In class the other day we were talking about how HUGE color is. Think about it, what does red mean? Blue? Even the rainbow? Here is a crash course in color psychology.

A quick study of color psychology

There are like a million and one things to be said with color, but I’ll start with the basics.

Color informs us

This is probably the biggest example of color psychology for me. What does a yellow sign mean? What does a green light indicate- both metaphorically and literally. From an early age we are taught to associate certain colors with certain meanings so when we encounter those colors we almost immediately react.

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Color reminds us

What does this photo’s color say to us? Well to me it first says “SO OUTDATED” then it reminds me of our trip to Alaska. The colors (and quality) automatically tells us that this wasn’t a recent picture (and that I really haven’t changed over the years).

Color inspires us

Case in point: Picasso’s blue period and all the work that has stemmed from that.

Color teaches us

Back to the first point I made, when we are little we associate and learn that those specific colors mean particular things, so when we see something in that color we automatically recognize it’s meaning.

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Color is an identifier

Okay so we were talking about color in a branding aspect so I might as well include it here.

Image via Pinterest

What brand is this?

This color is so popular that we can identify it even without the logo-it’s Tiffany’s in case you were wondering (the box and the wrapping is also iconic). Having specific brand colors not only makes you unique, it can help you be identified easily.

Color evokes emotion

I wish I could find/make a GIF of the scene in the Golden Girls where Blanche tells Dorothy about feeling magenta. “You’re not red with anger, blue with sadness or yellow with jealousy so you’re just magenta,”. (I feel like need to make a bibliography now). Color is without a doubt one of the most powerful ways to express emotion.

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What do you think/know about color psychology?

Author: Alix Maza

Alix is a college student, Step Up Magazine contributor, wannabe author, blogger and a super girly-girl who loves dogs and is entirely too dependent on coffee.

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  • Love this! Have read quite a few great books on logo designs, marketing and branding and the clever use of colours. Also ps trivia: blue as a cooked food is rarely a colour used in food because apparently psychologically the brain doesn’t associate it with edibles.

    • No wonder! Such an interesting tidbit!

  • Katherine

    This is so interesting! I love when colors really define a brand – or even a blog – because I feel like I know what to expect and feel.

  • Shevii McFarlane

    All I can remember about color psych, it’s likely because elements such as personal preference, experiences, upbringing, cultural differences, context, etc., often distort the effect individual colors have on us. Like Juliana said, we rarely associate blue with food so whenever we see that we’re a bit skeptical to try it.

    • Color plays a huge role in our perspective!

  • When choosing my logo and brand colors I was very careful to look at color psychology. It is fascinating.

    • Lol I didn’t even think about it when I created mine, luckily I picked one I really liked!

  • Erika De La Castro

    This is super interesting because I’m new to blogging… At first my blog was blue centered, but now it’s more pinks, and I do think that goes well with my brand.

  • April@LoveOurRealLife

    So interesting! I want to spend a little time investing color…it may make me want to change my blog theme colors!

  • This is such an interesting topic! I took a psychology class when I was in college and we talked a little about this, but I would always love to know more!

    xoox, SS

    Southern and Style

    • I was a psych major and I think color psychology only got a mention haha.

  • Angeline Holub

    Love this post, so interesting. Thanks for sharing : )

  • This is an awesome post! I love learning about the meaning of colors, it’s so interesting

    • I do too! I kinda have a weird obsession about learning deeper meanings haha.

  • What a fun post idea! It would be so fun to turn this into a fashion series and how to pick outfits based on color psychology and theory!

  • Very interesting post! I would definitely love to learn more about this.

    • Our text declared a whole chapter to it and I still wanted more haha.

  • Fascinating! Colors have always fascinated me since I was a little kid- I was really into art so I loved mixing paints and studying color theory. Love how you tied this into marketing and branding!

    • I just re-did my personal logo and color played a huge part in it!

  • What a cool post! I’ve never read something about color psychology that was written in an interesting way. I love seeing images of color psychology on Pinterest because I’m a home decor lover! & I love the way you wrote this and broke down each aspect of color.

  • This is super interesting! I work in marketing so I’ve done some research about colours and how they can influence the decision buying in customers and it’s truly remarkable how many subtle messages one simple colour can send!

    Cristina | *janded

  • Lynn White

    This is such a great post! I could read about color theory all day long. When I used to design and develop websites for clients, this is something I always talked about. Color isn’t just about the color.

    • No it’s so simple, yet so powerful!

  • Taylor Smith

    Colors really are important! I love color theory – especially when it comes to branding and design.

  • This is definitely interesting and I agree, color is very powerful. Like have you heard they say that red’s and yellow’s make you hungry — so a ton of commercials and fast food places use those colors. Crazy!
    xo, Lily
    Beauty With Lily

    • Omg they totally do! I need to watch more carefully haha.

  • I love all of this about color! Specific colors definitely remind me of certain feelings or memories, and any time I wear a certain color, I tend to feel a certain way – for example, I feel VERY powerful in blue and purple but very laid back and casual in grey.

    • Most to all my pajamas are blue and gray- totally calming colors for me haha.

  • This is super interesting! Colors really are important for branding.

  • Bronke Luysterman

    I think colours are more powerful that people generally imaging. Almost averything people buy or want has been influenced by colour and how they interact and feel with that colour. all without realizing it.

  • Isn’t crazy how much color plays a part in things!? It really does change everything!

  • I love this post! Color plays a huge part in my fashion choices. It really does make a huge impact and so fun to experiment with!

    • That’s so cool! I may need to write about color psychology and fashion.

  • Sydney Power

    Absolutely true! Color is one of the most important when it comes to branding. This is great to read.

  • Tori Dunlap

    I have a degree in theatre — so much of technical theatre (costumes, lighting design, set design) is based on color and the way it makes people feel.
    Tori || Victori Media

  • Color is so important. I totally agree it effects your mood and so important in your brands.

  • Taylor Bush

    Such an interesting topic to cover!

  • So so true! I had a class that talked about this in college!

  • It’s so amazing how a color can recall instantly so many tiny details to mind! That Tiffany’s color is certainly iconic!

    • It is! I always know exactly what it is.

  • Elly

    hahaha I love the GG “feeling magenta” bit. and this is such an interesting topic!