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The psychology behind colors


You may not realize it, but colors play an extremely important part in your life. Yes, perceptions of color can be somewhat subjective, but for the most part certain colors have a universal meaning. For example, warm colors – such as red, orange and yellow – evoke emotions ranging from warmth and comfort to feeling of anger and hostility. Cool colors – such as blue, purple and green – usually range from a calm feeling to feelings of sadness or indifference.

Without realizing it, color can have a profound effect on how we feel both mentally and physically.

Blue represents peace, tranquility, calm, stability, harmony, unity, trust, truth and confidence

Black represents power, sexuality, elegance, wealth, mystery, fear, evil and anger

Green represents nature, environment, health, renewal, youth, generosity, envy and misfortune.

Orange represents warmth, enthusiasm, vibrancy, flamboyancy and anger.

Purple represents royalty, spirituality, nobility, ceremony, mystery and wisdom

Red represents love, anger, desire, speed, strength and violence

White represents humility, precision, innocence, youth, peace and sterility

Yellow represents joy, happiness, optimism, idealism, imagination and hope

So why does this matter to you?

Well, say you want to paint a room in your house, your kid’s room in fact, and their favorite color is red. What would a red room do? 

While red can create a sense of warmth, it can also stimulate and energize the viewer. It can be a loud, unsettling color that might make it difficult to focus on tasks.

How about blue?

A blue room has a calming effect, proven to slow down the human nervous system preparing the body for sleep. Blue is a perfect color for bedrooms. The shade of blue, however, matters. A dark blue, for example, could make the viewer feel cold.

What about in advertising?

According to research, black and white can be two of the best colors to use. When used together, they signify power and create a sense that a company is highly professional. That idea translates well in dramatic video.

Use of all whites in advertising commonly denotes a sense of luxury – think beauty, spa and high-end health care ads.

Strong use of colors like reds represent fast pace or emotional urgency, like an ad for a fast car.

The next time you watch television or browse through a website or magazine, think about the colors of the branding you see. Think about how it affects you.

Just because you simply like a color doesn’t mean your business branding should use it. Research the psychology behind the colors of your branding and decide how it may affect the kind of customers you want to attract. Better yet, let the experts at M3 Group help you work on branding using color that sends the right message to your demographics. Contact us at