Colors wield a powerful influence on you. They can change your mood and influence your behavior. While softer, pastel tints are calming and soothing, bright red and orange are vivid colors that revitalize, invigorate and energize. The psychology of colors is a science that studies the psychological effects of color on human behavior.
The study is complex and complicated, as colors come in a wide-selection of hues, tones, tints and shades.
Hues are the primary colors. Mix any of these primary colors with white and it is a tint, mix with gray and it is a tone, mix with black and it becomes a shade of the same color.
Sapphire, teal, liberty and sky blue are tints and shades of blue, cream and off white are variations of beige, while olive, fern and green earth are green, although they look distinctly different each from the other.
Table of Contents
- 1 The basic principles
- 2 Color Psychology & Symbolism
- 3 Cool Colors & Warm Hues
- 4 Cross Cultural Meanings
- 5 Color Power In Your Life
- 6 Change Your Mood
- 7 Project The Image You Want
- 8 The Use Of Colors For Marketing And Brand Success
- 9 Conclusion
The basic principles
Color psychology is rooted in 6 principles.
- The Meaning Of Colors
According to this science, each color is linked to specific meanings. Culture has a role to play in the meaning attached to each color.
- Intrinsic Meaning Or Learned
Colors can have an innate meaning attributed to them. The meaning of a particular color may vary from one culture to another and can therefore be learned.
- Automatic Evaluation
The meaning of the same color can be evaluated and perceived differently by different people. The evaluation and perception is automatic, based on the innate or learned meaning the individual attaches to it.
- Influence On Behavior
Colors can influence or induce behavior based on the meaning linked to it.
- Involuntary Influence
The influence or the behavior the color induces occurs automatically.
- The Context Is Important
The meaning of colors and the impact it has on an individual has a lot to do with the context.
Color Psychology & Symbolism
Carl Jung is one of the pioneers of color psychology. His observations and findings regarding the symbolism and meaning of colors were focused on colors as a key tool for psychotherapy.
He looked to decipher the secret meaning of colors and deepen his understanding of them by studying the meaning of colors in alchemy.
The Psychological Influence Of Colors
Different hues, tints, shades and tones are perceived in a particular way by different individuals and have certain psychological effects. Below are the meanings generally attached to the colors.
Purple : Regal, Luxurious, Spiritual, Pure,
Red : Love, Passion, Competitiveness, Confidence
Blue : Peace and tranquility, Intelligence, Trust, Loyalty
White : Purity, Flawless, Honor, Trust
Yellow : Joy, Cheer, Creativity, Abundance
Black : Dynamic, Formal, Authority, Mystery
Brown : Earthy, Trustworthy, Belief, Longevity
Green : Natural, Growth, Potential, Refreshing, Nurturing
Orange : Success, Friendship, Courage, Enjoyment
Cool Colors & Warm Hues
Red, orange and bright pink are some warm colors that are stimulating. Blue and others colors in the blue range are cool colors that are often associated with tranquility, calm and peace.
Cross Cultural Meanings
Preferences for any particular color can stem from the environment of the person and the habitat. The influence of a color can also come from past experiences that were experienced as positive, enjoyable or favorable.
The person involuntarily links these positive feelings and experiences with the particular color or colors.
Hot And Cold
Preferences for any particular color or colors can also be linked to weather conditions and the temperature.
Red, yellow and orange are often favored by people feeling cold as they enjoy the ‘warmth’ of warm colors. People in hot weather conditions can feel cool and calm in the ‘cool’ of blue and green.
Attention And Attractiveness
Red is perceived as a color associated with love, lust and seduction. It is also linked to sultry and sexy looks. Wearing red is eye-catching and can attract romantic interest.
Color Power In Your Life
The affect of color and its influence on behavior varies from one individual to another. Research demonstrates that, even if not exactly the same effect on each and every person, colors do have a similar impact on almost everyone.
Much of the power of colors come from the symbolism and meaning assigned to it. Color psychology can be used to bring about changes in your life.
You can use it to shift your state of mind and improve your mood. You can go from tired to energized, de-motivated to motivated and from stressed out to de-stressed and relaxed with colors.
Change Your Mood
A color you perceive as soothing and relaxing can change your state of mind. Colors you think of as upbeat and happy colors can change your state of mind, snap you out of feeling blue and cheer you up.
Your favorite color can also help influence your mood. Wearing your top-favorite hue or being in an environment that is predominant of the color you like or love most can perk you up, boost confidence and improve your mood.
Project The Image You Want
You can create or project an image you want to the world by wearing colors perceived in particular way. The meaning of black is linked to elegance and formality. Wearing black creates a minimalistic look that looks chic and sophisticated.
It is a dressing style that sets you apart from the crowd by the sheer elegance of its understated look. Red grabs attention and turns heads. You can look red-hot by wearing red.
The Use Of Colors For Marketing And Brand Success
New Brands And Colors
Colors are an influential factor in brand positioning and brand building. Consumer attention and purchasing decisions are key for the success of a brand or a product.
Colors can be utilized to spike interest and generate a favorable buzz with colors.
Colors In Marketing
The meaning of colors differs across cultures. Marketers can generate interest and attract consumer attention by being aware of the meaning linked to the colors they intend to use in the marketing of their product.
Colors that attract the attention of the target audience and are perceived as positive colors get the brand and the product noticed.
Audience And Consumer Response
Products can be directed to a particular audience by the way colors are used in the logo and in media.
The visual impact the colors have on the audience is rooted in varied factors that include culture, environment, gender and previous experiences.
Sending Out The Right Message
When choosing colors for brands and marketing, identifying the target audience and making color choices based on this information helps send out the right message to the desired audience.
Preference And Purchasing
Research shows that product preference and purchasing may be linked to the colors associated with the brand and those used in marketing the product.
Consumers typically assess and form a judgment about a product in less than a minute of their initial interaction with the product. Around 65% to 90% of the initial assessment is based on colors.
The logo represents the brand or a company. The logo colors are assessed and judged in a particular way by consumers based on the meaning they associate with the logo colors.
Consumers may involuntarily assign and associate specific characteristics to a brand based on the logo colors.
Creating A Positive Buzz
A new company can attract consumer attention with colors. New brands or products can highlight similarities with established brands by using similar colors in the logo and in marketing.
Unusual and attractive colors also attract consumer attention. Using unusual colors in marketing and in the logo can draw attention to the brand and the product.
Colors In A Nutshell
Colors can influence your state of mind and your behavior. Understanding the psychological effects of color on human behavior enables you can use the symbolism of colors and the meaning attached to each color to get the results you want.
Pink : Pink stands for romance and love. It is associated with feminity. It is considered to be a soothing color that has soothing influence.
White : White is linked to innocence and purity. White and its variations create spaces that look roomy, bright and serene.
Purple : Luxury, wealth and comforts are associated with this hue.
Yellow : Happiness, positive energy and abundance are some of the meanings associated with yellow.
Red : Intense passion, competitiveness and love are linked to red. It also stands for courage.
Blue : Navy blue and other darker shades of blue are associated with feelings of security and trustworthiness. It can enhance creativity and is a calming hue.
Orange : It is a warm color that draws attention.
Green : Green can improve your mood and is linked to the colors seen in nature. It is associated with wealth, money and luck.
Black : Black is linked to sophistication and formality. It is also considered to represent mystery and intrigue.
Color psychology empowers you to utilize the influence and meaning attached to each color to improve your life, alter behaviors you want to modify, enhance performance or change your mood. You can use colors to bring forth positive changes and outcomes in your own life.