Color Cues
What You Don’t Know Could Hurt

Colors can give such a boost to your company’s identity, promotions, web sites, and your personal image, and yet we forget their powers. Color can be the significant ingredient recalled by your customers, it could be what sets you apart in a world of competitors and clutter.

Bright colors such as red, yellow and orange have been associated with making children more excitable, so color should be chosen carefully if specific results are being targeted in actions and moods.

Listed below is a quick recap of colors and feelings associated with each of these normally. Different shades, blends, trends, and combinations can change some of the dynamics.

Red is impulsive and correlates with action, emergency, power, demanding, aggressiveness, passion, and it just takes a little before it’s the first and only thing you see. Red is still related to debt and late notices in finances.

Blue being the calm, sensitive, understanding, medical, insightful color of trust. Blue is commonly used in hospitals because it actually reduces stress-related illnesses.

Black for formal, superior, strength, and bold.

Brown is still casual, comforting, non-demanding, easy-going, steady, neutral and earth friendly. Less important documents in business tend to be brown, storage files, etc.

Green is back for earth friendly, cleanliness, lively and conservative in business. Several banks use green for money and trust.

Purple being from royalty can be engaging or offensive, people love it or hate it.

Pink more accepted than in the past and has really become the girly color and medical in association. We see fewer attempts in engaging pink in masculine materials, although most guys look great in pink.

Gray represents knowledge, control, corporate, conservative, strength, and is rather cold.

Yellow is still happy, positive, friendly, inexpensive associations, and serves to alert so use sparingly since too much can get on your nerves.

White is associated with quiet, clean, pure, precise and open.

Orange is a fun color, so think of Halloween and brightly colored construction materials, and works well for informing.

Colors and association change when operating outside of American Culture and should be evaluated in other parts of the world accordingly. The differences are offensive at times, so be careful.

Guerrilla Marketing tells us that lasting impressions are made within 90 seconds and color accounts for 60% of acceptance or rejection in addition, there are 600,000 non-verbal cues and people respond to non-verbal cues more than to verbal ones, (Guerrilla Marketing 3rd Edition).

Although color is important we can point to several areas today where the effect of color has been ignored or forgotten. In work environments across the nation color has been forfeited or used for management purposes rather than for the human spirits of the masses at work daily. Although windows and light are not colors, they are critical to the well being of human behavior as well. So depending upon whether you are setting up an office or preparing work materials it might be worth your time to stop and evaluate your color choices. Deeper insight into colors can provide you with that extra edge you might be looking for and you may even be surprised by how much research has been devoted to color and it’s association to economic cycles, occupational correlations, and behavior modifications.

A great resource for color information is where they take color very seriously and have significant supporters.

Submitted by Debbie Newhouse
Newhouse Strategic Marketing Inc. &
Rev Up Now, LLC
March 11, 2008