Guide The Beauty and Influence of Colors

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Blue is cool and relaxing.

Light baby blue is peaceful, while dark blue can signify depth and power. It is the most popular color in the world, both when it comes to personal preferences for both genders and usage in business logos. Interestingly, blue is the color of choice for many other social networks too. Facebook is blue—apparently because founder Mark Zuckerberg is red-green color blind and blue is the most vivid color that he can see. If you want to be immediately associated with professionalism and trust, then blue is the color for you. Its association with calm and tranquility means that blue is also a good fit if your business is in things like relaxation, therapy or meditation.

Because of its associations with royalty, purple is inherently prestigious and luxurious.

Purple dye was historically expensive, which meant that only wealthy rulers could afford it. The ruling classes and kings and queens of old would wear purple and Queen Elizabeth I even forbade anyone outside of the royal family from wearing it. Purple is also associated with religion and spirituality, since the ancient rulers were thought of as descendants of the gods and the color holds a special meaning in religions including Catholicism, Judaism and Buddhism. Funnily enough, brands are not always as strategic in choosing colors as they should be. Yahoo, as the story goes , ended up purple because that was the cheapest paint color available to renovate the offices back in the early days.

What is Color Psychology?

You can see a more typical use of purple in the Asprey brand, a British luxury company with a heritage that goes back to the s and a Royal Warrant for every British monarch since Queen Victoria. Or use it when you want to add a dash of mysticism and spirituality to your brand. Add some green for a really striking contrast or with pink to emphasize the feminine. Pink represents femininity and romance, sensitivity and tenderness. Together with brown, pink is among the least common colors in logos.

Wedding companies and other feminine brands often favor a lighter pink. Less typical uses include Lyft and TMobile —both challenger brands, who aim to stand out from their competitors and bring an element of playfulness and approachability. You can also use it in unexpected ways to stand out versus your dull and dreary competitors or add a surprising element to an otherwise sophisticated design.

Brown is a natural color, associated with the earth and as a result giving a sense of stability and support. Given its link to the earth, brown brings to mind farming and agriculture and other outdoorsy activities. Brown is not used that often in logos. When it is, it tends to represent utility. Although blue is the typical corporate color, UPS has used brown to represent dependability along with a later addition of yellow to bring an element of warmth and friendliness.

Brown is a warm, neutral color that you can use as a background that conveys warmth and wholesomeness. Use it for an earthy brand and in a natural pairing with green to really capture that organic feel. You can also use brown to give the impression of a well-established heritage and a sense of tradition.

The Beauty and Influence of Colors: Mr Godson Ekwegh: Books

Brown works well for chocolate brands, for obvious reasons. Luxury brands like Chanel and Dior keep things stylish with an iconic black-and-white logo. Brands like these want to be a little intimidating and unapproachable as that makes them more exclusive and aspirational. The James Bond logo is black. Newspaper logos also tend to be in black, given the historic black-and-white printing presses. Of course, most brands will have a black-and-white version of their logo as printing in black and white tends to be cheaper than color printing. On the other hand, black can also be used with bright colors for contrast and when combined with other powerful colors like red or orange it can be quite impactful, even aggressive.

Associated Data

White represents purity and innocence and creates a minimalist aesthetic. It can be very simple, clean and modern. Marc Jacobs prints a simple black logo onto white luxury retail boxes and shopping bags. Health and beauty brands that want to convey an air of purity and natural ingredients will also tend to use white in their packaging.

White space can be as important in a design as all the other creative elements. White tends to be the color used for website backgrounds as it ensures that your text is easy to read. Together with pastels, it can bring to mind spring and femininity; combined with simple black it becomes classic and minimalistic. Gray is a more mature, responsible color, associated with the gray hair of old age.

Its positive connotations include formality and dependability, while the negative side can mean being overly conservative, conventional and lacking in emotion. High fashion clothing feels sophisticated, camping gear feels rugged. Certain colors do broadly align with specific traits e. The most notable points included the supremacy of blue across both genders it was the favorite color for both groups and the disparity between groups on purple.

Misconceptions around the psychology of color

Women list purple as a top-tier color, but no men list purple as a favorite color. Perhaps this is why we have no purple power tools, a product largely associated with men? Also, men were more likely to select shades of colors as their favorites colors with black added , whereas women were more receptive to tints of colors colors with white added :. Given the starkly different taste preferences shown, it pays to appeal more to men or women if they make up a larger percentage of your ideal buyers.

They make some excellent points, because it is definitely true that there is no single best color for conversions. Research clearly shows that participants are able to recognize and recall an item far better be it text or an image when it blatantly sticks out from its surroundings. In terms of color coordination as highlighted in this KISSmetrics graphic , this would mean creating a visual structure consisting of base analogous colors and contrasting them with accent complementary colors or you can use tertiary colors.

As a bonus, it will help keep you from drinking the conversion rate optimization Kool-Aid that misleads so many people. Chopra was testing to see how he could get more downloads for his PDFProducer program. Although different colors can be perceived in different ways, the names of those colors matters as well.

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This effect was also found in non-food items such as sweatshirts. Gregory Ciotti writes at HelpScout. Do the traffic lights actually have it backwards?

Do people rush towards red, and stop at green? Color psychology is a very interesting field, but I don't feel it gets much more recognition than in marketing. That's a lot to digest when it comes to using the science of colors in a retail setting. However, I'd love to hear about how you went about picking the colors for your brand, products, and most importantly your retail store.

Or, share with us what study, insight, statistic, or graphic stood out most to you from this post and how it changed your outlook when it comes to the influence color has on consumer habits.

The Color Psychology of Orange

Humayun Khan is senior product designer based in Montreal. Previously, he was the Sr. Writer at emerging technology publication BetaKit where he covered early-stage startups from around the globe. Get free online marketing tips and resources delivered directly to your inbox. In the meantime, start building your store with a free day trial of Shopify. Email address.