Have you ever wondered why certain colors pair together so well? Or how a logo or an image makes you feel those feelings you never thought you had? The answer may be less complicated than you thought.
It is…wait for it...psychology! Color psychology, to be exact.
The Color Wheel
Before we get into the different colors, here’s a little pre-blog history lesson on color.
Colors have two main categories: “warm” (red, orange, yellow) and “cool” (green, blue, purple). If you want, we could dive into the different sectors--primary, secondary, complementary, analogous, etc.--but let’s not make things too difficult. All you need to remember is warm colors evoke a higher-energy emotion, and cool colors have a calming effect on viewers. But don’t let that fool you. Each color has a positive and negative attitude depending on how it’s used.
Now, here’s the best part:
RED // energy
Draws more attention than ANY other color
Raises blood pressure
(-) Anger, murder, aggressive, danger
(+) Love, passion, action, confidence, protection
ORANGE // creativity
Stimulates activity and inspires social behavior
Combines the energy of red w/ happiness of yellow
(-) Cautionary, superficial, overbearing
(+) Creativity, success, self-confident
YELLOW // happiness
The “happiest” color in the color wheel
Activates memory & stimulates nervous system
(-) Caution (stop lights), deception
(+)Sunshine, high-energy, enthusiasm
GREEN // relaxation
Gives both mental and physical relaxation
(-) Envy, rotten, inexperience
(+) Renewal, harmony, soothing, natural, alive
BLUE // trustworthy
Associated with masculinity, water, and athletics
(-) Cold, sad, immoral
(+) Calmness, clean, fresh, technology, future
PURPLE // uplifting
Energy of red and calmness of blue
(-) Instability, arrogance, self-involvement
(+) Bravery, creativity, calming, magic, sensitivity, wealth
Now that you know more about the psychology behind color, take a look around and pay attention to people’s logos and designs. What colors do they use? How does it make you feel? Do you think they are being intentional about their color choices?