Colors can play a key role in conveying nonverbal information, creating certain moods and even influencing decisions. Knowing the meanings and responses to colors is key, as 9 out of 10 snap judgments are affected solely by their psychological effects. For the best results, choose the look you want for yourself and your professional career.
What is Color Psychology?
The study of the psychology of color is the study and application of colors to determine human behavior. Carl Jung has been recognized as a pioneer in this field due to his explorations into color’s properties and meanings. Color perceptions have hidden effects, such as how food tastes. People can feel certain emotions when they are exposed to colors. Colors can increase the effectiveness and efficiency of placebos. Red pills and orange pills are used as stimulants. How color affects individuals can be influenced by age, gender, or culture. According to heterosexual men, red outfits can enhance female attractiveness. Heterosexual females, on the other hand, deny that any color in an outfit could affect men’s sexual attraction. Even though color preferences may differ across cultures, their generality is relatively consistent for every gender and each race.
Branding and marketing use color psychology extensively. Marketers see color as a key element in marketing since it can impact consumers’ emotions as well as their perceptions about products and services. Logos are crucial for companies as they can draw more customers. Customers feel the company logo matches what they are buying. Window displays in stores are important too. Research shows that even though cool colors are more appealing, colors like red tend to be preferred by spontaneous buyers. Red and yellow combined can trigger hunger. This may partly explain the popularity of fast-food restaurants like McDonald’s or In-N-Out Burger. The “ketchup & mayonnaise” theory has been used to describe this phenomenon.
While the marketing industry makes great use of color psychology’s principles, other fields such as medicine, sports, hospital settings, or game design all make use of its principles.
Color psychology, which assigns psychological and emotional connotations between colors or emotions, has been a popular area in color theory. These meanings may be universal due to their effect on the brain, but some are more cultural. It is wise to find out the accepted and unaccepted colors of any cultural event or family you are visiting abroad when traveling.
It is often influenced by childhood memories and your associations between colors. If you were made yellow by your mother and your classmates make fun of you, it is unlikely that yellow will be your favorite adult color.
Sometimes, a hue can carry many meanings. An orange blouse might be a good choice because:
- It lifts up your mood
- Ready to Act
- You feel creative
- You would like to make a statement
History of Color Psychology
Color psychology wasn’t a subject, but it was used for centuries as a way to treat diseases. Color “cures”, as the ancient Egyptians called them, were achieved by using sunlight shining through crystals or painting rooms. The Nei Chung, one of the earliest medical documents ever created, lists color diagnoses as well as color healing methods.
Carl Jung is most commonly associated with the 20th century’s pioneering stages of color psychology. Jung was fascinated by colors’ meanings and properties as well the potential of art as a psychotherapeutic tool. His writings and studies in color symbolism cover many topics. He studied mandalas as well as Picasso’s art and the near-universal sovereignty associated with the color yellow. According to Charles A. Riley I, this color “expresses…the peak of spirituality, or intuition”. Jung was interested in developing a language to code colors, and he pursued his studies on color usage and its effects across cultures. Jung turned to alchemy to gain a deeper understanding of the secret language that color uses. He also found the key to his research in alchemical transformation. His work has had a profound impact on modern color psychology.
The Meaning of Colors
What effects do colors have on our moods and emotions? While perceptions and meanings of colors are subjective, there are certain effects that can be generalized. Warm colors are colors that are yellow-based, such as scarlet and red-orange. Warm colors can bring out emotions that range from warmth and comfort to hostility and anger. Reds can also include a blue undertone and are therefore known as cool colors like burgundy. These colors are sometimes described as calm but can also be associated with seriousness, dignity, and seriousness.
Red Color Psychology
Red can grab attention in marketing colors. Red is associated as a color that evokes passion, danger or energy. It’s possible that you’ve noticed some brands using red buttons for ordering or packaging to make them stand out on the shelf. Red is the most intense shade in color psychology. The most intense color can cause the strongest emotions. Red can also create danger so you should use the color sparingly. If red is added to your website, it should be reserved for the call of action or sale icons.
YouTube and Coca-Cola both use red as the emblematic color. Coca-Cola’s brand colors include red, which encourages appetite. They also use words such as happiness in branding. Red is used to generate excitement. YouTube uses the red color because it is exciting to watch videos online. Notice the red play button on their logo. This can motivate someone to take action. It encourages viewers to play their videos.
Psychology of Yellow Color
Yellow is the color of the intellect and the mind. It resonates well with the left, logical side of our brain. It is creative, the tone for new ideas and new ways to do things. The yellow color of legal pads and post-it notes was chosen for a very good purpose!
Yellow is the lightest shade of the spectrum, and it offers joy, happiness, and hope. It’s a cheerful, happy color that can brighten people’s spirits by creating a sense of joy and playfulness.
However, too much yellow can cause anxiety and nervousness, apprehensions, agitation, and confrontation, particularly for those already stressed. It can also signify impatience as well as criticism and cowardice. This can motivate people to be overly critical, deceitful, and judgmental.
Don’t dress in yellow to influence men. Yellow is seen by them as unprofessionalized and cheap. It is a brilliant way to stand out from others and can be paired with a cool shade like forest green or mid-blue to add authority. Even though yellow ties have been removed from power tie racks, you can still use them in a yellow and/or blue foulard or polka-dot.
Pink Color Psychology
Brands that are primarily targeting women will like pink. The color pink is associated with femininity. Some brands have chosen pink for packaging, especially for toys for girls. Others, however, highlight the pink color in logos, web designs or key messages.
Pink is a color that signifies femininity. It’s, therefore, no surprise that Victoria’s Secret as well as Barbie are so fond of this color. Victoria’s Secret named one brand pink. The website features a mix of pink-black to highlight key marketing elements. The pink color is also used in their logos and certain marketing messages. Barbie’s website uses bright pink colors for CTA’s. This color is also subtly used by their drop-down menus and top navigation. It is evident in their branding, as well as their product packaging.
Orange Color Psychology
This is the color of optimism, encouragement and self-confidence. Orange radiates warmth. This color combines the physical energy and stimulation that red brings with it with the cheerfulness and joy of yellow. Orange can bring out the best in people, such as courage, optimism, revitalization, vitality, and enthusiasm. It has a stimulating effect on the appetite.
This could be a sign of both superficiality and pessimism.
Orange, depending upon the color and its combination, can give an impression of affordability in business applications. Orange is more gentle and feminine than red. It also represents the energy of creation.
You can wear it boldly with a blazer to network or attend business social events. It can be worn with a coordinating multicolored top and solid trousers, or more delicately in small areas in a printed or scarf top. It looks excellent with Autumn shades in the Northern US. The orange can be paired with browns or spicy shades to give it an artistic, grounded look. There is a downside to orange, however. Orange dye lots can vary in quality. Orange dye lots can be difficult to find in daylight. This can lead to a darker tone. Orange ties for males are still in fashion so get a fancy silk foulard to make the colors shine and radiate success.
Green Color Psychology
Green is the color of nature, which represents balance and growth. It is serene and secure, which symbolizes harmony, healing and stability.
It represents self-reliance, security, and independence. While darker greens can be associated with wealth, prestige and money, lighter greens can refer to rebirths, growth and freshness.
Too much green can lead to feelings like envy, greed and jealousy.
The benefits of green in business include healing and the promotion of natural, safe, organic, and environmentally friendly products. For money and financial sites, dark green is a good choice.
Wear it with care and use it to your advantage when working, in sales presentations, or asking for funding. Aqua and turquoise are the lighter shades of green. They are associated with sunshine, blue seas, health, peace, prosperity, and joy. Under pantsuits with camel and beige, taupe and purple as well as charcoal and purple as well, you can use solid or printed colors to make tops, blouses or shells. If men are looking to be approachable or authoritative, teal ties can work in their favor.
Purple Color Psychology
Purple is a royal color in color psychology. The meaning of purple is power, nobility, luxury, wisdom, spirituality, and power. Avoid using this color excessively as it can lead you to feel frustrated. Some find its excessive use to be arrogant. You can use purple hints in your website design, including your logo, free shipping bar and accent colors in your graphics.
Hallmark and Yahoo use purple. Purple is used as an accent color on both the Hallmark and Yahoo websites. On Hallmark, you’ll notice that the logo and top navigation are purple. However, the rest use a variety of other colors. Yahoo’s logo, top navigation words, as well as icons for Yahoo, like Mail, use purple.
Color Psychology of Blue
Blue is the color of trust, serenity or peace. It symbolizes loyalty and integrity, but also conservatism as well predictability.
It has the opposite effect as red. It can calm, reduce tension and fear and slow down the pulse rate. While it can inspire wisdom and higher ideals, it’s quiet nature is sincere, reserved, as well as being quiet. It creates a feeling of space by being cool.
Blue is the most loved color, so it is safest for use in uniforms and business attire. It represents trust, honesty, and dependability, which can help build customer loyalty. It’s a good choice for the corporate world, and it is frequently used in important meetings. Blue is an excellent color for interviewing and when meeting with business professionals, such as accountants, bankers, and representatives from insurance companies.
The problem with blue, particularly navy, is that it can appear mature, conservative and boring. There are many shades of blue that are more exciting and vibrant than navy. Consider a royal blue or teal, which is more reliable but also more interesting.
A politician’s uniform, and royal blue ties are very predictable. Perhaps a good choice for a conservative audience. It can be adapted to suit a different audience by using a navy or bluish suit and white or pale shirts. Try a tie made in a variety of shades of blue and with a little bit of red.
White Color Psychology
White, in color psychology, is associated with innocence, and goodness. It also represents cleanliness and humility. Keep in mind that this is the meaning of white in North American culture. White may have opposite meanings in other parts of the world. This should be considered based on the audience you are targeting. White has a negative meaning. It can be associated with sterility and cold. White is the most frequently used color on an ecommerce site. It will be the background for your product photo. The background of your pages will likely be white with black font. This is because the best color combination for readability is a black font and a white background.
ASOS uses white, and Adidas uses it in their marketing. ASOS uses white fonts for its logo, header, and background. When the background is gray, black or white, the fonts are white. Adidas’ online store has top navigation that is black. Contrast can be created by using a logo with a white background. Because their background is white, they chose to use gray as the background for product photographs to add another tone. Many brands use white as the primary color and pair it with black or gray.
Black Color Psychology
Black is a common color in retail. In color psychology, the color black symbolizes mystery, power and elegance. However, black’s color meaning can also evoke anger and sadness. Many fashion retailers have used the color black in their logos. Black is also a popular color for text because it is easy to read. For example, black and white icons are used by some brands to create a certain tone and consistency for their website.
Black is a popular color used by retailers like Nike or Chanel. Chanel uses black logos and maintains a consistent look with several black and/or white images on its website. When you begin browsing their website, a thick background of black appears as the top navigation background. The font used for text and images is black. You can also see that their call to action is black. Many fashion retailers use a black call to action that contrasts nicely against a background of white. Nike also uses a combination of gray, white, and black colors on their website. Their website uses a black font and logo. It makes it easy to navigate the website. Chanel’s call-to-actions are black like Chanel. This adds visual emphasis to the item in your “bag” (cart ).
Pink Color Psychology
Pink is a popular choice for brands that mainly target a female audience. Pink is a color that symbolizes femininity, playfulness and unconditional love. Some brands, particularly for girl’s toys, have used pink in their packaging. While some brands use the pink color for their packaging, others emphasize it in their website design or critical messages.
Because pink, which is feminine in its meaning, is used so often by brands such as Barbie and Victoria’s Secret. Victoria’s Secret even gave a pink name to one of their brands. Their website uses a mixture of pink and black to emphasize key marketing details. In particular marketing messages, their logo also features pink. Barbie’s website shows CTAs in bright pink. Subtly, the color is used on their drop-down menu and top navigation. They also use pink in their logo and product packaging.
Gray Color Meaning
Gray represents neutrality, balance, and harmony in color psychology. Its color meaning probably comes from its being the shade of black and white. Gray has negative connotations. This is especially true if it refers to depression or loss. It lacks color and is therefore dull. You can use gray for font color, headers and graphics.
Apple is one example of a brand that uses the gray color in its branding. They have many laptops in gray or silver tones, so it’s not surprising that they use this neutral color. In contrast with a white logo, their website uses gray as the header. The branding balances between gray, white and black, and this helps to maintain a clean and neutral look.
Brown Color Psychology
Brown is an earthy hue. Therefore, color psychology points out that the meaning of brown refers to security, comfort, and a down to Earth nature. It is common to use brown in marketing for natural foods and products. The contrast between a white background with brown makes it a prominent color in logos, banners, images, and text.
UPS is an excellent example of a brand that takes advantage of color meanings for its branding. The navigation and drop-down menus on their website are highlighted with the brown logo. You may also notice complementary colors like yellow and green, which all have natural elements. One example is yellow, which might be the sun, and green, which might be nature. Overall, it positions UPS as a trusted, reliable, and down-to-earth company. That’s precisely what you need from a courier service.
Color Psychology for Therapy
Chromotherapy was a practice many ancient cultures used to heal, including the Chinese and Egyptians. Chromotherapy may also be known as colorology, light therapy, or colorology.
Colorology is still used as an alternative treatment or holistic approach.
- The following treatment is offered: Red This is done to stimulate the body, mind and increase circulation.
- The idea of stimulating the nerves to purify the body is thought to be powerful.
- Helps to heal the lungs.
- Blue may be used to relieve symptoms and pain.
- Indigo colors are thought to ease skin problems.
Misconceptions around the Psychology of Color
While color psychology has been studied extensively for years, much remains to be discovered about its impact on psychology.
What is the truth behind the misinformation about color psychology and its meanings?
One reason is that the psychology behind color has many variables. It is possible that different people see colors in different ways. It is possible that your perception of a specific color may be affected by past experiences, cultural differences and gender differences.
Why Color Psychology Is Important in Marketing
Color evokes feelings. It incites emotion. It is the same with choosing colors for your business.
Your brand can stand out from the rest by choosing the right colors to promote your products or services. By strategically using colors in your marketing campaigns, you can make your audience see what you want. This will help you to portray yourself the way you want. Understanding color psychology is crucial for your marketing efforts because it allows you to portray your brand in the most effective way.
While choosing the right color palette can help improve brand perception, it can also cause brand damage. Your logo and content can be difficult to read for your audience if they aren’t the right colors. You might even be overlooked.
Marketers have the ability to use color to influence how people behave towards a brand or how they interpret information. The selection of colors can help people determine what is important. This is why content marketers need to be familiar with the meanings and differences in colors.
Color can play a crucial role in communicating information, creating moods, or even influencing decisions. It is also possible to influence what objects are purchased, how clothes are worn, and how their surroundings are decorated.
People choose colors that evoke certain feelings or moods. Colors can also be used in rooms to create certain moods.
So, what is the bottom line of this story? Experts discovered that even though the color has an impact on how we feel or act, the effects can be affected by personal, cultural and context factors. It is essential to do more research on the psychology of color.