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Psychology & Design: How to Use Colors to Evoke Emotions

There’s a lot of thought that goes into creating your own website. While structure and functionality provide the building blocks of a great site, when you’re ready to wrap it up into the stunning package that it is, design becomes the main driver. There are many elements in design, but the most noticeable will be your use of color.

Color doesn’t just liven up a site and make it look pretty. It also has the ability to affect and evoke specific emotions from people. This tactic has been used countless times in marketing campaigns, all the way down to the logos of brands you see every day. Below, we’ll showcase some of the basics of color psychology so you can get an idea how to use it for your brand.

Color psychology basics

Before we jump in, let’s give you a rundown of some basic colors and what emotions they can evoke:

Think of the logos of some companies you know, like Coca Cola, Facebook and Apple. Three incredibly recognizable brands, all of which you can likely recall the color of their logos as red, blue, and white. While a logo’s color may seem like a casual choice made by the brand, you can be assured that the company selected it for reasons that go outside of simple color selection. The colors used in the logos of the three aforementioned brands exude what they stand for, or at very least, what they’re trying to stand for.

The largest social network in the world has been the center of privacy concerns for a majority of the time it’s been around. It’s logo however is seemingly designed to counter this very thing: a peaceful blue logo. Blue is the color of trust and dependability, which makes it an important color for a website that holds such sensitive information. Blue is also basically the most popular color around and is one of the easiest to look at.

Founded in 1892, Coca Cola has been an every-day name for quite some time and it’s almost impossible to forget its logo. The red background with the cursive writing hasn’t changed much since the 1950’s and for good reason: it works. The color red evokes excitement and energy, and it’s said that the color can increase pulse rates as well.

Red can create a sense of urgency, which is why you’ll see many “Sale!” signs either written in red or behind a red backdrop.

While Apple’s logo used to be more colorful in every way, it switched to a more simple color scheme in the late 90’s and it’s definitely more reflective of the company we know today. The simple, all-white logo is exactly that. Simplicity. The white logo also conjures feelings of clarity and purity.

What’s in a name?

Interestingly enough, the actual color name can affect the way someone can perceive it.

A good example can be found in Samsung’s smartphone, the Galaxy S7. Instead of using black, silver, gold, and white, it offers the S7 in Black Onyx, Silver Titanium, Gold Platinum, and White Pearl.

Adding another descriptive name to a color can increase its allure and intrigue, which may be helpful if you offer products on your website with multiple color options. Who knows, maybe this could help trigger that final synapse in the brain to make someone click “add to cart.”

Need another example? Take a look at any crayon box today that comes with more than the basic colors. While a big box of Crayons is filled with semi-ridiculous color names like Fuzzy Wuzzy, Tickle Me Pink and Inchworm, they’re pretty much unforgettable, and that’s exactly the point.

Ready to color the world with your brand?

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