The Lure of Color

Of all the subconscious tactics employed by brands and marketers alike, color is the one most likely to elicit a visceral and unwavering response — even if we don’t always recognize it. Whether we realize it or not, we all make judgments about a brand or product traits and promises based on a perfunctory evaluation of it’s color.

As a culture being constantly bombarded with advertising, product and service pitches we’ve come to ascribe the most commonly used colors with human and emotional characteristics. The psychology behind color is powerful, and as such, plays a vital role in design and marketing. Knowing, and strategically, using, these emotional connections can mean the difference between passive acceptance of a brand and loyalty to it — the difference between instilling faith in, or excitement for, a company or simply recognizing the banality of its existence. Color has the power to cement specific feelings for viewers and by plating o those psychological effects design can target audiences effectively and in an appealing way.

Color associations have formed as a result of a form of associative learning called classic conditioning (https://www.msu.edu/~malogian/classicalconditioning.html). If you’re looking to exude optimism, warmth and a feeling of clarity then yellow is the color for you and your company logo. Orange is a friendly color that is confident and always cheerful. Youthful excitement and bold energy are the hallmarks of red while purple speaks to creativity, imagination and a bit of wizened regality. If you’re looking to project trust, dependability and strength look no further than the powerhouse that is blue. A peaceful tranquility full of health and personal growth comes over those that identify with green; and if yogi-like balance, serenity and sophistication are what you desire then grey, black and while will be your go-to palette.

As you can see, colors have personality and are easily associated with powerful emotions. Choosing the most appropriate color for your brand isn’t an easy one and should be carefully considered for its strategic importance in building and cultivating your unique positioning.