The Emotion of Color: Breaking Things Down


Payman Taei Founder of Visme

Thursday, August 8, 2019

There's a moment early on in the first act of the Hollywood classic "The Wizard of Oz" where something profound happens. Up until that point, the entire movie had been in black and white - very typical for a film of that era. But all of a sudden, when Dorothy first steps foot in the magical land of Oz, the film suddenly shifts from black and white to full, glorious color.

Article 3 Minutes
The Emotion of Color: Breaking Things Down

It's so unexpected - and so beautiful to look at - that it's still one of the most incredible moments in cinema history.

That same impact - that sense of wonder - is absolutely something you can create in your own marketing collateral so long as you have the raw, genuine emotion of color by your side.

Color psychology in marketing: What you need to know

Much has been written about how various colors used in marketing materials can trigger certain emotions within your target audience members and indeed, that's still just as true as it ever was. The next time you use a poster maker on a piece of collateral announcing your next big product, use colors like:

  • Orange, which is a great way to convey warmth and clarity.
  • Red, which is bold and creates a sense of excitement.
  • Blue, which can be a perfect opportunity to give a sense of strength and trust.
  • Yellow, which can be very cheerful and can boost confidence in certain contexts.

However, this is all important for reasons beyond just the fact that your poster will look better. Research has shown that the proper use of color actually makes someone more likely to buy your product, too. One recent study revealed that:

  • The appropriate use of color can increase brand recognition by as much as 80%.
  • It can also raise visual appearance by a staggering 93%.
  • Not only that, but about 85% of people who responded to the same study said that color was one of the major reasons why they decided to purchase a product in the first place.

So if anything, the emotion of color can create something of a two-staged impact on your target audience members. Not only can something like orange get them more excited about the product in the first place, but it will ALSO make them more likely to take the next desired step and buy one for themselves.

Based on that, the next time someone tells you that you're spending too much time focusing on the color selections of your marketing collateral, you can tell them that science respectfully disagrees with that opinion.

Further experimentation with the impact of color

It's also important to note that the precise use of color can be a great way to subtlety convey the relationship between two or more ideas or concepts, too. Say you're using a pie chart maker like Visme (which I founded) to break down the current market shares between you and your four closest competitors. Each "slice" of the pie will naturally be represented by a different color to signify the four organizations... but that doesn't mean you can't take this visual impact one step further.

By choosing a brighter color to represent your slice and darker colors to represent everyone else, you're essentially "casting" your brand as the "hero" of this particular story with the other companies as the defacto "villains." But the best part is that you're also doing so without actually writing anything negative about any other business. All you're doing is using a little good, old-fashioned psychology to your advantage.

IFP highlights the connotations of each color

But in the end, it's important to remember that while the emotion of color is a powerful element, it’s still just one of many tools in your arsenal. If the message at the heart of your content isn't inherently compelling and worth engaging with, all the colors in the world won't be able to help you. Because of that, you still need to use a service like Respona to research topics that your audience members care about and you need to make sure you know as much as you can about those audience members to begin with.

Having said that, once all of those other elements are in place, the emotion of color may very well be the thing that seals the deal - turning passive observers into a small army of loyal brand advocates before your very eyes.

Payman Taei

Payman Taei is the founder of Visme, an easy-to-use online tool to create engaging presentations, infographics, and other forms of visual content. He is also the founder of HindSite Interactive, an award-winning Maryland digital agency specializing in website design, user experience and web app development.


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