The Psychology of Color


When we interact with the world, the first thing we see is color, and every color makes us feel a certain way. Think about your favorite color. Why do you like it? Does it make you feel calm? Peaceful? Energized? What about colors you don't like? Colors can affect the paths we choose in life, subconsciously or not. So if it affects how we make daily decisions, then color is arguably one of the most essential tools in the world of marketing.

As a consumer, we make a subconscious judgment about a product within the first 90 seconds of seeing it, so that phrase "don't judge a book by its cover" doesn't apply in marketing. Nearly 85% of consumers say color is the primary reason they buy a particular product, and 80% think color increases brand recognition. For example, McDonald's is well-known for its iconic yellow and red combo, their primary brand colors. Red and yellow can evoke the feeling of hunger and excitement, but these colors also appeal to children, one of their target markets.

Colors can affect our mood, cravings, emotions, and even spending habits. Understanding how specific colors affect others will impact how branding and marketing are done, as it can help reach your target market, increase brand recognition, and influence how consumers interact with your product or feel about your product.

Below is a list of some primary colors and the kinds of feelings each can evoke:

Red: Bold, Energetic, Passionate, Stimulates Appetite Ex. Netflix

Orange: Friendly, Cheerful, Enthusiastic, Fun Ex. Amazon

Yellow: Clear, Warm, Optimistic, Inviting Ex. National Geographic

Green: Healthy, Natural, Peaceful, Evokes Growth Ex. Whole Foods

Blue: Calm, Trustworthy, Reliable, Secure-Ex. Oral B

Violet: Creative, Imaginative, Royal, Wise Ex. Hallmark

White: Simple, Pure, Modern, Honest Ex. Apple

Black: Authoritative, Powerful, Luxurious, Classic Ex. Nike

While picking colors for your brand or ads might seem simple, there are numerous aspects to consider, such as different shades and tints, gradients, color combinations, you get the idea. It can seem like a daunting task, which is why having brand guidelines is so important. It builds consistency in advertising, but it also builds brand recognition with your target audience. Don't have a brand guideline? We can help get you started with your ideal color palette.

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