If you are a business owner, you may not have put much thought into the colors in your company logo, or the uniforms that your employees wear. However, color is a meaningful tool, and when used correctly, can inspire reactions, feelings, and behaviors. Big brands such as Walmart and Campbell’s Soup have put the power of color psychology to work for them with consistency. When you hear “Walmart” you think “Blue.” When you hear “Campbell’s” you think “Red and White.” This type of brand recognition is what we are aiming for in the advertising and marketing business.
By using signature colors to round out your company’s “brand,” you are creating another valuable recognition point for consumers to grab onto, and to associate with your business. The key in color psychology is knowing what response, feeling or behavior you are looking to instigate, and isolating the color (or colors) that are best suited for your company’s purposes.
Psychology of Black
Black represents authority and power (Black suits). It is also associated with intelligence (Black doctorate robes and black rimmed glasses), sophistication (Black cars, Little Black Dresses), stability and strength (Skyscrapers clad in Black metal/glass ). If these words can be used to describe the essence of your business, then incorporating black into your company’s branding aesthetics would be beneficial. Black can be overwhelming when used in excess, as black is considered a serious, somber color in Western culture.
Psychology of White
White represents purity, cleanliness, safety, and neutrality. This is why white has been traditionally used for religious symbolism, wedding gowns, Doctors’ white lab coats, and as wall colors for new homes. If you are an artist, then you understand the captivating allure of a perfectly white canvas. White can inspire creativity in the same way as a blank slate. White is a neutral color, and it is recommended to use white when you are combining multiple colors in a logo design to give the eye a resting spot and the advertisement cohesiveness.
Psychology of Blue
Blue may just be the most preferred color in Western culture. Go around your office right now and ask your employees what their favorite colors are. The majority of them will almost unfailingly say blue. The reason Blue is such a loveable color is that we are already surrounded by blue in nature (blue skies, the blue ocean). In fact, seeing certain shades of Blue will elicit a chemical response in the body that makes us feel calmer and more relaxed. According to one study, trained weight lifters are able to lift more weight in a blue gym than in any other color gym. Aside from this body response, blue has come to illicit ideas of wisdom, steadfastness, dependability, and loyalty.
Psychology of Red
Look down any grocery store aisle, and the color that you will see the most is red. Red is known for grabbing our attention, and making us feel excited and spurred to action. (You know what they say about red cars getting the most speeding tickets?) It is easy to overuse red and create a sensory overload, but using a small amount of red in the right places can effectively guide your customers to the most important information about your company, your product, your service or even your physical store/office space.
Psychology of Yellow
Yellow can be an extremely cheerful and soothing color. As the color of the sun, yellow represents energy. Yellow is also noted for increasing metabolism and inspiring creative thinking (there’s a reason why Post-It notes and Legal tablets are yellow!). Like red, yellow can easily become overpowering if used in excess, but on the same token can HIGHLIGHT (get it?) important information. Golden toned yellows are known to inspire optimism, but if the shade of yellow gets too intense (think the color of fire) it can create agitation and be harsh on the eyes.
Green- Growth, Nature, Money, Peace, Harmony, Generosity, Fertility, Envy, Good luck
Orange- Energy, Ambition, Flamboyance, Happiness,Warmth, Organic, Fun
Purple- Regality, Creativity, Problem-Solving, Mystery, Wisdom, Respect, Prosperity
Grey- Practical, Timeless, Sensible, Solid, Character
Brown- Friendship,Reliability, Stability, Nature, Organic