I know I’m about to alienate half of our readers with this next statement, but stick with me – I promise I’m going somewhere with this. I collect weird rings. When I’m in a store, I am drawn to the gaudiest, craziest rings being sold, and I wear them with pride. This fascination with strange rings was born when I purchased my first mood ring as a kid. You know – those rings that supposedly changed color when your mood switches? And they always came with those little color keys that described your mood to you – as if you needed a color-changing ring to tell you your current mood.
Although those 15 cent rings probably aren’t as cosmic as kid-me thought they were, color can have a significant effect on your mood. In fact, studies have shown that even the shade of a specific color (warmer or cooler) can impact your emotions in a different way. You can’t determine everyone’s favorite color, but you can alter your brand’s colors to invoke a general emotion within your target consumer. Check out the effects of these popular colors on customers and how you can use them to reinforce your brand’s message:
Red is the color of love, excitement and energy. Customers equate the color red with speed and haste, and your breathing speed can actually increase if you look at this color long enough. Use red in moderation, as it can cause sensory overload if used as your focal color. Shades of red are best used to bring attention to one aspect of your website or advertisement, such as a headline or a sale notice. Choose red for your logo if you work for a fast-paced company (and you want people to know it).
Blue is the “chill” color. As a visually calming color, blue can create a sense of camaraderie between the customer and your brand. In addition, blue is generally an authoritative color (sometimes associated with police forces), so viewing this color can also create a sense of security in your audience. Companies who use various shades of blue convey a stable or reliable tone through their brand.
Yellow is the color of spring. Spring is associated with life and new beginnings. Therefore, using the transitive effect, yellow can convey feelings of livelihood and freshness. Like the color red, use this color to bring energy and positivity to your brand. However, too much yellow can hurt the eye. In fact, studies have shown that babies cried more when placed in an entirely yellow room (Source). Don’t make babies cry – use yellow sparingly.
What color is money? Green. What color are leaves? Green. Wealth and nature are two concepts generally associated with the color green. Additionally, green is the easiest color for your eyes to process (Source). If you want your brand to be conveyed as successful or environmentally friendly, or you just want your logo to be legible, green is a solid choice. However, like blue, it is considered a calming and safe color. If you want your business seem edgy, stay away from both colors.
Black evokes strong emotions within your audience. It is edgy and contrasting, and it conveys strength and wit. Be sure to consider the emotional effect you want your brand to have on viewers, as black is the most widely interpreted color of all. To some, it could signify luxury and cleanliness, while others could associate it with evildoings. However, a sans serif typeface in black almost always conveys professionalism.
How important is color to you when choosing a product? Have you rebranded your organization’s colors to achieve one of these effects? Let us know in the comments section below!