How Colors Affect the Way We Think
Using Color Psychology to Your Advantage
Ever heard someone say they’re “seeing red” or “feeling blue”? You could be “green with envy,” tell a “white lie,” or get presented with a “golden opportunity”. Colors, and the ways we perceive them, can have surprising impacts on our ability to concentrate, our moods, and even the way we think. We subconsciously respond to colors almost as often as we breathe and blink.
For example, let’s think about a check mark.
While most people would interpret a red check mark as a suggestion of error, most people would agree that a green check mark typically indicates satisfaction. But here’s where it gets complicated: the color green doesn’t always correlate to success. Depending on the context, green can convey health and enthusiasm… or sickness and disgust. Green looks great in a salad, but less than desirable on a block of cheese. Likewise, blue can be associated with the future and evolution, law and justice, or fear and sadness.
Beyond their traditional meanings, our individual color preferences also exert influence over the objects we choose to purchase, the clothes we wear, and the way we decorate our environments. Intentional color choices in branding can help you stand out from the crowd, connect with certain audiences, construct your brand’s personality, highlight nuance in your messaging, and maximize your impact.
With colors so prevalent in daily life, anyone building a brand will be better equipped to reach their target audience by understanding and strategizing around color psychology.
Colors & What They Mean
This bright and powerful color perfectly symbolizes passion, energy, and excitement. Since this color excels at attention-grabbing, customers are more likely to interact with businesses who incorporate red into their branding. It evokes feelings of intensity, urgency, and action, but also represents love and romance, making it a popular choice for fashion and beauty brands
Yellow is typically associated with positivity, optimism, and warmth. Many brands use yellow to appeal to a younger and more adventurous customer base. Yellow can also represent innovation and creativity, making it a popular choice in the technology industry.
In marketing, the color orange is often used to evoke feelings of adventure, warmth, and enthusiasm. Many brands take advantage of the color’s playfulness to appeal to younger audiences. Orange can also represent innovation and creativity, making it a popular choice for brands in the technology and entertainment sectors.
The color green is often associated with nature, freshness, and vitality. While many eco-friendly companies use green in their branding to reflect their commitment to sustainable practices, green can also be associated with wealth, making it an ideal choice for financial brands.
Did you know that blue is the most frequently-reported favorite color worldwide? It’s also the most popular color for logo branding! Since it’s so familiar, many brands choose blue to reflect trustworthiness and to appeal to a more diverse customer base. Blue can also represent technology and innovation, making it a common choice for brands in industries like finance, healthcare, and technology. Certain shades of blue are even used to evoke a sense of serenity and peacefulness, making the color a solid choice for brands that focus on wellness.
Purple is an uncommon color in branding, but that makes it more memorable and unique. This color is often associated with creativity and imagination, so if your brand is all about thinking outside the box, purple could be the perfect fit.
Black is a timeless classic that never goes out of style. It's sleek, sophisticated, and can make your brand look effortlessly cool. Just as the phrase “black and white” suggests, the color black represents clarity and straightforwardness. It’s commonly associated with authority, neutrality, luxury, and balance.
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