We’ve discussed the importance of information architecture, how to build better websites, and how to amplify your brand messaging, but there’s a more subtle layer to marketing that’s often overlooked or misunderstood. Color psychology plays an important role in the effectiveness of marketing campaigns—setting the tone for both digital and print projects. In fact, research shows that the proper use of color increases brand recognition by 80%. It also enhances the visual appearance by 93%. And even further, 85% of consumers say they buy because of color. (Color Psychology)
But isn’t color an objective experience? Who decides what colors are “in” and what they mean? The study of color hues as a determinant of human behavior, known as color psychology, suggests that color influences perception, even those that are not obvious, such as the taste of food. (UX Planet) The earliest forms of color psychology date back to the ancient Egyptians, as they studied the effects of colors on mood and used them for holistic development. This theory is woven throughout the evolution of psychology, most notably, with founding father of modern psychology, Carl Jung. The Swiss psychiatrist noted that humans have a special connection to colors: “humans have a universal, bodily response to color stimulus” stating that “colors are the mother tongue of the subconscious.” (KeyColour). There are experts that have studied the perceptions of color through our past down through our DNA and theorize that our “intuition” about a color is imprinted in our psyche on a subconscious level. (Leatrice Eiseman, The Color Answers Book)
We know what you’re thinking – “that sounds… complex” and you’re not wrong. Except, on a very basic level, anyone can understand color psychology by recognizing their own attraction or aversion to colors noting your own personal experiences with color along the way. Imagine living in a home with just red lighting – that sounds… stressful. When you think of your most calm environment, what’s around you? Are you envisioning soft blues like the ocean or sky? Maybe you’re picturing the vibrant green of plants and leaves. The truth is, we all have connection to specific colors because our minds associate feelings with the colors we see. Colors are inherent to our environment and as such, we create emotional ties to what we see.
Our certified Color Expert, Andrea, shared with us the emotive and physical effects of the most commonly recognized color families and the theory behind it: