Sunday, October 28, 2012

Using The Psychology Of Color

Using The Psychology Of Color

by Daniel Cassady,
September 27th 2012

What do you think of when you see a red sports car waiting at the traffic light? How about a pair of shiny, black high healed shoes, or a bright yellow jacket?

Whether you realize it or not, every color has a specific effect on how you perceive and react to the world around you. And while not every person reacts the same way to every color, there’s no doubting the fact that different colors can influence you in different ways. In fact, marketers have been using different colors to influence behavior for years.

Let’s take a look at a few different colors and see how they would effect someone who is visiting your site for the first time.


Red is one of the most universal colors, as well as one of the most versatile. And thanks to the many different shades that exist, red can be used o n almost any type of website. On one hand red is the color of love, passion, spontaneity and strength. Sites that cater  to impulse buyers can use bright reds to speed up the response time to a call to action.

On the other, deep, brick colored reds can represent stability and can comfort people who are unsure if your site is reliable or not. Still, red has been known to convey anger or act as a color of warning, just think of any cartoon you’ve every seen, an angry character’s eyes face and eyes turn bright red, so use it carefully.


Is there a more reliable color than blue?

Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter use light blues in their logo and home pages to give users a sense of openness and ease of use. Large businesses and corporations use deep blues to give their sites of air of credibility, reliability and experience.

If you’re looking for a color that will make your visiting feel like they’re visiting an old friend, blue is the color for you.


Almost as versatile as red, yellow is a great color for almost any website. Bright yellows are eye catching and can infuse viewers with a childlike excitement, remember all those summers you sat with the sun on your face? Warmth and comfort, that’s what yellow is all about. That is of course, if your skew bright.

Pale yellows can go either way. Some pale yellows suggest calm, while others can look pale and sickly. Deep yellows can hint at aged parchment, bringing a feeling of scholarship.


I have to admit a bit of bias here, green has been my favorite color since I was about 12, but I’ll try to be impartial.

Green has two main facets, but within those two there is a wide range of possible associations.

It should come as no surprise that lighter greens bring to mind plants, grass and the outdoors. These connections give people a sense of optimism and new life. There’s also the environmental aspect to consider. If you want to portray yourself as a friend of the environment, you’ve got to go green.

Dark greens are all about success. It’s the color of economic growth and success, the color of money.


Speaking of success, there’s no color that suggests wealth and elegance like purple. It’s been the color of royalty for hundreds of years, yet there’s an air of  mystery to it as well. The lighter side of purple speaks to the youthful, the romantic.

Of course, the colors of choose are up to. Think about what you want to accomplish with your site and look for a combination of colors that works for you.

Image Credit : ImageSmith

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