How Color Theory Affects Advertising

Color theory refers to the idea that people associate certain colors with certain moods, personalities or adjectives. Advertisers understand color theory, and therefore work diligently to make sure any colors they use in their marketing materials reinforce the brand image and identity they are attempting to create.

It makes sense, then, that certain industries tend to see specific colors used over and over. This is because there’s a certain audience for that industry or niche that is most likely to have the association with that color scheme that the companies want to create.

Here’s a look at some of the most eye-catching colors and how they’re used in advertising:

  • Blue: Blue is used to establish feelings of calmness and peacefulness. This is due to its association with water or blue skies, which are also associated with relaxation and calm. Some shades of blue might feel sad or sterile, while others might feel vibrant and invigorating. Companies that use blue in their branding are looking to build a sense of trust, which is why it’s often used for banks, healthcare organizations and law firms.
  • Green: Green is often associated with health and wealth. It’s common for companies looking to emphasize their connection with nature or the environment to use green in their branding. Eco-friendly businesses, natural products companies and natural healing clinics will very frequently make green an important part of their designs.
  • Red: Red is the color of love, passion and energy. It is bright and attention grabbing, always jumping off the page (or screen). In some cases, it could also be associated with anger or danger. Dating companies often use red in their branding for feelings of love or passion. Florists may use red in their designs around Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day.
  • Orange: Orange is a cheery, friendly color with a similar energy and vibrance as red, but with a bit more youthfulness and whimsy. It is associated with humor, kindness and affordability. Children’s companies often use orange in their marketing to provoke a “fun” sort of feeling.
  • Purple: Purple is often associated with mystery, luxury or royalty. Financial planners often use purple to create a sense of wealth. It’s also often used by churches or spiritual organizations to establish a sense of spirituality.
  • Black: Black is known for luxury and artistry. You’ll frequently find it used by luxury clothing brands or retailers, luxury automakers or high-end boutiques.

These are just a few examples of how colors can be used to create feelings and associations in prospective customers. Not every company necessarily adheres to this sort of color theory when designing their advertising materials and websites, but there are many that do pay attention to how colors affect advertising and consider what would be the most eye-catching colors for their advertising materials.

Interested in learning more about color theory and the thought processes that go into developing visual branding materials for companies? We encourage you to contact the team at Sign It Up today with any questions. We look forward to assisting your business!

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