Countless hours are spent in advertising deciding on the best colour palettes. Colours evoke emotional feelings and can powerfully impact people’s behavior and decision-making. Choosing the wrong ones can have the opposite effect on our brand or marketing campaign and that’s precisely why, as a marketing professional, you need to understand what colours mean to people and the effect they have.
The colours used in packaging can draw consumers in to purchase a product off the shelf just as the colours on a layout can guide people to look in a specific direction. Colours help us interpret things. They can convince us that a product is better or fresher than others and allow us to determine what’s important and what’s not. It puts content into context.
Let’s put some numbers on this: 85% of consumers make a decision about what to buy based on the colour and up to 90% of impulse decisions about products are determined solely on their colours.
Colours speak a language words just can’t explain. Give colours the importance they truly deserve.
Roll out the red carpet
Roll out the red carpet for the colour red.
It is one of the most powerful and energising colours and is commonly related to specific emotions: affection, love, friendliness and strength, but it also portrays terror, fear and can be aggressive depending on its context.
Use this colour to attract people’s attention and motivate them to take action, for example, use it for clearance sales or call-to-action buttons. The red colour also triggers appetite and is, therefore, the perfect choice for food products and restaurants.
Blue is known for its sense of safety, serenity, stability and trust. Unlike red, it lends a mental reaction rather than physical that brings calm, reduces appetite and is overall a relaxing colour. Meanings vary depending on the tone. Light blue is more relaxing and linked to creativity whilst dark blue is associated with intelligence and can be perceived as cold or distant.
This colour is a blue ribbon option for many financial institutions as it relates trust and helps with customer loyalty. Additionally, it is a good option for corporate business due to its association with innovation.
Get the green light
Green brings us the feeling of balance, tranquility and nature. It stimulates harmony and helps us to clarify things and make clearer decisions thanks to its perfect balance between logic and emotion.
Green is one of the most-seen colours in nature and it is a sign of growth, peace, rest and life but can also represent possession and materialism.
You have the green light to use this colour if your brand or product relieves stress, promotes health or environmental issues.
Squeeze an orange
Orange has very interesting psychological connotations as a result of the blend between red’s power and energy and yellow’s joy and friendliness. This colour inspires and stimulates an optimistic attitude and it also brings enthusiasm, physical comfort, warmth and a sense of adventure.
Squeeze an orange and use this colour if your product is for children as it’s very attention-grabbing. Another major place where orange stands out is in the construction and safety industry.
There’s no need to be yellow-bellied
Yellow is, without any doubt, the colour of cheerfulness and optimism. It is not comparable with the calm that blue brings, but it still portrays warmth and makes people feel happier – because of the sun mostly. It evokes energy, creativity, grabs our attention and is also the first colour infants respond to. This colour is commonly used for fast-food restaurants and also to express caution.
Yellow is truly unique as it is always bright no matter what. Do you have enough reasons to use this colour in marketing? There’s no need to be yellow-bellied.
Look on the pink side of life
Pink is the softer and less intense version of red and evokes romanticism and care. This colour is also a sign of hope and shows sensitivity and empathy. Don’t overuse it in your marketing and designs otherwise, your content will look immature and lack power.
Pink doesn’t stimulate but it soothes the mood, making it a perfect option for caring and nurturing products and services.
Born in the purple
Purple has always been associated with royalty, spirituality and wisdom. It has the perfect blend between the energy and power of red and the reliability and stability of blue and, as a result, it possesses a great physical and spiritual balance.
This colour soothes but also stimulates the problem-solving area of the brain and shows imagination and respect.
Your designs are born in the purple if you use this colour to portray loyalty, mystery, luxury and magic. It is also frequently used for beauty and anti-aging products.
A grey area
Sometimes we find grey areas when we use this colour for marketing purposes as it’s in between black and white. It can be conservative, depressing and boring or can be seen as elegant and formal because of its “clean appearance”. It really depends on how much lightness this colour has, for example, dark greys are more depressing than the lighter ones.
This colour suggests reliability, neutrality and maturity. It symbolizes feelings of practicality and timelessness as well. Grey is a great choice to use in logos as a supporting colour that enhances the main colours and can be used for font colour and headings as well.
Black & White
Black is the colour of sophistication and seriousness but can also be associated with depression, mystery and death. On the other hand, white is pure, innocent and clean but can draw isolation and emptiness.
Both colours are frequently used together. For example, many websites will likely have white backgrounds with a black font and they’ve been commonly used in heaps of retailer’s logos and marketing designs as a way to create contrast and evoke elegance.