For over 30 years I have paid attention to things like font styles and colors in my marketing and communication materials. I know there is an incredible amount of hard facts and science behind emotions and effects of colors. This is an infographic that nicely covers the various primary colors with numerous impacts based upon a couple of solid research sources.
Each year Color Marketing Group releases a reprt on what the hot color trends are for the coming year here is what they identified for 2010
According to CMG, look for these additional color trends in 2010:
- Red – Reds are strong with pink intuition; bright and clean with energy and excitement — a clean pop to go with neutrals.
- Yellow – A greener, more natural yellow, softened with gray.
- Green – Optimistic and uplifting, a clear and bright accent green with a slight shift toward blue.
- Blue – A saturated blue with gray influences; rich without being too luxe.
- Beige-Brown – A true chameleon to complement darker hues, it can be either matte or metallic.
- Neutral-Gray – Gray with a touch of purple, drawing inspiration from mineral, concrete and steel.
They will most probably be releasing a report soon on 2011 – you can usually find it here – Color Trends
Here is a great article on color symbolism on about.com with links to detailed descriptions of each color.
Here is a brief summary on key colors and the psychology of the individual colors.
Are Color Choices Important?
Red is a very strong color. It is a noticeable color that is often used on caution and warning signs. It is often associated with stop or “beware”. It’s a hot color that evokes a powerful emotion of passion, lust, sex, energy, blood and war. Red is a good color to use for accents that need to take notice over other colors. Red is often used as a symbol of pride and strength.
Orange is a combination of Red and Yellow. It is also a bright and warm color. It represents fire, the sun, fun, warmth and tropical images. It is considered a fun light color and increases oxygen supply to the brain and stimulates mental activity. It is highly accepted among young people. Any design relating to the tropics, something fun, easy going and youthful should incorporate some type of orange into the design.
Yellow is the brightest color to the human eye. It represents youth, fun, happiness, sunshine and other light playful feelings. It is a cheerful energetic color. Yellow is often hard to read when placed on a white background so designers must be careful when using yellow. Though yellow is a bright cheerful color, as it starts to darken, it quickly becomes a dirty and unpleasant color. Yellow can also be associated with being scared and, cowards. The term “yellow belly” is proof of that.
Green is the color of nature and health. It represents growth, nature, money, fertility and safety. Green is a relaxing color that is easy on the eye and has a healing power to it. It is often used to represent anything having to do with health. Many nutritional companies use green in their logos and material to advertise safe natural products. Dark green is commonly associated with the military, money, finance, and banking. However it can also be associated with being new or inexperienced as being green or a “green horn”. Green is a very popular color in design for web sites.
Blue is a cool calming color that shows creativity and intelligence. It is a popular color among large corporations, hospitals and airlines. It is a color of loyalty, strength, wisdom and trust. Blue has a calming effect on the psyche. Blue is the color of the sky and the sea and is often used to represent those images. Blue is a color that generally looks good in almost any shade and is a popular color among males.
Purple combines the stability of blue and the energy of red. Throughout history purple has been associated with royalty, nobility and prestige. It symbolizes mystery, magic, power and luxury. Purple is often used to portray rich powerful kings, leaders, wizards and magicians. Purple combined with gold can be flashy and portray wealth and extravagance.
Black is a very powerful color that also portrays one of class elegance and wealth. Classy clothing is designed in black from the “power suit” to the “sexy black dress” to formal “black-tie attire”. Black combined with other colors can have a very strong statement. Black is a color that can fit into almost every design to add contrast, type, and make the other colors stand out more. Black also is often a color used to portray something evil, depressing, scary or even death in western civilization. It can have negative imagery with it at times such as “black mail” “black list” “black hole” etc.
White is often associated with being pure, clean, fresh and good. The color of a fresh snowstorm brings up images of a peaceful and pure winter scene. White is a common background as it is easy to read black or dark text on it. When used with a design using lots of negative space it gives a very clean look to it. Hollywood often portrays their characters in white as being good; the white horse, the cowboy with the white hat, the white wizard etc. White usually is associated with being pure and almost heavenly.
How Do You Choose A Color For Your Blog?
When we work with customers on their business marketing and their business foundation – we always include the component of who is your customer and your ideal customer profile. When you know who your customer is and stop trying to be everything to everyone – focusing in on your most valuable customer segment – you can then identify and profile their demographics, mindset and what group they are in on the product adoption curve.
Armed with this and your business product/service mission and how to add value to your customer – selecting color themes is a step you can take rather easily. Understanding the meaning of color and the message in the colors you use and the power it can bring to your message is another detail a successful entrepreneur pays attention to on their journey.
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