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The Psychology of Colors

Many of our day-to-day decisions, from the clothes we choose to wear to the products we choose to consume, are influenced by the psychology of colors. The ability to convey moods and incite emotional connections makes color one of the most important parts of branding and advertising. If you’re looking to gain a deeper understanding of the psychology and importance of colors, and for tips on how to use them in your advertising, here are a few things you should know.

Why Color Choice is Important

Colors are a language of their own and are able to communicate messages, ideas, and thoughts that words often can’t by themselves. This is why many product designs and advertisements contain a combination of words, images, and color to fully grab consumers’ attention. What we associate with the color of a product can influence our opinion and preconception of the product itself. For example, if a product’s packaging design contains mostly green and brown colors, we are likely to associate it with natural ingredients, freshness, and health, because of the use of colors seen in nature.

How Colors Communicate

Color association not only refers to the ideas and emotions consumers attach to certain colors but also to the colors they expect to see in an advertisement or product. An ad for a Valentine’s Day gift that uses grey or muted colors would likely be confusing to consumers expecting to see colors associated with passion and romance, such as red or pink. The psychology of colors is heavily influenced by color associations that have existed and evolved over long periods of time in certain media, cultures, or communities. Colors communicate with buyers, not by telling them how to feel but by effectively meeting their expectations with the use of context and connotation.

Using Colors in Advertising

In the worlds of branding, advertising, and marketing, color is one of the most impactful tools used to influence buyer decisions. The psychology of colors can help advertisers reach their audience with nonverbal communication based on common cultural associations. Here are a few examples of colors and their associations:

  • Yellow – Warmth, Joy, Optimism, Youth
  • Red – Passion, Romance, Danger, Anger
  • Blue – Tranquility, Relaxation, Reliability, Sadness
  • Green – Renewal, Nature, Health, Finances
  • Orange – Energy, Youth, Playfulness, Affordability
  • Purple – Spirituality, Imagination, Mystery, Magic
  • Black – Luxury, Elegance, Formality, Darkness
  • White – Purity, Peace, Cleanliness, Freshness

Whether you’re creating a product, conceptualizing a brand logo, or creating an ad for your business, be intentional about the colors you use and their relationship to the message you’d like to convey.