Have you ever wondered why you get so hungry whenever you pass a McDonald’s sign? Or why you feel so calm looking at a blue design? Well, this isn’t just a coincidence – this is called Color Psychology. Marketers have been using this technique for decades, and they know exactly when a color is used appropriately.
Color Psychology is the theory that a color can influence any kind of feeling or emotion in a person. There are many interpretations of this specific topic, especially throughout different cultures. For instance, the color white in the United States is interpreted as something that is innocent or pure, whereas in India it is the color that they wear to funerals, meaning they see it as a much more somber color. Because of this, and many other cultural differences, the colors analyzed here will be the United States interpretation.
So you can’t figure out which color you want to make your company logo? Or what colors your website should and should not feature? Well, colors are primarily separated into two broad categories: warm and cool colors. These two categories will help you decipher which colors will be the best for your company.
Warm colors tend to provoke emotions ranging from warmth and happiness, to anger. They are also usually colors that will grab a consumers attention. You have to use warm colors correctly, as to not give consumers the wrong feeling about your product.
Red: Red is one of the trickiest colors to use. It stimulates the body when seen, which then raises blood pressure and heart rate. It is typically associated with love or passion, but also associated with anger. It also increases appetite, so many food places incorporate this color into their designs. It is a very exciting, intense color that makes the consumer feel the exact same way.
Orange: orange is typically associated with a feeling of caution. It can also provoke a feeling of excitement as well, but should usually be used sparingly.
Yellow: yellow is usually a very optimistic color, but is also known to make babies cry. It’s also an extremely attention-grabbing color, so it is very popular with window shoppers.
Cool colors usually evoke more mild emotions. They can influence calm or relaxing feelings. They also also typically less strainful on the eyes, so you can usually use them in bulk.
Green: green is almost always associated with nature. It is used in stores to help relax customers. Green also encourages decisiveness. It can also be associated with finances.
Blue: blue is the color that is typically preferred by men. It is usually connected with peace and water. Blue is a great color to use if you are trying to promote a sense of security. It can also make people less hungry.
Purple: purple is typically associated with royalty, wisdom, and respect. It is considered a very sophisticated color, and is very commonly used with beauty products. Purple is also known to stimulate problem-solving as well as creativity.
Black & White:
Black: black is typically associated with authority and power. Similar to purple, it is usually a symbol of intelligence, but if used too frequently, it becomes too intense or overwhelming.
White: as mentioned previously, white is associated with feelings of innocence and purity. Also, using white can make a something look more clean and precise.
Of course, all of this applies to website design as well. The website www.greenpeace.org/usa/ incorporates the color green not just because it’s in its name, but because it is a website all about helping the environment. It wants the viewer to feel relaxed while also influencing them to want to help the environment. Another website is www.grubhub.com. This is a food delivery website, which incorporates the color red into its navigation bar and many of its call to action buttons. This is a smart design choice because red, as mentioned previously, increases appetite.
Read more about Color Meaning in this interesting article by Jen Miller at Jen Reviews.
While there are millions of other websites out there that incorporate this theory of color psychology, if you’re interested in a website design that incorporates specific colors, give us a call!