Color Theory

July 17, 2015 Branding 0 Comments

Psychology of Color

We’re about to give you some serious design insight on color. You may think designers shoot from the hip (okay, sometimes we do), but most of our decisions are based on our flood of knowledge about color, layout, and typography. Understanding the emotional response you can draw from your potential customers is a HUGE asset to your design. The easiest way to create that emotion? You guessed it. Color.


Red evokes energy, movement, excitement, love, heat, and hunger. Too much red can be overpowering but used in small doses can draw attention to your brand. Many fast food chains take advantage of the effects of red and yellow to trigger hunger.


Add energy, warmth, and thoughts of fun and happy times with orange. Because of this energy it is often associated with ambition.


Similar to the effects of orange, yellow leaves you feeling cheerful and filled with laughter. This sunny color tells your brain to release Serotonin, leaving you with a sense of optimism and joy. In its most intense state, it can offer a sense of warning. Yellow can quickly become overpowering, but used correctly can be very effective in your marketing strategy. Lighter shades of yellow can portray cowardice, while a more golden color promises better times to come.


Blue is a favorite for many. It offers a calming and restful effect and lets people know your brand is solid, dependable, loyal, and wise. Too much blue can send a message that is cold and uncaring.


The color of growth, nature, and money. Darker greens give a sense of masculinity and wealth. Lighter greens have been proven to be very calming and are used in settings such as hospitals. Envy, luck, generosity, fertility, peace, harmony, support and energy are also used to describe this color.


It is no secret that purple represents royalty, wealth, prosperity, and sophistication. Be careful to use it in moderation as to not give your brand a sense of being artificial. Used correctly it can add an element of mystery, wisdom, and respect. Used incorrectly it can signal arrogance or insincerity.


In regards to the business world, black evokes power, strength, and stability. It is also associated with intelligence. Aside from the positives, in the western hemisphere it often represents sadness and grieving. Also, the “bad guy” is typically depicted by the use of black.


White is a combination of all the colors in the spectrum. White gives us the feeling of purity, cleanliness or a blank slate. The absence of color offers a neutral ground. In some cultures white is actually the color of mourning.


Gray is most often associated with the practical, timeless, solid things in life. Used in the right amount it creates a rock solid feel to your brand. Old age, death, depression, lost sense of direction, and taxes are thought of with certain shades of gray. Silver is a nice alternative to gray, giving a sense of strong character.


This color is most often represents reliability, stability, friendship, nature, and organic vibes.

Similar Articles

Business Card Mistakes – Top Ten First Impressions Your business card is like a really bad poker face: it gives just about everything away at first glance. But that's a good thing! U...