Color plays a vitally important role in the world in which we live. Whether you’re looking to create a product, logo, business card, branding campaign, website or blog, the colors you choose are just as important as the information you include!
Color can evoke emotions, sway thinking, cause actions and powerful reactions…it’s important to understand the emotional meanings attached to colors and the ‘messages’ they speak to your customer.
NOTE: You might be tempted to use your favorite color in your business branding, but be aware of what that color is saying about you…and is it sending the RIGHT message to your potential customer?!
Red is a very emotionally intense color. Red is associated with energy, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire, and love. Use this color when you want to increase self-confidence. But too much red can make someone feel overly excited or agitated. A little goes a long way.
Red brings text and images to the foreground. Use it as an accent color to stimulate people to make quick decisions (Buy Now, Click Here buttons) or in advertising to evoke erotic feelings (red lips, red nails, red dress). This color is also commonly associated with energy, so you can use it when promoting energy drinks, games, cars, and items related to sports.
Dark red is associated with vigor, willpower, anger, leadership, longing and courage.
Light red represents joy, sexuality, passion, sensitivity, energy and love.
Pink signifies romance, love, tenderness and friendship. It denotes feminine qualities and passiveness.
Brown suggests stability and denotes masculine qualities.
Reddish-brown is associated with harvest and fall.
Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It is associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics. Orange represents creativity, enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and celebration.
Orange has very high visibility, so you can use it to catch attention and highlight the most important elements of your design. Orange is very effective for promoting food products and toys.
Red-orange corresponds to desire, sexual passion, pleasure, domination, aggression, and thirst for action.
Gold evokes the feeling of prestige. The meaning of gold is illumination, wisdom, and wealth. Gold often symbolizes high quality.
Yellow is the color of sunshine. It’s associated with joy, happiness, intellect, cheerful feelings and energy. Yellow is very effective for attracting attention, so use it to highlight the most important elements of your design.
You can choose yellow to promote children’s products and items related to leisure. Men perceive yellow as very lighthearted, so it’s not recommended to use this color when selling high-end, expensive products to men.
Dull (dingy) yellow represents caution, jealousy and a loss of cheerfulness.
Light yellow is associated with intellect, freshness, and joy.
Blue is often associated with order, stability and relaxation. It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and tranquility.
You can use blue to promote products and services related to cleanliness (water purification filters, cleaning liquids, vodka), air and sky (airlines, airports, air conditioners), water and sea. Avoid using blue when promoting food and cooking, because blue suppresses appetite.
When used together with warm colors like yellow or red, blue can create high-impact, vibrant designs (think Superman).
Light blue is associated with health, healing, tranquility, understanding, and softness.
Dark blue represents knowledge, power, integrity, and seriousness.
Purple combines the stability of blue and the energy of red. Purple is associated with royalty. It symbolizes power, nobility, luxury, and ambition. It conveys wealth and extravagance. Purple is associated with wisdom, dignity, independence, creativity, mystery, and a fresh perspective.
Light purple is a good choice for a feminine design. You can use bright purple when promoting children’s products.
Light purple evokes romantic and nostalgic feelings.
Dark purple evokes gloom and sad feelings. It can cause frustration.
Green is the color of nature, fresh starts and growth. It symbolizes harmony, freshness, fertility, healing, rejuvenation and prosperity. It suggests stability and endurance.
Use green to indicate safety when advertising drugs and medical products. Green is directly related to nature, so you can use it to promote ‘green’ products. Dull, darker green is commonly associated with money, the financial world, banking, and Wall Street.
Dark green is associated with ambition, greed, and jealousy.
Yellow-green can indicate sickness, cowardice, discord, and jealousy.
Aqua is associated with emotional healing and protection.
Olive green is the traditional color of peace.
White is associated with light, goodness, innocence, purity, and virginity. It is considered to be the color of perfection and can represent a successful beginning
In advertising, white is associated with coolness and cleanliness because it’s the color of snow. You can use white to suggest simplicity in high-tech products (Apple). White is an appropriate color for charitable organizations; angels are usually imagined wearing white clothes. White is often associated with low-fat food, and dairy products.
Black is associated with power, elegance, formality, death, evil, and mystery. Black denotes strength and authority; it is considered to be a very formal, elegant, and prestigious color (black tie, black Mercedes).
Black gives the feeling of perspective and depth, but a black background diminishes readability. A black suit or dress can make you look thinner. When designing for a gallery of art or photography, you can use a black or gray background to make the other colors stand out. Black contrasts well with bright colors.
Combined with red or orange – other very powerful colors – black gives a very aggressive color scheme.
Whether you’re looking to create a product, logo, branding, website or blog, it’s important to pick someone who knows the emotional meanings attached to colors in order to guide and educate you…ultimately resulting in a beautiful, well designed marketing tool that sends the right message.
What do your current colors say about you/your business?
Your Marketing BFF colors mean : Energy, Passion, Strength, Authority, Self-Confidence, Creativity, Celebration, Simplicity, Pure, Elegant.
*For a full Color Theory Quick Reference Guide, download here from Paper Leaf.