Color Moods – The Impact of Color

Here is a list of some of the common colors and what type of psychological emotion they invoke in people from the website

RED is associated with love, passion, danger, warning, excitement, food, impulse, action, adventure.
BLUE is associated with trustworthiness, success, seriousness, calmness, power, professionalism.
GREEN is associated with money, nature, animals, health, healing, life, harmony.
ORANGE is associated with comfort, creativity, celebration, fun, youth, affordability.
PURPLE is associated with royalty, justice, ambiguity, uncertainty, luxury, fantasy, dreams.
WHITE is associated with innocence, purity, cleanliness, simplicity.
YELLOW is associated with curiosity, playfulness, cheerfulness, amusement.
PINK is associated with softness, sweetness, innocence, youthfulness, tenderness.
BROWN is associated with earth, nature, tribal, primitive, simplicity.
GREY is associated with neutralality, indifference, reserved.
BLACK is associated with seriousness, darkness, mystery, secrecy.

From the Color Matters website you can see that color plays an important role in marketing.

1) Research reveals people make a subconscious judgment about a person, environment, or product within 90 seconds of initial viewing and that between 62% and 90% of that assessment is based on color alone. – Source: CCICOLOR – Institute for Color Research

2) Color increases brand recognition by up to 80 percent – University of Loyola, Maryland study

3) If a picture is worth a thousand words, a picture with natural colors may be worth a million, memory-wise. Psychologists have documented that “living color” does more than appeal to the senses. It also boosts memory for scenes in the natural world. Color helps us to process and store images more efficiently than colorless (black and white) scenes. – The findings were reported in the May 2002 issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, published by the American Psychological Association (APA)

92% Believe color presents an image of impressive quality
90% Feel color can assist in attracting new customers
90% Believe customers remember presentations and documents better when color is used
83% Believe color makes them appear more successful
81% Think color gives them a competitive edge
76% Believe that the use of color makes their business appear larger to clients
Source: Conducted by Xerox Corporation and International Communications Research from February 19, 2003 to March 7, 2003, margin of error of +/- 3.1%.

Paint Color Moods


From a great website called I learned more about paint colors than I ever new and while they are referring to wall colors I think they apply to printed material too.

Red, orange, and yellow Colors in the red, orange and yellow families are referred to as “warm” colors since they evoke images associated with heat, like fire or sunshine. As a result they make us feel warm in a psychological sense.

This powerful color increases blood pressure and heart rate. It often produces feelings of intimacy, energy, passion and sexuality. It also stimulates the appetite and is often used in restaurants and is an excellent choice for dining rooms in the home.

Like red, orange warms a room but in a less dramatic and passionate way. The mood and attitude of orange is more friendly than fiery; more welcoming than seductive. Orange works well in living rooms and family rooms and is also a good choice for children’s bedrooms.

Yellow grabs attention and catches the eye like no other color, hence the use of yellow highlighters in offices. In poorly lit foyers and hallways, yellow shows the way. In their bedrooms, elderly people report that yellow lifts their mood. But bright yellow can be too strong and may actually cause anxiety in infants, young children and the elderly.

Blue, green, and violet Blues, greens, violets and their intermediates are considered cool colors because of their references to pastoral landscapes and ocean vistas. When we look at these colors they elicit feelings of peace, tranquility and relaxation.

Soothing blue is an ideal bedroom color choice for adults and children. But that same blue that lulls us to sleep also suppresses our appetites, possibly because there are very few naturally blue foods. Put blue to bed, but try and keep it out of the dining room.

As the dominant color in nature, we are at home with green anywhere in the house. Light greens work well in baths and living rooms; mid-range greens are a great accent for kitchens and dining rooms. The calming effect of green makes it popular in hospitals, schools and work environments.

Despite the favorable response violet elicits in children, many adults dislike purples, with rosier shades of violet being somewhat more appealing. Children’s bedrooms and play areas may be good places to experiment with this color family.