The Color Effect
Did you know that color can affect our emotions? That’s why specific colors are used (and not used) in advertising, this is called the color effect. Advertising is all around us, on TV, newspapers, magazines, on social media and billboards. You are exposed to thousands of ads each day. So why do some ads affect us more than others? We are visual creatures and color informs, calls attention, creates an identity, and explains the characteristics of a product. Each color has a meaning and evokes emotions throughout the advertising we are exposed to daily. Cool tones generally create a peaceful state of mind whereas warm tones are associated with excitement. Here are a few colors and their emotional connection according to Valerie Bolden-Barrett:
Blue: Blue can represent productivity and reliability. Many company logos are often blue like IBM, Intel, and American Express.
Red: Red can be identified as the most dynamic color because of its vibrancy and ability to stir up passion and excitement. Many restaurants use red to stimulate hunger such as McDonalds, Applebee’s, and Red Lobster.
Green: Green is often tied to feelings of peace, balance and harmony. Bright green is associated with the environment and used heavily for holiday’s such as Christmas and St. Patrick’s Day. Beware of dull green, however, as it conveys blandness and boredom.
Yellow: Yellow shares hunger and intensity traits with red, however optimism and happiness are also yellow inspired. Many restaurants use yellow to promote food; however, the color reflects light which can overstimulate the eye and cause irritation when being viewed.
Although these are just a few of the colors in the vast color spectrum, when deciding your branding and advertising approach, the color’s you choose should be considered thoughtfully. What is the message you want to convey? Peaceful or exciting? Soft or Bold? Whatever you decided, make sure to use the right colors to help your advertising affect the right emotion.
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