Color Psychology: Why Does it Matter in 2021?

Psychology matters not only when you face a stressful situation (e.g. when you need to take some steps to turning yourself in), you need to handle problems or when you want to analyze your behaviour. 

Claude Monet used to describe colors as his obsession and joy, and also a source of torment. The subtleties of each color and tone combination can be difficult for an artist to capture, but how each color influences people and their behavior is even more difficult to determine.

Colors, like no other element, can excite or soothe emotions.
 The same holds true for advertising whatever you are selling your own merch or selling your own services. Color is a very important factor for 65% of customers when choosing a product for everyday use. If you know how to use colors correctly, they can become the most important elements in a design. 

And today, we’ll prove it.

How does color psychology work?

Color psychology focuses not on color’s shape, but on its effect on the human mind. And scientists agree — colors have a significant impact on humans. Color schemes that are well planned can enhance the mood and attract new customers.

Additionally to evoking emotional responses, colors also elicit physical responses. Red symbolizes fast action. Also, warm colors are more appealing to consumers than cold colors. Interested to know more? Keep reading. 

Understand Color Wheel

There are two types of emotions associated with the colors in the color spectrum. On one side are warm and active colors such as red, orange, and yellow, and on the other are passive colors such as blue, purple, and green.

On the basis of this model is the Color Wheel, which is the oldest and most basic means of combining colors. The color wheel is designed in such a way that any combination of colors with each other theoretically always has the desired effect. There are many color combinations used in advertising books that are considered particularly successful. These color combinations are called harmony colors and they consist of two or more colors that have a constant relation to one another in the color wheel.

The color wheel can be divided into warm and cool colors. Warm colors give an impression of energy and vitality and cool colors give the feeling of calm and relaxation. White, black, and gray are considered neutral colors.

Color Types

There are many types of color mixing – here are the three most popular.

Primary colors: red, yellow, blue make the RYB color model. The secondary colors (green, orange, and purple) are achieved by combining two primary colors; then the six higher colors are obtained by combining primary and secondary colors.

Analogous colors: arranged next to one another in the color wheel, and are generally chosen to create harmony and comfort. The selected analog colors are common in nature and are pleasing to the eye. There should be contrast between the selected analog colors. The third color is used as an accent color (along with black, white, or gray).

Triadic colors: evenly spaced around the color wheel. The colors can be very vibrant when used with unsaturated versions of colours. Triadic colors need to be well-balanced so that one color dominates and the other two are accentuated.

Color psychology: examples and use cases 

White stands for purity and innocence. It represents the beginning, as well as openness and honesty, healing, and peace. It symbolizes perfection.

Violet is often used in marketing or cosmetics. It has a soothing effect. Many brands use this color to symbolize creativity, knowledge and wisdom. Violet and femininity are closely connected, while magic and spirituality also go together. Violet symbolizes power, but also ambiguity.

Pink symbolizes grace and courtesy. Pink color is usually associated with children or romance in marketing. Pink tends to be associated with everything cute, childish, and small.

Red is a perfect color for headlines such as: best opportunity, only now. In advertising, red frequently suggests feelings, such as desire and caution. This color is also tightly related to energy, which is why it is used to promote energy drinks, video marketing games or sports cars.

Orange is an attractive and vibrant combination of red energy and yellow serenity. It is a colorful term not only for pleasure, but also for fascination and dedication. This color is popular among young people. Orange is a great appetite stimulant and it can best fulfill its function as an advertisement by promoting food as well.

Yellow is the color of the sun. It is closely associated with joy, happiness, intellect, and energy. It can be used in the promotion of children’s products or for leisure activities. It is effective when emphasizing security. Unlike red, green symbolizes safety and security, and shows drivers a clear path. Green in advertising should be used to emphasize the purity (of medicines) or the natural source (of food).

Blue is the color of the sky and the sea. It is associated with stability. It symbolizes truth, loyalty, wisdom, faith, truth, and loyalty. Blue works best when it conveys the idea of water, cleanliness, and the sky. 

Black is associated with power, elegance, mystery, and death. This color also gives the impression of depth and perspective, and it has a slimming effect. One can conclude that black symbolizes high standards, it is not without reason that luxury cars are often constructed in black. A black or gray background for photographs is used to emphasize other colors. The most aggressive and powerful color combination is black – red or black – orange.

In supermarkets, artificial lighting can affect the perception of colors on the packaging and must be taken into account when designing and testing. Some colors are more visible from a greater distance than others and sometimes a combination of colors can have a positive or negative effect on visibility and legibility levels.

Tips & tricks about using colours

By using a darker tone than the surrounding colors, the traced color will show through to nearby areas, while an arrangement with a lighter shade will result in the surrounding colors beginning to show through, reducing the strength of the colored area being traced.

When viewed against a white background, a large rectangle and a narrow line of the same color will actually appear to be far apart. The line’s color will appear much darker than that of the rectangle since its white background draws more attention to it.

Two colors that are presented together will appear even darker than they are, and the lighter one will appear even brighter, for example a pink rose will appear lighter on a purple background.

The larger the color space, the smaller it will appear. The little yellow circle is surrounded by a large area of black, so the square will appear smaller than if it were surrounded only by white. Every color will appear lighter than its corresponding darker counterpart, and vice versa.

How to pick the best colors for your campaigns?

It is best to consider your recipient’s perspective. When you want to look professional while maintaining a barrier between yourself and your recipients, it is worthwhile to invest in blue. Many ad agencies that strive to gain trust use this color.

It is better to use a combination of bright and warm colors when your brand represents the fullness of life. A combination of red and yellow is best suited to a brand with a sense of passion.

If the main purpose of your communications strategy is to emphasize the ecological approach, or you offer organic food products, establish relationships with green and brown organizations. Cosmetics and clothing are all examples of environments where green or brown can work well. However, be careful not to overdo it, as too much greenery can appear boring.

It all depends on your case, so always research it thoroughly. 

Owner of Brainy Bees - https://www.brainybe.es/, a small, but sweet like honey, marketing agency based in Poland. She managed marketing activities (with a focus on social media and content marketing) for brands in 15+ countries. Insights are everywhere.