Exploring Color Psychology

January 19, 2023


Written By: Sarah Reed, Creative Account Executive


Poet and playwright Oscar Wilde once said that color “can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways.”

Have you ever thought about how color affects our day-to-day lives? Color can literally physically affect our bodies, from stimulating circulation and increasing metabolism to reducing our heart rate. Life in black and white just wouldn’t be the same.

That’s why you shouldn’t ignore the importance of color when it comes to defining and marketing your brand. As a Creative Account Executive with extensive experience in graphic design, I’ve created four tips and tools to help you better understand the psychology behind different colors.

The Powerful Role of Color in Marketing
It’s been said that customers consider color more than anything else. It can inspire action, conversation and emotion. But which colors which emotions? To help you use color to your brand’s advantage, I created a breakdown on color theory in the chart below.

Choosing (Or Reevaluating) Your Brand’s Colors

Color should be an important part of your brand. Choose your colors as carefully and thoughtfully as you do your mission and vision:

  • Every color should have a purpose—appeal to your brand’s personality AND target audience
  • Repetition of the same color can increase brand awareness
  • Your color palette should be minimal (1–4 choices). Too many colors can be distracting or take away from your overall message
  • Plan to have base, highlight and neutral colors


Brands Who Use Color to their Advantage
Consider researching successful brands and how they use color. My favorites are:

  • Starbucks. Its use of green reflects calmness and sophistication, which is what I feel every time I walk into one of their coffee shops
  • Apple. Neutral, simple, and modern, just like its products
  • Tiffany & Co. You are a lucky person if you receive a gift in the iconic “Tiffany Blue Box!”
  • Google. Its basic, universal colors have appealed to users around the world ever since the search engine launched in 1998


A Simple Color Exercise
To better understand how different colors affect you, I challenge you to explore the colors in your daily life like I recently did! Check out my results below.

  • A bright blue sky on my walk to work made me feel energized and ready to start my day (yes, I live that close to the office)
  • Emails marked with a red flag helped me focus on upcoming deadlines
  • A meal with green veggies left me feeling healthy and satisfied (it was a fresh jalapeno sushi roll!)
  • A purple peacoat made me feel stylish and confident – especially when a few people complimented me on it!