When you look at a colour what do you think?
If you are like most people you will ordinarily like it, or nor like it. Or you might be indifferent. This is what your conscious mind thinks.
Yet colours are much more powerful and have a resonating affect on our sub-conscious mind – the mysterious unconsciousness we have within us that stirs our emotions. It is the sub-conscious mind that colours communicate with. Therefore colours have an affect on how we feel whether we are consciously aware of it or not. Furthermore, every colour emits a different emotion.
Why some colours evoke emotion
Psychologists say colours are rooted in your experience and culture. This revelation comes as quite a shock to many people despite knowledge of colour psychology kicking about for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians and the Chinese used colour for therapeutic purposes.
Modern day researchers are rediscovering this phenomenon. Studies show that colour has an effect on mood, feelings and behaviour. And major corporations know colours influence purchasing decisions.
Have you noticed how banks often use blue in their colour scheme? This is not a coincidence. Supermarkets use orange or yellow. There is a reason for that. It’s the same reason fast-food chains use red in their brand logos.
Bright colours stimulate your sub-conscious and compel you to act hastily. There is something sexy and racy about red that burns us with desire. There’s a reasons the high street’s turn red in the lead up to Valentine’s day.
Why colour is an important part of design
The reason fast-food restaurants and supermarkets use red, yellow or orange is because they evoke a sense of urgency. There is something in our sub-conscious mind that compels us to act hastily when we see bright colours.
You may notice that a lot of eCommerce sites also include bright colours. Buy buttons on websites are often orange, yellow or bright green. That’s because web designers understand the psychology of colours.
Now think about social media networks. What colour springs to mind? Are you thinking blue? The leading social networks all feature some form of blue in their logo other than Google+… but Google includes blue in its company logo.
This is because blue creates the sensation of trust, security and authority. This is why the NHS and numerous insurance companies use shades of blue. Look around and you will find an emerging trend in colour association.
So do you still think colour psychology is a load of old nonsense?
If you do, then you are probably not evoking the emotion you want in your customers. Does the colour of your logo and website reflect how you want customers to perceive your brand?
The colour and design of your website, logo and marketing materials have more sway over your audience than you may think!