Color: Non-Verbal Communication

Color is a form of non-verbal communication. It has the ability to awaken thoughts of memories, stimulate the senses and represent abstract ideas. It is important to consider the psychology of color in design. Is it simply a coincidence that Microsoft, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook all use blue as the dominant color in their logo? Probably not.

Blue is strongly associated with the sky and water – a constant in our daily lives. Blue is dependable, trustworthy, inspires confidence and has a calming effect. Blue is considered one of the least “gender-specific” colors having equal appeal to both men and women. GE, Ford, Dell & HP display their resilience with blue.

Red is considered a provocative and stimulating color that ties the human mind with exhilaration and high energy. Red has also long been linked with intense feelings as a chemical message is sent to your adrenal medulla and releases the hormone epinephrine. Thus causing you to breathe more rapidly and increase your heart rate. Target, CNN and Coca-Cola display how red stands out next to a subordinate white color.

Pink can be fun and exciting as it is vivid, but it is also thought of as faddish or trendy. Softer pinks are thought of sweet and sensually, while bolder pinks are romantic and intriguing. Victoria’s Secret created an entire successful youthful clothing line in PINK.

Orange is thought to be a friendly color often associated with autumn foliage. Orange is also perceived as a color that shouldn’t be taken too seriously; a dramatic exclamation point generally preferred by the extroverted personality. Exciting, dramatic and fun. Nickelodeon and Fanta use orange in fun energetic ways.

Yellow, like a bright ray of sunlight shining down, this color communicates positive energy and warmth. It is eye-catching, cheerful, and when paired with an accent color such as black, it is often associated with dangers like a stinging insect. Brands such as Nikon, Best Buy and IKEA use cheerful yellow logos.

Brown is a warm, rustic and rich color that is associated with earthy durability. Brown has the ability to elicits a positive response, however, some consumers relate to brown as dirty. Perhaps not the best color in the high fashion industry. UPS has done well with their signature brown look.

Green offers a wide array of pleasant responses. Often linked to nature, green is considered fresh and healthy. Deep greens are associated with wealth and money. Mint green is associated with both a refreshing and fresh responses. Bright greens are related with grass, the first bulbs of spring, and renewed energy. You can find successful green branding with Starbucks, Animal Planet, and Android.

Purple is complex in a good way. It is sensual, elegant, eccentric and historically royal as well as mysterious. Purple can be spiritual, smooth, and an attention-getter. Think Hallmark, Yahoo, and FedEx.

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