By Susan Saurel, Writer at XpertWriters
A person’s experience is what governs his or her thoughts and feelings regarding color. From the Mandela effect, we find that many people often share the same thoughts and feelings because of shared experiences.
The most obvious proof of this is regarding the color red and cultural differences. The Chinese believe red is lucky while westerners associate red with danger and anger.
How Do You Apply Color Psychology to Advertisements, Websites, and Brands?
Common sense suggests that you do not pander to certain color stereotypes because the world of marketing, and even the world of politics, shows us that color stereotypes are not consistent. If blue was always associated with trust, then everybody would vote Democrat. And if red was always associated with danger, then nobody would:
- Drive red cars
- Drink Coca Cola
- Ride on red colored planes
- Eat strawberries
- Adore red roses
The trick is to take colors into consideration when designing your ads, writing your blog post, creating brand colors, and setting up websites. Red is commonly associated with danger, but it is also attention grabbing. Blue is the color of trust, but it also has a calming effect.
Like any stereotype, it is best if you do not trust it to always work for you, but take it into consideration. In addition, try not to break too many conventions when you use color. For example, if you are setting up an advertisement for funeral directors, you should probably avoid shocking and bold colors.
Here are a few thoughts on some various applications of color stereotypes.
The Clever Application of Color Stereotypes
Dark colors and black are very common in horror movies, but the designers of the images shown above have gone a step further. Looking at the advertisements, it looks as if the color has been drained from them.
Since colorful images are often associated with happiness, the designers have drained all color from the images to represent an absence of happiness. The lack of color is used so well, that when you put it in context of the subject matter on the images, it almost represents an absence of hope too.
Green is often associated with the earth and health. You often see green associated with many types of eco-friendly products. You also see green associated with healthy food and drinks because of its links with health. The designer of the ad above has used green to great effect in order to push the “make you feel good” side of their drink.
White is a very tricky color to use in any form of advertising or visual communication because in context it typically represents innocence and cleanliness, like for example white wedding dresses, white toilet bowls, and even heavenly clouds.
However, on any form of visual communication, white is seen as open space or a void.
Still, you may use the idea of a void to help make your use of other colors more shocking. That is exactly what the Hasbro company designer has done above. The overuse of white space has made the happy yellow stand out more.
How We Change As We Grow
People’s thoughts and feelings change over time, and yellow may be singled out as a great example of how we change.
As a child, you may be exposed to yellow as a color of happiness. Kindergarten and kiddie school is splattered with bold yellow colors. Happy pictures of glorious yellow sunshine are common, not to mention pictures of pretty yellow flowers. Yellow is often part of most child-related establishments.
A young person may associate yellow with happiness, but this changes over time. As we grow older, we see yellow used almost exclusively in warning signs. Yellow is a shocking color that often stands out because it is slightly reflective.
Over time, adults are almost trained to associate yellow with danger and warnings. It is a very attention-grabbing color. An adult’s first exposure to a piece of marketing may not be associated with happy if the color yellow is involved.
Conclusion: Color Testing Has No Right Answer
Some people’s reaction to color seems oddly unexplained by any text on the psychology of color. Why do so many people dislike brown and green colored caterpillars so much, and why do women seem to like purple far more than men?
When color is placed in context, the viewer’s previous experiences will govern his or her reaction to that color, especially in situations where culture plays a role. Again, don’t allow color psychology to lead your design decisions, but give it some consideration.
About the author: Susan Saurel is an experienced content marketer and writer. She is always ready to share her knowledge and experience with people who are interested. Currently, she works as a writer for writing service XpertWriters and the number of educational and marketing magazines. You may follow Susan on Twitter or LinkedIn.