Color is one of the most powerful methods of design; it affects our moods, emotions and our buying habits. It can even raise blood pressure or suppress appetites. Just as red means stop, and green means go, the colors used for a product, website, or logo can cause powerful reactions.
There have been many studies on the significance of colors in regards to the human mind and body. In fact, there are many people whose careers are solely based on the study of the effects of colors in marketing. For instance, you may notice that in many fast food restaurants, bright red or orange color schemes are often used—this isn’t a coincidence. Fast food restaurants choose these warm and energetic colors because they encourage diners on a subconscious level to want to eat faster and leave. It’s also been said that if you’re trying to lose weight, you should eat all of your meals on blue dishes, as the color blue is known to suppress appetites. Here are some other color correlations and examples of their best uses in marketing:
However, color perceptions aren’t entirely universal. You have to know and research your target audience thoroughly. Colors that may entice in North America may have a much different impact on the emotions and reactions of those from other cultures. For instance, in the U.S., the color white means purity/peace/simplicity/innocence/cleanliness/birth/good/marriage; while in China, India and parts of Africa, it is the color of death and mourning. So, while it would be completely appropriate here in the U.S., you definitely wouldn’t want to incorporate a lot of white in the design of promotional materials for a line of infant clothing and accessories that is to be marketed in China.
Color plays a larger role than you might think, eh? So, the next time you’re trying to decide on a color scheme for a project, take the time to do a little research on the psychology and physiology of the all-powerful chroma; the life of your brand might depend on it.