Colours communicate something to our minds, it is not like a person speaking, or music, but an experience of visual communication. Colours influence our emotions. Design Thinkers and Advertising mavericks understand this fully and have applied it to make products and experiences that really reach out to the target customer.
If you want an enlightening read on why and where Design and Marketing professionals use the art of applying colour psychology, just scroll along..
The visible colour spectrum is divided into two major categories:
Warm Colours - Reds, Yellows and Oranges
Cool Colours - Blues and Greens
Blue - Let's start our journey with cool colours and look at the first in this series - Blue. It is the colour of sky, of peace, of calm. Blue does not manifest in nature as the leaves of a tree, or the soil of our lands, and therefore carries an other wordly feel, something that we can see, but we don't really eat.
A colour that serves versatile purpose of neutrality, trust, openness, stable energy and visual delight in shades and tints of many blues that the advertising world explores in the form of bank/corporate logos, futuristic designs and gender neutral expressions.
All the cultures around the world discover blue in textile and paintings as a deep indigo, and therefore blue has a very old history. Blue is used wherever you wish to convey a sense of honesty, trust and stability through branding. It is easy to walk into powder blue lanes, blue tinted environments and feel relaxed in the presence of blue. As product, or UX, as furniture or identity design, blue coveys authenticity and playfulness without aggression.
Green - Our world is green, it has an instant rejuvenating effect on the heart rate, greens convey prosperity, growth, trust, benefit, profit, cooperation, a closeness with the real environment.
This makes green a formidable colour and a favourite of the technology sector, just like blue. Green also serves the purpose of communicating trust and stability in everything it is used.
Marketing professionals who want to position a brand in the realm of sincerity and trustworthiness, often include green in their strategy.
The earth is blue when seen from above, but on the ground, it is all the beautiful shades of green that our eyes meet everyday and at every corner.
Red - The colour of energy and action, it approaches the eye and the mind aggressively, a colour that is love and blood, a colour that conveys power, command and demands attention. Imagine a red lipstick, red sports car, a red upholstery, a red can of cola, a red brochure of important words, it serenades the psyche of a person. It actually does raise the heartbeat biologically. Wherever you want to establish power, red is a pretty good choice, and if you add black and white to the mix, you have a recipe for eye grabbing colour schemes.
Orange - The colour of sunshine, of happiness, of laughter, of fresh oranges, of artists, of dreamers, of imaginations.
We tend to pick up drinks that are oranges or yellows, not blues or purples naturally. It is widely used in packaging design for the food industry, it is what our food looks like; and we feel comfortable with packaging that reflects our natural tendency in food.
Orange is also used where red cannot be used, it is a wise choice for places where you want to attract attention without overpowering the eye. A colour that is the sun itself, life itself; neither red nor yellow, orange is uniquely positioned as a retro but also a futuristic colour, when combined with Gray, Black, or Whites, it yields signature looks.
Yellow - The colour of childhood, of play, of fun. It is the colour that steals the attention of the eye and directs our gaze wherever it is painted about. This is the reason navigation signs are painted yellow at airports or the roads. If you place yellow amongst all, it is yellow which will jump at you.
Yellow is also widely used in food packaging and design due to it's natural association with fruits and foods across cultures. Yellow is also a gender neutral colour applied in children's clothing. Uma Thurman in Kill Bill sports a yellow suit, a smashing colour choice for an assassin meant to be projected as the hero, something only yellow can pull off.
There are more colours like Black, White, Purple, Gray, Gold, Silver which need a larger canvas to tell their story, we will write up a part II for our readers to savour, all good things to those who wait.