The Not-So-Innocent Color Palette
Colors seem so innocent. You learn about them in kindergarten. You pick out your favorite one at the paint store. You color coordinate your outfits.
But, there’s really nothing simple about them. Behind their innocuous facade, there is a slew of science, psychology, and market research. In the world of advertising and marketing, no color scheme is picked light heartily – there’s just too much at stake.
Each color has it’s own meanings and series of emotions it can evoke, which can often differ depending on the culture and ethnicity of the viewer. Here are some basic examples.
Western Culture – Passion, Excitement, Danger, Love
Eastern Culture – Happiness, Joy, Life, Anger
Western Culture – Harvest, Autumn, Warmth
Eastern Culture – Sacred, Courage, Love
Western Culture – Warmth, Summer, Hospitality, Envy
Eastern Culture – Sacred, Imperial, Commerce, Courage
Western Culture – Trust, Authority, Masculinity, Peaceful
Eastern Culture – Immorality, Strength, Femininity
Western Culture – Luck, Nature, Progress, Envy
Eastern Culture – New Life, Fertility, Youth, Infidelity
Western Culture – Royalty, Wealth, Progress
Eastern Culture – Nobility, Wealth, Mourning
If you find this interesting, check out this really informative article on webdesignerdepot.com. It’s where we pulled some of our information and it lays out the implications for each color in multiple cultural regions, which is a great resource to have if you’re marketing efforts are worldwide.
Or, if you just need some basic information on the psychology of colors and want to see a great infographic, check out this article on socialmediachimps.com.
But, be forewarned, after reading these articles you’ll never look at paint swatches the same way again!