15 December 2021

The Psychology of Color

The Psychology of Color

Have you ever come across infographics that show you the “psychology of colour” and the mood it represents? For example, yellow representing happiness, optimism and warmth? It represents a very surface level of analysis, without any concrete reasoning or evidence to back these claims up. So for today, let’s get a bit colourful with our discussion.

Back to Basics

Let’s get to know the colour wheel a bit. For starters, there are your primary colours: red yellow and blue. Then, here comes the secondary colours, this occurs when you mix primary colours together: green, yellow, orange, red, purple and blue. And lastly, you have tertiary colours, this occurs when you mix both primary and secondary colours together: different shades of green, yellow, orange and so on.

Next, let’s talk about colour harmony. There is a colour scheme that is called Analogous Colors, which are colours that are side by side on the tertiary colour wheel. Or you could opt for complementary colours, which is colours on the opposite side of the tertiary colour wheel.

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What’s Your Favorite Color?

“Yellow, because it makes me happy!”
Sure, there is never a right or wrong answer to this question. But at Appart_, we feel that as designers, it is our responsibility to make suitable choices through the correct use of the colour spectrum to express the best message with branding.

Wait, What’s Color Psychology?

To put it simply, colour psychology is the study of how it can affect customer perception and behaviours. In our industry of branding and design, it is essential that our designers understand that colours impact consumers’ impression of a brand. “About 62‐90 percent of the assessment is based on colours alone (Satyenndra Singh).”

It is no doubt that colour is omnipresent. There has been a recent study on colour in relation to marketing. When shopping, most people take around 90 seconds to make up their minds about the product. 62-90% of the initial assessment is based off on colours alone.

These initial impressions can leave a mark: they can persuade a customer to purchase from the brand or choose a specific brand based on that colour alone. Therefore, it is safe to say that when building or rebranding a new brand or business, thorough consideration of colour choices is a fairly important aspect when going through the design process.

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Is Yellow Really the Happiest Color?

Sure, it might be in your day to day life, but in terms of marketing and branding, colours get a little bit more complex than that. The reality is that colour is too closely tied up with personal experiences to be able to concretely associate an emotion to a specific colour. The country you grew up in, to how you were raised all plays a part in the representation of the colours we all see. I might like red because I think it is a “powerful” colour, but you might not because you grew up in a different country than I did. It is too dependent on people’s emotions to conclusively be accurately represented. So how can we as designers find a practical way to approach colours?

Time to Get Practical

Here is a question you always have to be able to answer: is the colour you chose appropriate for what the brand is selling? The colour you picked out will affect how your brand is perceived. If you wear pink, people might automatically assume that you are a feminine and gentle person. The same goes for your brand. If your brand wears pink but sells industrial tools, you might have to reconsider just a bit.

A majority of academic studies have suggested that when picking out colours for your brand, it is more beneficial for the colour to support your brand’s personality rather than just basing it off of stereotypical colour associations such as yellow = happy.

It’s time to evaluate your brand’s personality and what colour you can use to convey your voice.

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If You Go to a Funeral In a Bright Red Dress, Everyone is Sure to Remember You.

When we go shopping at a supermarket, we often pick brands that we are familiar with. The familiarity gives us a sense of reliability and credibility of that particular brand. This has also been backed up by studies and suggests that newer brands find colours that differentiate them from competitors. Creating a base colour scheme that consists of Analogous Colors while contrasting them with Triadic colours (three colours opposite of the colour wheel) can be a way to turn heads at the supermarket isle.

Why Should You Care About Color?

We cannot stress this enough: brand recognition and marketing strategy. With a little bit more research and understanding, a more thorough understanding of colour and the use of colour schemes help you become more efficient in branding decisions. The emotions that you convey through the colour you’ve chosen evokes feelings in a customer through the psychology of colour. Creating a brand that stands out not only depend on good design or typography but a suitable colour too.

Reach out to us if you have any questions on your colour wheel, we are so excited to hear from you.

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