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Color Psychology: What is Psychology in Graphic Design

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Have you wondered why most of the food packs are green in color? Or, why soap/detergent brands are choosy with color? How important is color in placing the product on the cart? You’ll find all your answers as you flick through this blog. Before you get there, here’s the thing: Up to 90 percent of the customers judge the product by its color itself. A little color can go a long way to get your product to jump off the shelves. So, check out the color theory psychology before you start designing.

What does color matter?

If the content is the king, color is the emotional cue. While color interpretation is subjective, you can know how it prompts product purchases. Let’s deconstruct the dynamics of colors:

Color Theory

Color theory

Color theory is a systematic structure. It’s a combination of creativity and science. The approach helps you understand what happens when you mix two or more colors. Sir Isaac Newton developed a color wheel out of the spectrum. The wheel signifies color relationships. By using it, you can find your perfect combination. Aesthetically pleasing pairs are called harmony. You can also place colors to see a pleasing effect. Further, you can utilize this to decide on your brand color.

The colors are in three divisions – primary, secondary, and tertiary. Slide in to know more:

  • Primary colors: These are three pigment colors – red, yellow, and blue. It’s a stand alone color. You can form other colors by mixing them equally.
  • Secondary colors: Mixture of two primary colors in equal proportions forms secondary colors. It includes Green, orange, and purple.
  • Tertiary colors: By blending primary and secondary colors in equal proportions, you’ll get tertiary colors. It’s a six-pack of colors – yellow-orange, red-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green, and yellow-green.

Color Combinations

It’s a scheme of colors used in the design discipline. Brush up to make the correct color choice:

  • Complementary colors: These are colors opposite to each other on the color wheel. When combined, these colors make each other pop up. You can blend them to form hues and shadow. For your knowledge, here’s the first set of complementary colors:
  • Yellow and purple
  • Blue and orange
  • Red and green

See what happens when you play with tertiary colors:

  • Yellow-orange and blue-purple (indigo)
  • Orange-red and blue-green (aqua)
  • Red-purple (pink) and green-yellow
  • Monochromatic color: These colors from a single hue base. Since they use different tones from the same angle on the color wheel, they complement each other. You can make bold statements with monochromatic aesthetics.

Color Effect

Color Effect

While the color interpretation differs from person to person, its effect is universal. It’s an epitome of emotions. Towards the red area of the spectrum, you’ll find warm colors. These colors are red, orange, and yellow. You can pique emotions such as warmth, comfort, anger, and unfriendliness. Move to the blue side of the spectrum; you’ll see cool colors. It includes blue, purple, and green. As the name suggests, it refreshes the mood. But, sometimes, you can also set sadness or indifference.

Color Psychology

When there’s content on all sides, color makes you pop out. It catches the attention of the audience. Your audience perceives just the way you want. The choice of color determines its importance and readability.

As a marketer, you know that emotional satisfaction drives sales. You use the right colors to increase the level of satisfaction. Once you grab their attention, you easily mold their thought process.

From a psychological impact on changing them to potential customers, color plays a huge role. However, you’re likely to be ignored if you fail to make the right color choice. You have to play with colors safely. For example, the red cross symbol used by hospitals represents danger and protection. Not everyone is entitled to use it. If you change the color, the meaning of the message can differ.

Color also shapes the brand image. Is it possible to imagine Coca-Cola without the swirling red logo, or Nike without its signature black tick? It’s why color psychology matters in your branding. Color psychology is about customers’ perception and their behavior.

Color affects the decisions of your customer. They evaluate you based on your color. While color preference varies from person to person, it creates emotions, triggers memories, causes a sensation. The context of customers affects decision-making. That’s why there’s a difference in the way two individuals perceive the same color.

For instance, wearing a white dress for a wedding in one culture signifies happiness and purity. But in another culture, white is associated with grief. While designing, you have you scan your target audience to know what colors they follow.

Striking a perfect balance between your brand values and the external world’s belief system is a smart strategy. It’s never too late to strategize and invest in your color palette.

Color palette

color palette

A color palette/scheme is a color combination used by brands. When used correctly, color palettes form the visual base for your identity. It helps to maintain consistency, and make your design worth remembering. You can also have a look at the business color palette

Wrap up

If you got all answered, spin your color wheel to find what color says about your brand. Color is such an intrinsic part of your branding. Remember, all text and no color can make your design boring. However, if you give proper attention, you’re close to a meaningful customer conversation. Check out All Time Design for more ideas and play with color psychology. Get started!


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