Researchers estimate that a customer’s first impression of your sign is 60-90% based on color alone. Whoa! In fact, roughly 90% of purchasing decisions are made on appearance, and over half of your customers won’t return to a store if they don’t like the aesthetic.
Ads or signs that are in color get read 40% more often than the same sign in black and white. Colorful ads are more likely to be remembered, and understood. Strong color is obviously an important part of an effective sign, but which colors should you choose?
Subjectivity of Color Choice
So much of color psychology is subjective and cultural. For example, in the States, red usually means an emergency, danger, and urgency. In China, red more often represents good luck, joy and celebration.
However, the individual effects of red can also depend on the setting, the age, experience, and background of the specific customer. Some colors have dramatically different effects between genders. For example, purple is one of the most attractive colors to most women, and one of the least agreeable colors to most men. The effects of different colors can also change subject to which other colors it’s used in tandem with, or which shade is chosen.
Trends in Certain Colors
That being said, there are some general rules that we’ve noticed about certain colors. For example, researchers find that when humans view the color pink, it slows hormone production and creates a calming effect on the muscles. Other studies find that people want to spend more time in rooms with blue or teal walls.
However, what’s important to remember is that more important than the color itself and how likeable it is, is whether customers feel like it suits the personality that they’re looking for in a certain company. Here are some of the most powerful color associations in our culture, and how you can use them to communicate a certain message about your company:
- Yellow: Energetic, hopeful, and optimistic. Yellow is most often associated with light and the sun, and so it’s used to show something exciting or happy.
- Orange: Bold, creative, and playful. Orange can be a dangerous color to take on, since it’s also one of the major colors that inspires the most aversion. However, that just adds to its bold and playful connotations.
- Red: Exciting, aggressive, and important. Red is often a powerful call for attention. It’s believed that it’s the first color that most cultures found a word for, and therefore has one of the most primal and instinctive reactions.
- Purple: Royal, mysterious, and imaginative. Purple has long been associated with the social elite. However, it can also have childish associations.
- Blue: Trustworthy, steady, and strong. Blue is one of the most often utilized colors in signage and professional design because it has steadiness and power, but it’s more friendly and approachable than black or grey.
- Green: Growth, serenity, and health. Green, of course, has a powerful psychological effect because of its association with plants. Proximity to plants and reminders of greenery have a soothing effect on stress.