Communicating with Color

Next time you want to make a bold statement, try saying it with color!
Depending on what type of message or meaning you wish to convey, the color combinations you choose can support, emphasize, or contradict your message. Color stimulates the senses, symbolizes abstract concepts and thoughts, expresses fantasy or wish fulfillment, and produces an aesthetic or emotional response.
According to the Institute for Color Research, humans make a subconscious judgment about a person, environment, or item within 90 seconds of initial viewing, and the majority of that assessment is based on color alone. Because color delivers an instant impression that is generally understood universally, color is very important in conveying a mood or idea where verbiage is not used or understood.
The power of color combinations can also be seen on many levels of marketing communication, including corporate identification and logos, signage, television ads, billboards, print media and packaging, online web sites, and on point-of-purchase displays.
Here is a small sampling of dominant colors and the responses they elicit:
  • Red: Exciting, energizing, sexy, hot, dynamic, stimulating, provocative, aggressive, powerful
  • Bright Pink: Happy, attention-getting, youthful, spirited, fun, wild
  • Light Pink: Romantic, soft, sweet, tender, cute, babies
  • Orange: Fun, childlike, harvest, juicy, friendly, loud
  • Beige: Classic, sandy, earthy, natural, soft
  • Brown: Wholesome, warm, woodsy, rustic, durable, masculine
  • Purple: Royalty, powerful, expensive
  • Light Blue: Calm, quiet, peaceful, cool, water, clean
  • Bright Blue: Electric, vibrant, stirring, dramatic
  • Bright Yellow: Enlightening, sunshine, cheerful, friendly, energy, happy
  • Black: Powerful, elegant, mysterious, bold, classic, magical, nighttime
  • Silver: Classic, cool, money, valuable, futuristic
  • Gold: Warm, opulent, expensive, radiant, valuable, prestigious

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