The Color Psychology: How to Choose Colors that Sell

By: Wes Frick

Color psychology is the study of how colors influence human perception, emotion, and behavior. It plays a crucial role in advertising, as the right color choices can evoke the desired emotions necessary for your campaign. In the context of graphic design, understanding color psychology is essential to create advertisements that resonate with the target audience and effectively communicate the brand’s message. In this article, we will explore the fundamentals of color psychology and provide practical tips for choosing colors that sell.

Choose colors that evoke the emotions you want your audience to associate with your brand or product.

Red: Excitement, energy, passion, urgency, love, anger, danger, courage, strength, and desire

Orange: Enthusiasm, creativity, friendliness, energy, vitality, warmth, playfulness, stimulation, cheerfulness, and comfort

Yellow: Happiness, optimism, warmth, caution, joy, intellect, inspiration, hope, alertness, and confidence

Green: Growth, harmony, freshness, nature, balance, renewal, tranquility, health, abundance, and serenity

Blue: Trust, stability, calmness, professionalism, loyalty, reliability, intelligence, wisdom, sincerity, and peacefulness

Purple: Luxury, royalty, sophistication, spirituality, ambition, creativity, wealth, dignity, mystery, and imagination

Black: Power, elegance, sophistication, mystery, authority, depth, formality, control, seriousness, and strength

White: Purity, cleanliness, simplicity, innocence, clarity, light, freshness, hope, openness, and neutrality

25 Examples of Color in Advertising:Coca-Cola: The brand uses its iconic red color on billboards to evoke excitement, energy, and happiness. Red also grabs attention, making it easier to notice the ad from a distance.
McDonald’s: The golden arches against the red background create a sense of warmth, friendliness, and happiness, evoking a welcoming atmosphere.
Nike: A bold black background with a white swoosh symbol creates a sense of power, strength, and determination, which aligns with the brand’s image.
Apple: The minimalistic white background with a brightly colored Apple logo evokes a sense of innovation, simplicity, and elegance.
Tiffany & Co.: The brand uses its signature Tiffany blue color to evoke feelings of luxury, elegance, and exclusivity.
Greenpeace: A billboard featuring a green Earth promotes environmental awareness and responsibility, evoking feelings of connection to nature and the planet.
National Geographic: Stunning nature photographs with vivid colors evoke curiosity, adventure, and a desire for exploration.
BMW: A sleek black background with a white logo and car model creates an atmosphere of sophistication, power, and luxury.
Starbucks: The brand’s green logo against a white background evokes a sense of relaxation, warmth, and community.
T-Mobile: A bright magenta background with a white logo evokes energy, enthusiasm, and a sense of being modern and cutting-edge.
Visa: A deep blue background with a white logo creates a sense of security, trust, and reliability.
Dove: A white background with subtle pastel-colored elements evokes a sense of purity, cleanliness, and gentleness.
FedEx: The purple and orange logo on a white background evokes reliability, speed, and efficiency.
American Express: A blue background with a white logo conveys trust, stability, and professionalism.
Sprite: A vibrant green and blue color scheme on the billboard evokes a sense of refreshment and energy.
L’Oréal: A white background with bold red lettering conveys a sense of beauty, confidence, and sophistication.
Goodyear: A yellow and blue color scheme creates a sense of stability, reliability, and longevity.
IKEA: A blue and yellow color scheme evokes feelings of simplicity, affordability, and practicality.
Oreo: A blue background with a white logo and product image evokes a sense of fun, playfulness, and nostalgia.
Gatorade: A bright orange and green color scheme represents energy, performance, and athleticism.
Mastercard: The combination of red, yellow, and orange colors creates a sense of warmth, optimism, and inclusivity.
Canon: A red and white color scheme on the billboard evokes feelings of passion, creativity, and innovation.
Subway: A green and yellow color scheme creates a sense of freshness, health, and sustainability.
UPS: A brown background with a yellow logo evokes a sense of reliability, dependability, and trust.
Airbnb: A pink and white color scheme on a billboard evokes feelings of warmth, friendliness, and a sense of home.

Harnessing the power of color psychology in your designs can effectively evoke the desired emotions in your audience. By choosing the appropriate colors, you can create a visual language that speaks directly to their subconscious. Mastering this color-based communication not only captures attention but also fosters a deeper connection with the brands on your billboards as well.

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