Colours in Ads: How they affect us?

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Colour theory is a central and often overlooked area of design. On a simple level, the colours on the warm side of the spectrum – such as red and yellow – are bold, uplifting and energetic, while their cooler counterparts, blue and green, exude calmness and feel more reserved. If you know it or not, colours speak very loud to our subconscious and have a positive or negative reaction within 90 seconds. On the web you have less that 30 seconds to make a good first impression.

BLACK suggests authority, power, boldness, seriousness, is distinguishing and classic. Business wise it’s great for creating drama and is good for a background colour (except on websites, it is very hard on the eyes). It is ideal for text on a light background. Black also implies submission and is associated with evil.

BLUE suggests security, authority, faithfulness and dignity. For business it suggests sanctuary and fiscal responsibility. It is the most popular and the second most powerful colour. Blue can also be cold and depressing. People are more productive in blue rooms.

BROWN suggests richness, politeness, helpfulness and effectiveness. In business it suggests less important items. Solid, reliable brown is the colour of earth and is abundant in nature. Light brown implies genuineness while dark brown is similar to wood or leather.

GREY suggests authority, practicality, earnestness and creativity. Business wise it is traditional and conservative.

GREEN suggests health, fertility, freedom, freshness, healing, tranquility and jealousy. Businesses use it to communicate status and wealth. It is the easiest colour on the eye and can improve vision. It is a calming, refreshing colour.

ORANGE suggests pleasure, cool, excitement, cheer, endurance, strength and ambition. For business it is good for highlighting information on charts and graphs.

PINK suggests femininity, gentleness, well being and innocence. For business you must be aware of it’s feminine links and implications.

PURPLE suggests spirituality, royalty, luxury, wealth, sophistication, authority and mournfulness. In business it is upscale and works with artistic types. It is also feminine and romantic. However, because it is rare in nature, purple can appear artificial.

RED suggests excitement, strength, sex, passion, vitality, aggressiveness and commands attention. Business wise it associated with debt, is great for boldness and accents. The most emotionally intense colour, red stimulates a faster heartbeat and breathing.

WHITE suggests refined, purity, devotion, contemporary and truthfulness. For business it can be sterile and refreshing. The best colour on the web for a background colour.

YELLOW suggests warmth, sunshine, cheer, happiness, jealousy deceit and cowardice. Business wise it appeals to the intellectual types and is a good accent. Yellow enhances concentration, hence its use for legal pads. It also speeds metabolism. It is the most difficult colour for the eye to take in, so it can be overpowering if overused.

Green, brown, and red are the most popular food colours. Red is often used in restaurant decorating schemes because it is an appetite stimulant.

People respond more to non verbal cues than verbal ones. Make sure you use the psychology of colours in all your marketing, especially when you can’t be face to face.

Antonija Senjak

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