Color plays a huge role in our waking lives. Think of our lives as an ongoing color movie with memories, traumas, distinct characters, & incidents. You’ll notice that all our interactions with people & our environment can be linked to color. Additionally, it helps us record events, memorize, and act both consciously & subconsciously. Color also has the ability to influence our mood, our choices & invoke emotions. No wonder it’s a huge part of marketing & branding today. So let’s deep dive to understand what’s color psychology, how colors affect mood, and how can you exercise it to create your unique brand identity.

Simplified fact: Colors increase brand awareness by 80%

Related: Color Psychology: How Colors Affect Mood & Behaviors In Marketing? (Part: 2)

What is color psychology?

Color psychology is essentially the study of how colors affect mood & behavior. In marketing & branding, color psychology is centered on how different colors influence consumers to interact with a brand to increase sales. Therefore, it is important to use colors meaningfully when creating your brand’s identity & marketing your product.

“People make up their minds within 90 seconds of their initial interactions with either people or products. About 62‐90 percent of the assessment is based on colors alone.” –  Singh, S. on “Impact of color on marketing”

The psychology behind some of the most common colors used in branding & marketing

1. Red

Red is a powerful & dynamic color that is not just captivating, but also undeniably difficult to overlook. It reflects physical needs and has a sense of urgency & pull. Moreover, emotionally it denotes love, anger, passion & danger. The color psychology further reads into red being a color that denotes energy, speed, boldness & excitement. When combined with yellow, red also invokes the feeling of hunger which is why many food brands like McDonalds use this color.

Where is red often used?

  1. To get attention: Sale signs, stop signs, to indicate caution!
  2. To denote love
  3. Action & horror movies
  4. Energetic & youthful brands

Simplified fact: Yellow and red together make you hungry.

Famous brands that use the color red in branding

  1. Coco Cola
  2. Canon
  3. Netflix
  4. KFC
  5. CNN

2. Yellow

Yellow is considered to be the happiest color on the spectrum. Therefore it is an embodiment of friendliness, and it further personifies joy, optimism, and warmth. In fact, from a color psychology perspective, yellow stimulates the logic center of the brain to promote enthusiasm & awaken confidence.

However, overuse of this color could rouse irritability, frustration, self-doubt & aggression.

Where is yellow often used?

  1. Traffic crossings & cautionary signs like the infamous radioactive sign.
  2. Emoticons
  3. Window displays
  4. Companies offering pleasurable, fast, accessible products/services

Simplified fact: Amongst an ocean of colors, yellow is the easiest color to recognize visually.

Famous brands that use the color yellow in branding

  1. McDonalds
  2. Best Buy
  3. Shell
  4. Ferrari
  5. DHL

Related: Why Do Restaurant Logos Use Red And Yellow?

3. Green

Green is the epitome of peace, well-being & relaxation. Therefore it allows us to distinguish our choices and promotes a clear sense of logic. From a color psychology standpoint, green also denotes life because it’s so closely related to nature & growth. While green is also associated with emotions like envy, the positive aspects & logical reasoning associated with it, weigh down the negatives.

Commonly used places for green

  1. For signs that express commands like right, ready & go
  2. Nature & growth
  3. Money
  4. Health-based brands & stores
  5. Restaurants

Famous brands that use the color green in branding

  1. Starbucks
  2. Animal Planet
  3. Whole Foods
  4. Holiday Inn
  5. Spotify

That’s all for today, but we have more coming up! In our next blog, we will talk about the color psychology of blue, orange, black & white.

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