The Science Behind Colors in Printing

Do certain colors make you feel a certain way? Can colors trigger strong emotions? The answer is yes!  Colors do influence moods and behaviors, and can be associated with increased heartbeat, metabolism, relaxation, appetite loss and status. This discovery is known as color psychology, and is relevant to marketing and printing companies.

While mood effects are temporary, consumers make product decisions within seconds so it’s essential to properly convey an image. For example, blue symbolizes the sky or ocean and gives a feeling of tranquility. Blue would be a great color for labels on bottled water to communicate a natural and satisfying image to consumers. When it comes to food, blue is rare. Since many foods are not blue, studies find this causes people to loss their appetite.

Along with the description and graphics on your packaging, colors create non-verbal communication. Red communicates intensity or love, black signifies power or authority, green is relaxing and natural, and purple signifies wealthy or luxurious. In the study, “Impact of Color in Marketing”, researchers discovered that 90% of judgments are based on color only so connecting color to your brand image is important. For example, when creating a powerful brand, yellows and pinks would not be appropriate colors to convey a strong brand image. Ninety seconds is all it takes for someone to judge a brand, and since color increases brand recognition by 80%, one cannot underestimate the power of color.

Joe Hallock’s research titled, “Colour Assignments” is eye opening when focusing on color preferences according to gender. When targeting specific genders, color can play a significant role. Blue is a top pick for both men and women but purple is a top contender for women alone. This is interesting considering Pantone color of the year is a shade of purple. Specifically, the color is Radiant Orchid, which gives a feeling of confidence, joy, love and health.

Interior design, art, marketing and the print industries need to understand color. A trend of bright, vibrant colors calls for businesses to have outstanding products. These colors need to stand out on a durable, eye-catching material. Since there are wide ranges of materials that can make color pop, material choices will be important to your print marketing needs. The right color on a great material makes all the difference. Before choosing color for logos, products, packaging, websites or business cards, consider who you are and the image you want to portray. A picture is worth a thousand words but a colorful one can be worth so much more.  Having the right substrate for the graphic’s colors and brand is incredibly important!