10 colors and the emotions they evoke (with a focus on print marketing)

Colour Psychology

Color is powerful when it comes to print marketing. Although it could be imperceptible to your logical brain,your company’s logos, branding and other offers of print advertisement rely on color as a valuable asset to evoke certain emotions in viewers.

Therefore, the power of color is both emotional and practical since almost 93 percent of customers make purchase decisions based on color and visual appeal. We said that it is emotional because color can affect consumer’s feelings with respect to a brand.While on a more basic and obvious level, it can help a brandto sell and get engagement with its audience.

Hence, once you realize that effective color schemes are imperative in your advertising to increase sales, you should start to focus on choosing colors that engage your brand’s “personality,” in order to get the right clients to your business.

Our sensory perceptions come from colors, for example colors can make us feel energetic or relaxed, favor thermal sensations of cold or heat, and also evoke other emotions such as order or disorder. However, while colors in your advertisements and print marketing pieces are essential, you should be careful not over do it, as it is just a subtle effect. The key is to choose colors that will enhance your brand’s messaging and align with your business. That is why it is helpful to know color meanings and symbolism so you can make informed decisions.

So, let us now discuss 10 colors and the emotions they evoke:

1. Red

With this color, it is possible to go to both extremes:  love and war. The lighter shades emphasize the energetic aspects of red, including youth, while the darkest shades are associated with power.The darker shades can symbolize strength, confidence, and power.This can increase a person’s heart rate and make them excited.

Due to its emotional intensity, please make sure to use it sparingly, otherwise it may overwhelm your viewers.

Red would be good when doing logos and borders. It is also ideal to use for headlines, subheadings, contact info, and some offers due to its “loudness” and the attention it garners.

2. Orange

The orange color is known to stimulate your emotions. It is the color of action, movement, and enthusiasm. It is a cheerful color, which increases optimism and confidence. It is also associated with lust or sensuality. However, excess orange seems to increase anxiety.  Since it is a very inviting or welcoming color,it is good to use it fora call to action.

Orange can also evoke emotions of vitality and happiness. Like red, it draws attention and shows movement, but is not as powerful or aggressive as red.

3. Black

Black is essentially an absence of light. In a positive way, black may evoke sophistication,security, emotional safety, efficiency, substance, seriousness.  When you see black, you may feel absolute clarity.  It works very well with white.

However, asit is the color of death and destruction you need to be careful, as it also brings some negative emotions, such as despair, sadness, melancholy, unhappiness or irritability.

This color looks good in business cards, brochures, and any print material that heavily relies on text. It is also very versatile in its use, as black works well in combination with almost any other color.

4. Blue

Blue is a color that inspires tranquility and is relaxing. It gives a feeling of freshness and calmness. It is associated with the sea and sky. It is linked to symbolizations of freedom, harmony, fidelity, seriousness, security, sincerity and loyalty.

However, it is also used to express sadness or depressions. So, try not to use it in a context where it could be interpreted as a depressing or sad color.

5. Green

Green represents nature and humanity. On the emotional level, it is the color of balance, hope, and growth. In Western culture, it also represents money, wealth and financial security. However, it also has its negative sides, since some people see it as the color of poison and jealousy.

When it comes to nature, green represents plant life and growth,and also used to convey being ‘green’ in the environmental andorganic type of way.  For that reason, it is the color that many eco-friendly and organic companies like to use.

You can also use this color if your brand is correlated with health, money, and trust. Specifically, you can use dark green if your company works in the financing or banking industries.

6. Purple

For a long time, violet has been associated with royalty, majesty or nobility because it is connected with an air of luxury. It has been used in painting to give a feeling of elegance.

The lighter shades of violet evoke romantic, feminine, sentimental, and even nostalgic feelings.

The darkest shades can evoke a sense ofmystery, and can even symbolize creativity.

7. Pink

No one can doubt that pink is associated with femininity. It is is also associated with friendship, pure love,and delicacy. It is a color that evokes calmness and romantic feelings.

It is also associated with sugar and can be used to project a sweet sensation (for example, the “Sweet” in the “Sweettarts” logo is written in pink text).

It is a color also related to childhood, nurture, and warmth.

8. White

White is a color of relaxation and can represent purity, peace, innocence, and cleanliness. It is a color that can be used for evoking tranquility, serenity and purification of the mind.It is sterile and clean, and that is why itis used in hospitals, yoga courses, and spiritual retirements.

Furthermore, white is the perfect complement to any color because it may tone down the intensity of any other colors. Using a White background for print materials is traditional obviously, as most paper is white.

However, you need to be careful when using it,taking into account the demographics of your targeted audience, as in Western cultures, it is the standard color for weddings, and in Eastern cultures, it is symbolic for death and mourning.

9. Yellow

It is the color of the sun and is related to life, joy and outdoor activities. It radiates heat and inspiration.Yellow is a spontaneous, variable color, but it is not suitable to suggest safety or stability.

The darker shades of yellow can represent caution, deterioration, disease and envy/ jealousy.The lighter shades of yellow can represent intelligence, originality, and joy.

Children’s companies take advantage of this color in their branding due to its association with cheerfulness and youth. Though, be careful with the brightness of the color as you choose your shade of yellow when designing, as if you go too dark it may give a dirty or unpleasant effect.

10. Gray

Gray is considered a neutral color, which can represent balance, order, respect, and elegance. This color is associated with the practical, timeless, and solid things in life.

However, it is also associated with mediocrity or decrepitude, as using too much gray leads to feeling mostly nothing. So, unless you are going for a very serious and neutral feeling, you should not use gray alone and should mix it with some other colors.

Also, the particular shade of gray used can lead to different effects.Keep in mind thatdarker shades of gray are linked to old age, death, taxes, depression or a lost sense of direction. On the other hand, light gray may evoke peace, tenacity, and tranquility.

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