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Why colors matter in design

With every design project, a lot of thought goes into drafting layouts, creating copy, development and coding.  All these pieces help to create a strong voice for your brand, but did you know colors have persuasion power of their own?

Many studies have proven that colors can change your mood, increase your appetite, or even make you want to spend more money. Below are 8 popular colors that may change your mind about how you view the colorful world around you.



Are you getting hungry? The color yellow can create a feeling of increased appetite (thus the Yellow Arches). Additionally, the color symbolizes energy and speed — think Ferrari and DHL.

Orange is a very cheerful color, but when used in marketing it can personify fairness and affordability. You’ll notice companies such as Home Depot and Payless use this color to communicate a good value.

STOP! This is one of the reactions red can evoke. Customers may be urged to stop and look twice at your design materials.They also may find the color creates a feeling of warmth and excitement — a tactic Coke-a-Cola uses to their advantage. On the other hand, customers may be flooded with a feeling of warning before making a purchase, so use this color carefully!

The color purple is used in association with imaginative brands. Violet can also be a symbol of royalty and beauty.

You may commonly see blue used for insurance companies and banks. This is because the color evokes feelings of trust, dependability, and security. Studies show the color can improve customer loyalty.

This is the signature color of eco-minded companies. The color communicates growth-related goals and healthly lifestyles.

Think Apple here. White or gray suggests a feeling of simplicity and purity. It also stands for modernity and honesty. Using white is currently a very popular branding technique.

Black is a color of sophistication. You may notice many upscale brands such as Johnny Walker, MAC, and many car companies use this color to symbolize their high-end and upscale brand position.

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Ali Green

Co-Founder and Creative Director
Schooled in both design and marketing, Ali adds the analytical skills of an engineer to complicated digital marketing strategies.

View Ali's Profile

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  1. I knew there were correlations between colors and moods (Room Painting 101), but I never knew those relationships in quite this detail. The chart is nothing short of fascinating. So THAT’S what they’re up to, huh?

  2. That’s really a great chart! This does seem to relate to American companies which is great but I know there are certain colors that are culturally wrong to use. Apparently, in Japan the color red invokes “anger and danger”. Good stuff to know when designing for folks!

  3. this is really interesting and so useful. i’m glad to use it as a reference point with respect to my newsletter. i tend to gravitate towards blues so i guess i’m trying to show i’m dependable. what a great post!

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