Basic Tenets of Color Psychology. How Are People Perceiving Your Company?

In almost ever scenario we make decisions based on our perception. Studies have been conducted that show people will gravitate towards things that they perceive to be attractive.

Whether your suiting up for a potential date or ordering something from a drive through menu, let’s face it – you often choose to go with something that looks “good” to you.

Well, your potential prospects, customers and clients are reacting the same way. Through their visual instincts.

People tend to go with what their gut or emotions are telling them.

This varies based on the situation, goals or desired outcome an individual wants to achieve. Let’s take two contrasting examples to showcase a point:

First we’ll take an obvious choice, McDonalds. Can you picture McDonald’s logo, its colors, the pictures the brand uses, how it displays its products? Of course you can.

Now view those same images in your mind again. How do they make you feel? Are they warm, inviting, nostalgic, exciting? I would put my money on the fact that these are the exact feelings you are having (or at least what a vast majority of people feel), even if you don’t eat there!

Ok, wipe those images out of your head for a moment. We’ll come back to them here shortly.

Have you got everything cleared yet?

Now for our second example picture the jewlery company, Tiffany’s.

Surprised? Well what are the first few images that come to your mind? Can you picture its logo? Maybe…maybe not, but can you picture the little boxes its jewelry comes in? What color is it? If you’re ever been into a Tiffany’s store can you think of the other colors, images, layout, and the fonts they choose to use?

Now take a moment and look deeper inside yourself. What feelings and thoughts are you starting to have? Are they more calming, more trusting, more sophisticated. Do you feel a sense of elegance?

Are you starting to see where I’m going with this? Compare the feelings and thoughts you had with both companies.

You may say to yourself, “Well these are two completely different industries. You’re comparing apples and oranges.” And you would be right to an extent.

But think of other similar companies such as Starbucks, Long John Silvers, or Zales, and Kay Jewelers. Each of these companies – within the same industry – provoke different feelings. Your perception of each company is different.

If you consider the basic tenets of color psychology, you’ll quickly realize your company’s branding is already conveying a message. The fact is color psychology IS sending a message (positive or negative), which encourages people to take a desired action, increase sales or compel them to feel a certain way about your company.

Whether or not you decide to review your company’s branding (logo, website design, font selection, imagery and product packaging), people WILL make decisions based on their perceptions. As an artist/designer, I believe how a company is represented in every visual design is a crucial consideration for all businesses.

What I am trying to get your brain on to in this post is the importance of thinking about how people are going to instinctively view and treat your company based on what they see, and how they feel about what they see. Your company colors, the fonts you choose, down to the imagery you use all play a role in the decisions your audience makes on a subconscious, instinctive level.

The final question I have for you:

Have you given any thought to how people (your prospects and customers) perceive your company?

Remember, EVERY visual component – your logo, your website, and all your marketing channels – are communicating an emotional message. I urge you to take serious thought into what message you want to communicate.