When it comes to bringing in clients, using a little color theory can really be to your benefit. There’s a psychology to color that is good to keep in mind when building your branding. Some colors inspire trust, while others build excitement.

Keep in mind, too, that colors can mean different things in different cultures. If you do business primarily with other countries, research what colors mean in those countries. They may not mean the same thing that they mean here in the States. For example, in China, red is the color associated with weddings, whereas white is used for funerals. You could be sending the wrong message without even realizing it!

(For purposes of this article, the color meanings listed below are U.S. meanings. I don’t feel qualified to comment on other culture’s color meanings.)

Red

Red is a very intense color, often symbolizing fire or blood. It can mean anger, love, passion, war. A person’s blood pressure can raise, just by looking at it. Website call-to-action buttons often use red because it grabs the eye. It is also commonly used for warning signs, energy drinks, and Valentine’s Day or Christmas products. Softer shades of red (pink) can be seen as very girly and young.

Orange

Orange is a happy color. It often portrays invigoration, joy or fascination. Creativity is also strongly associated with the color orange. It can also commonly used for indicated fall-time, harvest, and Halloween products. Bright orange tends to make people hungry when they view it, so it is used a lot in fast-food restaurants.

Yellow

Yellow can be seen as cheery and fun, or exhilarating and attention-grabbing, depending on the shade used. It can be found in warning signs, and again in fast-food restaurants, alongside orange. Yellow tends to grab attention when used in large quantities, which is why most cabs are this color! Softer shades of yellow tend to be seen as childish and are often used as a neutral baby color.

Green

Green is most associated with new beginnings, growth, learning, and also money. Because of it’s association with nature, it is commonly used for natural products, parks, and other outdoorsy things. Green has similar calming effects to blue, while also being somewhat invigorating. When used in combination with red, it has a strong connotation of Christmas.

Blue

Blue tends to be a very calm color. It is associated with trust, peace and stability. It can also sometimes be associated with sadness. You’ll commonly see this color used in branding for airlines, lawyers, and banks, places that want to portray a sense of dependability. Blue is also seen as a very clean color, reminding us of water.

Purple

Purple is a regal color, often associated with majesty, tall mountains, royalty and God. It can indicate stability, energy, wealth, and mystery. High-end products tend to use purple in their branding to indicate that something is expensive or regal. When used in it’s lighter tones. purple can also be a very feminine color.

White

White is closely associated with innocence and purity, which is why it’s traditionally used at weddings. It indicates clean, pure, unused. Companies associated with good health such as doctors and hospitals tend to use white in their color schemes and buildings. In general, white tends to have a good connotation. In movies, it’s often used to be the color of the hero.

Black

Black is a very powerful color and can be used to portray very powerful emotions. It can mean elegance, power, mystery or evil. Black is commonly associated with luxury and expensive products. It is also connected with grief and death, which is why it’s often used at funerals. In movies, black often indicates the villain character.
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