This Is How You Use Color Psychology
Marketing in Your Favor
Every thought and feeling we have towards a product before we make the decision to buy it, is completely dominated by a subconscious attraction of how we perceive a product or a brand’s color. Colors have an extremely powerful influence on this buying process. This is why studies have done deep research on color psychology marketing and how this affects the decision-making on consumers.
Colors, in essence, are how we perceive the light projected on different surfaces. Each color seems to be wired to a specific emotion in our brain. However, the physiological effect of colors are way more complicated than simply matching a single color to a single emotion. A single color can cause contrasting emotions and it all depends on the context of it. Shades and tones can also have this contrasting effect.
Choosing colors that show your values and your personality as a brand is an essential part of designing your business. As human beings and, more importantly, as designers, we can differentiate from thousands of different hues in a single color code. Making a choice between all these colors is where all the magic happens! Because each tone has its own ability to evoke something in the eyes of its viewer, they can influence the mood, the perception, and cause emotions subconsciously on every customer.
Looking nice isn’t enough, the color you choose to add to your designs does matter a lot. To understand your choices, we would recommend you take a look at what psychology of colors looks like, and make the right decision for your designs, whether you are looking on how to create a logo, develop your branding strategy or make an ad. Lets first review the most basic color relationships:
These are The Color Basics
As you keep mixing primary and secondary colors you get newer shades of each color. Colors may change when darkened, when lightened, when their saturation is more pure or intense, and all these factors may give you a different color hue!
RGB? or CMYK?
As you may know, your choice of color format can also affect the shades you are looking at. Designs in RGB are more in line with what you can see on any screen because it has a wider range of color. Whereas CMYK is better for printing since printers use CMYK colors (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black color combinations), but has fewer color options.
So what is the answer here? When you are creating a design that is both for digital and for printing you can use a Pantone Matching System (PMS) to use the nearest color shades for both.
Now let’s get to the actual making of your designs in colors. Normally you would choose a dominant color that will appear more in your designs and branding. This is the color you want to accent and contrast with other secondary colors.
These are the color variations you can choose for your brand:
- Monochromatic: various shades of the same color. This is a very conservative choice.
- Analogous: these are different hues that are just sided by side on the color wheel.
3. Complementary: opposites on the color wheel that are high-contrast.
4. Split Complementary: are two analogous colors plus one complimentary.
5. Triadic: three complementary colors.
6. Tetradic: two pairs of complementary colors.
After knowing how to mix your colors, then you can take a look and some color palette inspirations. Think about your industry an its colors, you can find color palettes in nature, in a specific season or temperature, for example, ocean colors, fall season colors, Christmassy tones, and more! You can represent a classic theme with colors or more modern pop-like tones. You can even use an app or website to choose the best combination for your brand color psychology strategy.
Psychological Effects of Color
- RED: Red can vary a lot depending on its context. Red can show passion, energy, life, and in some cases even violence. Branding your products with red is perceived as security, confidence, and power.
In eastern cultures, red symbolizes good fortune and prosperity. It has political meanings related to revolutions or dictatorships.
- ORANGE: Orange combines warmth with cheerfulness. It communicates energy and optimism. Branding your products with orange gives them a young look, something creative. It’s obviously related to the autumn season.
In India, the color orange is used for sacred elements so you would want to keep this in mind in case that is where your customers are.
- YELLOW: Yellow communicates happiness and cheerfulness. It is associated as caution in some contexts. Yellow is a great attention seeker so might want to keep this one in mind.
- GREEN: The color of nature and life. Therefore, green usually has a healthy, natural, and sustainable quality. Greatly associated with Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day!
- BLUE: Communicates peacefulness, cleanness, it’s a color for spirituality. In branding, blue is the most versatile color and the most used among brands! This is also because it is the favorite color of most consumers. It builds trust, security, and professionalism.
- PURPLE: Normally associated with royalty or religiousness. It can give a brand a sense of luxury or, by using lighter shades, a feminine tone.
- BLACK: Black has many meanings like power, sophistication. It also represents death or mystery. It can be a masculine touch. Branding using black gives a neutral message too, but it can also be used to intensify other colors since anything looks brighter when sided by black.
- WHITE: White is purity, goodness, perfection and simplicity. White is a huge color for every wedding industry business.
Designing in Colors
By now you’ve probably realized that applying colors to your design is more than just choosing two or three colors. You have to think about balance, think about your dominant color and how you are going to accent that color.
A common rule in design is the 60-30-10 rule. Imagine you choose 3 colors for your web design, your dominant color and two secondaries to accent. Most visible assets will have your dominant color in a percentage of more than half of the page, then 30% and then a light 10% using the other two colors to make emphasis on your dominant color.
If you have chosen one color, then you can try different shades of that color without it being overwhelming. This is for more conservative design.
Your color decision is directly tied to your brand recognition. Think about logos at first glance, most of the impression is its color.
To Wrap It Up!
This is just a scratch from the surface of the psychology of color in marketing, you can find tons of professional research on the subject to get more in-depth information. Caring about the influence your colors may have on your brand and on your consumers is just a smart choice.
Marianna Fields 5/5
A Guide on Color Psychology Marketing for Designers
Colors affect completely how we perceive a product and our decision to buy it. Being aware of color psychology in marketing is a super helpful piece of knowledge to brand accordingly all your assets, and give your products the best chance on the market.Make Awesome Designs for Your Brand!