is analogous with arrogance, immaturity, and an emotional state of mind. However, it is also a color that resonates with creative souls and encourages self-knowledge. This mystifying color can also summon sensuality and delicacy.
The color pink can be considered a warm or cool color, depending on the color next to it. It illustrates femininity, sweetness, and love. Pink is a blend of red and white, which can reflect the love for oneself, family, and a partner, but is more about romance than passion. Because pink is a positive color, it sparks hope and reassures. However, sometimes people can become too optimistic when they catch sight of the color pink and can experience unrealistic expectations.
Neutrals are important in design because they often provide a backdrop for other colors and can help create the desired effect. Neutrals can also be used on their own to convey a message.
White is the color of purity, serenity, and new beginnings. It is a calming color that can help declutter your mind and bring the clarity needed to solve problems. The color white is often recognized as pragmatic and represents goodness. However, it can also be seen as cold, bland, and unfriendly. White can be uplifting and offer a sense of quietness and mental organization.
Black is a powerful and versatile color that is often seen as sophisticated and expensive. It has the ability to conceal vulnerabilities, which makes it appealing to many. This dominant and misunderstood color is usually detected as a color of authority and formality. It can be intimidating to others because of its ambiguity. It is also a color that is well-versed in the art of seduction. Because of the unknown and lack of light, people tend to have negative associations with black because it is portrayed as the color of loss and rebellion.
Brown is a color that is found often in nature. It can promote feelings of safety, reliability, and honesty. Brown is also a practical color that is humble, conventional, and predictable. Despite these practical traits, this color can also drive people to feel lonely or isolated and can also be seen as boring and dull.
Creating the perfect color palette for your brand and logo takes careful consideration and deep understanding of color psychology to know how to best represent your brand. Many companies will even commission psychology experts to assist with this. Ideatech Creatives has an excellent group of professionals specialized in digital marketing, web design, graphic design, and user interface/experience design. Our team takes on board the needs of your consumers and how to best reach them by telling your story through your brand’s colors.