Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Importance of Color

Color is an important consideration in your brand identity system. Colors have a significant impact on people’s emotional state. They also have been shown to impact people’s ability to concentrate and learn. They have a wide variety of specific mental associations. In fact, the effects are physiological, psychological, and sociological. For instance:

  • Nonprimary colors are more calming than primary colors.
  • Blue is the most calming of the primary colors, followed closely by a lighter red.
  • Test takers and weight lifters perform better in blue rooms.
  • Blue text increases reading retention.
  • Yellow evokes cheerfulness. Houses with yellow trim or flower gardens sell faster.
  • Reds and oranges encourage diners to eat quickly and leave. Red also makes food more appealing and influences people to eat more. (It is no coincidence that fast-food restaurants often use these colors.)
  • Pink enhances appetites and has been shown to calm prison inmates.
  • Blue and black suppress appetites.
  • Children prefer primary colors. (Notice that children’s toys and books often use these colors.)
  • Forest green and burgundy appeal to the wealthiest 3 percent of Americans, and often raise the perceived price of an item.
  • Violet is often associated with spirituality, royalty, and quality.
  • Orange is often used to make an expensive item seem less expensive.
  • Red clothing can convey power.
  • Red trim is used in bars and casinos because it can cause people to lose track of time.
  • Most people (76 percent) associate “speed” with the color red.
  • White is typically associated with being cool, clean, and fresh.
  • Red is often associated with Christmas, and orange with Halloween and Thanksgiving.
  • Red and black are often associated with being sexy and seductive and are favored by porn sites. Red and black also have a high association with fear and terror.
  • Black clothes make people look thinner (as most people know).
  • Black is associated with elegance, sophistication, and mystery.
  • Black is the favorite color of Goths.
  • “Fun” is most associated with orange, yellow, purple, and red.
  • “Trust” is most associated with blue and white.
  • “High quality,” “high technology,” and “reliability/dependability” are most associated with black and blue.
  • Men’s favorite color is blue (57 percent) followed by green (14 percent) while women’s favorite color is blue (35 percent) followed by purple (23 percent).

 Color preferences vary by gender, geography, culture, use and over time. 

© 2015 by Brad VanAuken
Excerpted from Brand Aid, second edition

Available here.

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