Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Primary Colors Of Persuasion

Colors do more than just create a visual delight through their placement with each other. Individually they impact us on physiological and psychological levels. When designing your company brand or other marketing pieces, you should keep this in mind when making choices for your designs. 

In the traditional artist’s color wheel the primary colors are red, yellow, and blue. Let’s discuss how these colors contribute to the impact of your designs. 

Red is the color of creativity and regeneration. It motivates people. It exudes power and confidence. Why do you think our culture has the “red power tie” and the “red carpet events”? Red draws attention, which is why signs and lights wanting us to stop are all red. 

Red is often linked with romance because it is a fiery, energetic color. In one’s environment red can take the emotions to elevated levels to incite arguments, delight, or greater competition, depending on the circumstances. 

When choosing colors for your logo or your products, it is important to be aware of the tremendous energy attached to the color red. It can overpower the rest of your design unless it is used sparingly and with a definite purpose.

Yellow is the color of change and new ideas. It is the color of illumination or enlightenment. 
Considered the most luminous of all colors, it is used as a warning color in many cultures: the yellow traffic light, the yellow hazard signs for example. These uses are warning you that something is changing. 

Yellow is stimulating and opens up the mind to new ideas. Consequently, when designing for a product that is a new approach or disrupts the status quo, yellow can stimulate the consumer into an inquisitive state of mind with an eagerness to learn more about the product. Yellow is preferable to red if you don’t want to be overly aggressive in your message. 

Many fast food restaurants combine the two colors of red and yellow because the motivating effects of red coupled with the eagerness to learn more draws people into their restaurant to check out what they are offering.

Blue is the color of self-worth, resourcefulness and harmony. It is the color associated with calm elements of nature: blue skies, blue water. 
Blue is often linked with relaxation, peace and trust. Consequently, if you want the consumer to feel there is no risk involved with your product, blue is a good color to use. The darker blues imbue feelings of wisdom, whereas, the lighter blues inspire communication and self-expression. 

Blue can help balance the high energies of red and orange color schemes. Blue can be added to most colors to create a different impact. Yellow and blue grab attention because of their contrast. Discover elegance using dark blue with silver; create a crisp, orderly layout combining darker blues with white; bring in impressions of the ocean mixing blue with shades of green. 

Next time I will talk about the colors that will draw out feelings for the vibrancy of life, focused intentions, and stability when used in your marketing designs.