Much has been written about the psychology of color. From subliminal messages to instantly recognizable logos, colors affect how humans perceive the world, influencing their other senses.
Colors can suggest many different things, and are often chosen based on them. For example, red creates a sense of urgency and danger, which is why it’s often used in red traffic lights and stop signs.
Companies frequently choose colors for their logos and products based on their connotations. In a survey, 85 percent of consumers said that color is the primary reason why they choose to buy things. Because of this, color is one of the most important factors considered when designing a product’s packaging.
Many ads for beauty products incorporate purple, since it is thought to invoke a sense of sophistication and luxury. The color was in short supply in ancient times, and reserved for royalty, which helped develop its reputation. Red and yellow appeal to children, which is one reason why companies such as McDonalds use those colors in their logos.
Apart from carrying subliminal messages, colors can have a physical effect on the human body. For example, red induces a higher respiration rate and blood pressure and also increases metabolism. Green is the opposite, lowering blood pressure and heart rate. A known physical effect of orange is appetite stimulation, which is one of the reasons why some food items, like Fanta Orange Soda, have orange labels. And when rooms are painted warm colors, people actually feel warmer, and vice versa for cool colors.
Red and blue are colors thought to convey power. The Republican and Democratic parties use red and blue, respectively, as well as many other political parties around the world. These colors also appear in many companies’ logos. Yellow is commonly used to represent happiness and optimism. Think of the rows of smiling emojis on a messaging app.
Colors also have interesting implications for learning. Research has shown that Alzheimer’s patients recall information more easily with color cues. Blue promotes concentration in highly intellectual settings. For students, cool colors are best for pursuits like science and math, while warmer tones promote creativity in subjects such as art, languages, music, and drama. Brighter colors can make them feel more energetic, while pastels are more soothing.
The applications of color psychology are fascinating, and provide a way for people to influence their moods, learning experiences, and perception.