When it comes to marketing, color can make the difference between landing in the black or running in the red. There’s the deep, bold hue that earned IBM the nickname “Big Blue,” not to mention Coca-Cola’s globally recognizable shade of red. Color is crucial to your brand and marketing identity—and not every hue is created equal.

Visme gives basically a graduate course in the psychology of color in this in-depth blog post, and the whole thing is worth a (pretty darn long) read. Here are our colorful (and quick!) CLIKK Notes:

Life Begins in Black and White

Fun fact: when babies are born, they can’t see colors. The ability to see red kicks in around five weeks, and it takes five months for full-color vision to develop. Early color associations (yellow for sun, green for grass) stay with us a lifetime, but these associations do change across culture and time; the Western norm of “pink for girls, blue for boys” actually used to be reversed.

The one universal is the “lab coat effect”: around the world, anyone is likely to think more highly of medical care when the doctor is wearing a white coat. Guess you could say doctors found a color which is, ahem, immune to changes in popular opinion.

 

Primary, Saturated, Complementary

Visual communication is key in your marketing, and color speaks volumes. If your product (or promotion) is “natural,” go green (or brown, but carefully) with your primary hue. Aiming for luxury and prestige? There’s a reason black graces premium credit cards. Projecting power? See red. And if your brand is holistic or spiritual, violet works… as long as you don’t go crazy with it.

Here’s a quick rundown of the qualities most commonly associated with Roy G. Biv and his friends:

Red: Powerful and strong. Great choice for your CTAs.

Orange: Warm, inviting, and creative. Orange is a playful color that also makes a good accent.

Yellow: Fresh and happy. Yellow can brighten up your messages.

Green: Eco-friendly, natural, and clean. Green is your go-to when marketing natural products or earth-conscious promotions.

Blue: Calming but not boring (think sky and sea). Believe it or not, blue is the most-preferred color for both male and female buyers. Light and medium shades of blue are particularly favored by healthcare providers and insurance companies.

Indigo: Deep, tranquil, and trustworthy.

Violet: Lush and regal. Purple is a favorite with female consumers, but it’s an easy color to overdo.

White: Pure and spacious. An indispensable color for any marketing… never forget the white space!

Metallics: Flashy and festive. Gold and silver add pizzazz and an air of glamour to promotional messaging.

 

Complement and Balance

There’s a broad palette of different ways to arrange color elements in your visual communications. Just make sure you follow a consistent and cohesive scheme; don’t throw every color on the wheel into a template. As with home decorating, it’s more effective to add just a pop of something unexpected, like a warm call to action to close a message that relies mostly upon cool shades.

Last but not least: always leave yourself some white space, but remember that white space can still be overdone. Dark text on a light background is a whole situation for a reason… do you want your audience to get eye strain? Because that’s how you get eye strain.

Until next time, see y’all somewhere over the rainbow!

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