Color is an essential element to nearly every aspect of life. Colors serve a greater purpose than just being aesthetically pleasing. Personal experiences play into the way we each individually understand color, but marketing strategies explore how colors can evoke broad perception patterns and psychological responses. Find out how color subconsciously affects your decision-making.
Photo credits (all CC0): 1.red 2.orange 3.yellow 4.green 5.blue 6.purple 7.main/lead
Chamberlain Smith is a freelance writer based in Athens, Georgia.
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The color of both love and wrath, red is a diverse, attention-grabbing hue. Red is often used in marketing for fast-food restaurants because it stimulates appetite and affects metabolism. Red is the standard color for markdowns and clearance sales because it evokes a sense of urgency. Red is also believed to energize the liver and increase blood pressure.
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Orange is the result of blending the primary colors red and yellow. This color has its own unique associations, but also evokes similar reactions as its parent colors, such as appetite stimulation. Orange is viewed as an energetic, youthful and social color. Companies use orange in branding strategies to represent affordability. Businesses must also be wary because orange is often considered the most disliked color in the Western world, though it is sacred in Hinduism.
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Happiness and joy are some descriptors that come to mind when thinking of the color yellow. Yellow evokes a response from infants because its long wavelength makes it the easiest color to visibly see. Clarity is another reason marketers often use yellow in window displays to draw the attention of customers. Similarly, the majority of traffic and road signs are yellow. Be careful, however, because excessive use of the color can trigger a sense of anxiety and fear.
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Green is created by mixing blue and yellow. This color symbolizes balance and peace because of its association with nature. Green is most commonly used in advertisements for environmental and health-related products. Green suggests growth and newness, peaking customer interest. The color green also soothes and calms the mind by balancing people's emotions. Excessive green can give off feelings of greed and envy.
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Blue is the standard color of relaxation, tranquility and calmness, making it one of the most well-like colors across the globe. The color blue is commonly found in hospitals and spas for this reason. Blue is also used in more formal restaurant settings to put customers at ease with the hope of encouraging them to stay longer, generating greater sales. Blue is one of the most frequently used branding colors because it promotes feelings of security and dependability.
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The child of red and blue, purple is the color of royalty and imagination. Purple stimulates creativity, but can cause the mind to wander, making it a less used color in branding. Businesses typically use purple to market cosmetics and beauty products because it suggests extravagance and high quality.