Colors Paint Brands


When companies form, there are always questions about how the company will be run, what the company expects to achieve, and more. However, one of the most important decisions is seen as an afterthought to many.

The use of appropriate colors is critical in portraying a specific brand image or evoking a certain feeling from the target audience. Psychologists have long been fascinated by color, and have done extensive research on the psychology of color. They explain that the eye processes visual information that is sent through the optic nerve to the hypothalamus, a region of the brain that triggers signals through two glands and one system: pituitary gland, endocrine system, and thyroid glands. The latter, the thyroid glands, cue the release of hormones that affect mood, emotion, and behaviors.

Because of these mental processes, consumers can form an opinion about a product in under two minutes. Over two-thirds of this opinion is based on the color of the product, because colors evoke certain feelings and emotions in people. Color psychologists have found that the most popular colors for women are blue, purple, and green; while the most popular colors for men are blue, green, and black. Both genders generally dislike orange and brown, but women have been found to dislike gray and men dislike purple.  This data suggests that both genders could be appeased by selecting something blue or green.

Psychologists have found that using blue, whether for product packaging or as a color on  a website, gives the consumer a sense of trust and reliability with the company or organization. Many social networks–including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, use blue–giving users comfort that other users, as well as their own brands, are generally trustworthy. Other colors, such as yellow, are generally used to connote caution–like many road signs. Green is symbolic of the environment and is useful when promoting outdoor activities and products. Experts see orange as a color that is used to call action by creating a feeling of impulse. Black represents luxury. Many of the top apparel brands use black to emphasize their luxury and prestige.

While colors are a game changer in creating a successful campaign, white space is equally as important. Colors and white space should balance each other. Experts that study the psychology of color in technology use Google as an example. When users visit Google, they are greeted by a page that is mostly white but features an abundance of color in the logo and various Google Doodles seen on various holidays and occasions.

In all, whether in apps, on websites, or in product creation, all companies, organizations, and individuals alike should remember the importance of color and the role it plays for consumers. A large part of the consumer’s opinions are formulated through the colors they see and the feelings that arise from these colors.  Next time you build a website or create a product, remember its not necessarily the words you choose or the price of the merchandise but the presentation and colors that elicit the desired response from your target audience.