As kids, choosing colors for our art projects was simple. We had a box of crayons with a limited number of choices. If we were asked to draw a picture of our house, we did so. We probably colored it the same color our childhood home. We colored the sky blue, the grass green, and the flowers a multitude of shades.
We chose those colors because (in our young lives,) we were simply recreating what we saw everyday.
But what happens when you need to create an original piece? A piece with no pre-conceived ideas? Where’s the starting point?
That’s an easy one: color.
We’re conditioned to notice color. It’s one of the first things we notice on products, materials and logos. The way we view those colors psychologically triggers how we feel and think. The right color can can even influence us to buy.
Think about some of the top brands. When you picture IBM, Wal-Mart or HP, do you see blue? When you think of a Target store, do you see the red bulls eye?
With American Express, you automatically see green. When you think of McDonald’s, don’t you see those yellow arches with the red sign?
Those colors were not chosen by accident. IBM represents business. American Express is all about money. McDonald’s wants to get your emotions stimulated and make you hungry. They know their target market.
A think tank at Expert Business Source did some fascinating research into the emotions that are triggered when we see different colors:
WHITE – White is associated with innocence, purity, peace and contentment. It’s considered clean and sterile. It’s cool and refreshing. White can have a calming, stabilizing influence.
BLACK – Black is the ultimate power color. It suggests strength, potency, authority, boldness, seriousness, stability and elegance. It’s distinguished and classic, great for creating drama. Black has more weight than other colors. Too much can be ominous.
GRAY or SILVER– Gray can be associated with conservative qualities and is considered traditional. Business-wise, it symbolizes high tech and suggests authority, practicality, earnestness and creativity.
GOLD – Gold suggests wealth. It’s considered to be very classy.
BLUE – Blue is the favorite color of many businesses. It suggests sanctuary and fiscal responsibility. It inspires confidence. It is the most popular and second most powerful color. Darker shades are authoritative. Dark and bright blues represent trust, security, faithfulness and dignity. Paler shades can imply freshness and cleanliness, although they can also imply weakness.
RED – Red stimulates many kinds of appetites. Red commands attention, alerts us and creates a sense of urgency. It’s considered the sexiest of all colors. Red symbolizes heat, fire, blood, love, warmth, power, excitement, energy, strength, passion, vitality, risk, danger and aggressiveness. Financially, it’s associated with debt.
YELLOW – Yellow is the sunshine hue and a spiritual color. Yellow represents a warning, but it can also bring happiness and warmth. The most preferred yellows are the creamy and warm ones. Yellow speeds up metabolism and is often used to highlight or draw attention. Beware though, bright yellow can be irritable to the eye in large quantities.
GREEN – People associate green with the color of money, as well as nature. Olive greens are associated with health and freshness — a good choice for environmental concerns. Green suggests fertility, freedom, healing and tranquility. Green represents jealousy. Businesses use it to communicate status and wealth. Green is a calming, refreshing color that is very easy on the eyes.
BROWN – Brown is associated with nature and the earth. Dark browns represent wood or leather. Brown and shades of cream are associated with warmth and coziness. Brown suggests richness, politeness, helpfulness and effectiveness. It is solid, credible, mature and reliable. Light brown implies genuineness.
ORANGE – Orange is associated with vibrancy and the tropics, as well as warmth and contentment. It can instill a sense of fun and excitement. It implies health. It suggests pleasure, cheer, endurance, generosity and ambition. It can make an expensive product seem more affordable. It appeals to a wide range of people, both male and female.
PINK – Pink is considered to be a very feminine color. It represents gentleness, romance, well-being and innocence.
PURPLE – Purple represents royalty and luxury. In darker shades, it’s considered a wealthy color. It suggests spirituality and sophistication. In paler shades, such as lavender, it’s feminine and romantic.
So what do you think? Agree? Disagree? We’d love to hear your feedback. As always, the entire Kinetica Print team is standing by ready to help in any way we can.
Please feel free to email us right here. (And be sure to choose your font color carefully..=)