Colour stirs our emotions. It makes us feel and do things. A colour can remind us of a time and place and inspire us to act. In marketing, advertising and design, colour becomes a powerful tool because it can affect the mood of our audience and potential customers. If an online ad improve our mood, our relationship with that brand will deepen and we are more likely to take interest in that brand again. Marketers and designers leverage the knowledge of this to create ads that use colours to attract a certain audience or to evoke action with a certain audience.
Finding the right choice of colors is an art because everyone interprets colors differently. We have to understand the meaning of colors so that they can support our message. Colorful information affects the decision-making process with a surprising effectiveness. Through colors we can control reactions of an audience and provoke certain behaviours.
Red, orange and yellow are next to each other on the colour wheel and are all warm colors. Warm colors often evoke feelings of happiness, optimism and energy. However, yellow and orange can also slightly irritate the eyes and red can increase a person’s appetite.
Red is the warmest and most dynamic of the colors — it triggers opposing emotions. It is often associated with passion and love as well as anger and danger. It can increase a person’s heart rate and make them excited.
If you want to draw attention to a design element, use red. But use it as an accent color in moderation as it can be overwhelming.
Orange enhances a feeling of vitality and happiness. Like red, it draws attention and shows movement but is not as overpowering. It is aggressive but balanced — it portrays energy yet can be inviting and friendly. Orange is great for a call to action to buy or subscribe to a product.
Yellow is perhaps the most energetic of the warm colors. It is associated with laughter, hope and sunshine. Accents of yellow help give your design energy and will make the viewer feel optimistic and cheerful. However, yellow tends to reflect more light and can irritate a person’s eyes. Too much yellow can be overwhelming and should be used sparingly. In design, it is often used to grab attention in an energetic and comforting way.
Cool colors include green, blue, and purple. Cool colors are usually calming and soothing but can also express sadness. Purple is often used to help spark creativity as it’s a mixture of blue (calm) and red (intense). If a company wants to display health, beauty or security, incorporate these colors.
Green symbolizes health, new beginnings and wealth. Green is the easiest on the eyes and should be used to relax and create balance in a design. It is a great color to use if a company wants to depict growth, security or inspire possibility.
Blue evokes feelings of calmness and spirituality as well as security and trust. Seeing the color blue causes the body to create chemicals that are calming. It is no surprise that it’s the most favored of the colors. Dark blues are great for corporate designs because it helps give a professional feel, but using too much can create a cold, disengaged feeling. Light blues give a more relaxing, friendly feel. Great examples are social sites like Facebook and Twitter who use lighter blues.
Purple is associated with creativity, royalty and wealth. Purple is often used to soothe or calm a viewer, hence why it is used in beauty products. Incorporate purple to make a design look more luxurious and wealthy or a lighter purple to show romance and mystery.
Neutral colors include black, gray, white, tan and brown. In design, these colors are great as background colors. Use black, gray and white when using brighter colors. If you are using textures, then incorporate tan and brown as your backdrop.
It is important to note that colors can be subjective – what might make one person feel cheerful can make another person feel irritated depending on the viewers’ past experiences or cultural differences.
Colour is not completely agreed on universally and can appeal differently to individual countries. A good agency and designer study their target audience and choose colors accordingly.