The Emotions of Color in Marketing and Company Logo Designs

Written by Zac Johnson
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As marketers, we see it all the time… BIG RED LETTERS on landing pages to grab our attention. Different colors make people act differently. RED is usually seen as a “danger” or “warning” color… while BLUE or GREEN is more “soothing” and “trusted“. An excellent example of this was how in Star Wars, Darth Maul is RED and BLACK (representing his evil), and Yoda was GREEN… showing his “stability” and “safety”.

In today’s post I wanted to focus on all of the main colors and how they should be represented in your advertising efforts. Believe it or not, the colors you place on your landing pages or web sites can drastically change your overall conversions and the user’s thinking process. Below is a break down from HP, on the main colors we use for marketing and how they are often looked at by others.

Primary Colors:

Red

Red is a very emotionally charged color. It tends to increase the respiration rate and can even raise your blood pressure. It creates excitement and can be associated with danger, war, power, strength passion, desire and love. It can even increase your appetite.

Yellow

Yellow is the happy color… it is the color of sunshine. It creates a sense of cheerfulness and helps to stimulate mental activity. When yellow is very bright, it can attract attention. It can also provide a very sharp contrast to dark colors. Yellow can have the appearance of being brighter than white if over used and can be disturbing if used too much.

Blue

Blue is a trusted color. It can provide a sense of tranquility and security. It tends to symbolize loyalty, wisdom, trust, faith, confidence, and intelligence. While red can help to increase the appetite, blue tends to have the opposite affect and can actually suppress the appetite.

Secondary Colors:

Orange

Orange is the combination of the happiness of yellow and the energy and strength of red. It symbolizes creativity, determination, enthusiasm and success. In addition orange indicates affordability. Because of its similarity to red, it is great to promote food.

Green

Green tends to suggest endurance and stability. It represents harmony, growth and freshness. Green indicates safety. Obviously, it is associated with money and wealth. With the interest in “green” products, it is the only color that can promote organic foods and products effectively.

Violet

Violet or purple combines the energy and strength of red with the stability of blue. It represents nobility, ambition, power and luxury. It symbolizes extravagance and wealth and is often associated with dignity, independence, wisdom and magic.

Others:

White

White is purity, goodness, light and innocence. It is considered perfection. White is generally positive and simple. Often it is the color of charitable organizations, low-fat foods and dairy products.

Black

Black is elegant, powerful and formal, but can also be associated with death. In marketing, it is dignified. In certain contexts, black is very negative (blacklist, black humor, etc). It can also denote prestige.

Psychology of Colors in Logo Design and Branding

As you can imagine, this all plays a massive role in how advertisement and brands use different images. Be sure to look through the Color Emotion Guide infographic below to see how many of your favorite brands and logos you can find, while also checking out how their color might play a role with the emotions they are supposed to emit. A perfect example of this would be “Green Companies” and how they are using the color to show off their “Peaceful, Growth and Health” emotions to target their audience and better relate with them. Such examples of “green brands” include Whole Foods, Tropicana, Animal Planet and Hess.

Next time you are working on your landing page or new web site, step back and look at your color scheme and see how your colors are targeting your audience.

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31 Replies to “The Emotions of Color in Marketing and Company Logo Designs”

  1. Nice Find! I suggest landing pages pick the right colors that create a sense of urgency. Something like a ticking clock countdown that goes from green to orange to red is a good example.

  2. great post… many people (including myself) don't put enough energy into this, yet its impact is huge.

  3. Great Post! Very powerfull information and something we all should pay more attention to in our daily work. Thanks Zach.

  4. The title of this most is a bit mis-represented. I wish you would have gone a bit further and given examples on where to use each color on a landing page. This may be obvious for some, but for others it'd be new information, especially for AM newbies.

  5. Based on my research as a requirement to my course (Marketing) the most recommended colors in businesses are red, blue, and yellow. other are colors are used on specialized business like medical, nature something,something. When you will look at uberaffiliate.com, he used color red in his theme, I think he knows this color rules establishing profitable business.

    1. Jan, thank you for sharing this! RED colour is quite specific for business. You should use it really carefully. Following my research, and paying attention not only to color psychology but also to religion and cultural aspects, most recommended are BLUE, ORANGE, GREEN.

  6. Awesome. This is exactly one of the first things you learn when taking a design class. Colors can make or break a design for a company. They give off subconcious emotions and without the right colors can turn off a potential buyer.

  7. I prefer blog design which is dominated with blue even I didn't know the meaning. But now I know…

  8. An interesting article which gives us an insight into the use of colors. And yes, I agree that red increases one's appetite. There is something to be said about a girl in red lingerie and high heels. 🙂

    Jeflin

  9. Yeah, I wrote an article about this a while ago on how colors can actually affect the outcome from getting a clickthrough, sign up, a visitor staying for a while, leaving, etc.

    Jay

  10. This blog about colours is a great help for choosing the right colours if you want to make a homepage, flyers, and so on… So it depends on the colours, which informations should be representative on such a medium. So I can use the informations for all the workings I want to do in future and it is a great help for me. Thanks

  11. I liked this post very much, got ideas for choosing a right colors for right marketing strategy. Thanks for it.

  12. I am much more aware of color and what effects different colors have now, it has made me think in terms of the layout and color of my own blog right now and how it can be improved upon.

  13. It was pretty funny to read this post today as, we are 85% finished with the redesign on Blogsavvy.net and when i showed the first version to my wife she said she felt "safe" but I bet you can guess which color the new site was. Keep it up!

  14. So if I follow this line of thinking my blog is trusted, creative and successful…I can live with that!

    And speaking of the color 'red', I read somewhere that the reason a lot of drivers run through red lights is because red is an action color – it says 'go,go, go!' Technically they should have chosen 'green' as the stop color as it is more calming.

  15. This is a basic principle that can be applied to almost any situation.. it doesn't even have to be in marketing…

  16. Hey, that's going to come in extremely handy for squeeze pages – thanks for the great find

    And yes, I find red and blue are to most effective as well – and the plain white background

  17. Very useful article! It has helped me to find the answer on my question. Where was this colors' flower picture taken from? I would like to have a bigger format to print it out if you have.Regards!

  18. This is one among the several articles on this blog which reminds why this blog is so famous and well read. Some good effort and research here.

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