How does color psychology influence our decisions?

28 December 2022
9 minutes
Personnages rouge, rose, bleu, jaune et vert (colors)

Table of contents

Step into a world of vibrant colors, each with its own unique meaning and influence. Whether you’re a designer, marketer, entrepreneur, or just curious, get ready to discover the power of colors and their impact on every aspect of your professional and personal life.

Colors can affect our emotions, behavior, and decision-making in subtle yet profound ways. By strategically using colors, you can create successful and impactful projects.

Join us on an exhilarating journey as we dive into the codes and meanings of colors, exploring their psychological effects and practical applications. From the basics of color theory to the complementary colors on the color wheel, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of how to use colors to your advantage.

Get ready to unlock the secrets of colors and elevate your visual identity – let’s begin!

Color wheel

The color wheel is an essential tool for designers and artists.. Represented in the form of a wheel, it allows ordering the colors according to a classification resulting from the decomposition of the natural light: the spectrum of the colors.

To find the right complementary color combinations on the color wheel, take its opposite color. For purple, its complementary color is yellow.

The color wheel is composed of 12 saturated colors divided into 3 groups: primary, secondary and tertiary colors.

Cercle chromatique. Color Wheel. Círculo cromático

What are the primary colors?

The primary colors are the main colors that allow to create all other possible shades and colors. There are 3 of them:

  • yellow
  • blue
  • red

They are called primary colors because they cannot be obtained by mixing other colors. By mixing them, you will create secondary colors.

Illustration Couleurs Primaires

What are the secondary colors?

The secondary colors are combinations of colors made by mixing 2 primary colors, with equal composition.

There are 3 of them :

  • orange (by mixing red and yellow)
  • purple (from red and blue)
  • green (with blue and yellow)

What are the tertiary colors?

The tertiary colors, also called intermediate colors, are the result of mixing a primary color with a secondary color.

There are 6 tertiary colors :

  • magenta (by mixing red and purple)
  • violet (from blue and purple)
  • teal (with blue and green)
  • chartreuse green (by mixing yellow and green)
  • amber (with yellow and orange)
  • vermillion (from red and orange)

Each color has its symbolism and values that it represents, do you know them?

What is the meaning of colors?

Marketing uses colors as a strategic tool appealing to the collective unconscious to propagate an image, convey a message, share values.

This meaning obviously varies between cultures, we propose in our article a meaning of each main color in Western countries.

Red color meaning

Red is a color of strong emotions. It is traditionally associated with love, passion, sensuality, security, but also with violence, vigilance, strength, and virility.

In marketing, it is known to stimulate the appetite, create a sense of urgency, encourage compulsive buying and increase the heart rate. Thus, we will find this color associated with energy drinks, games, cars and intense physical activities.

Sectors using red: restaurants, computers, sports

Logo Coca Couleurs. Colors. Color
Logo RedBull Couleurs. Colors. Color

Orange color meaning

Orange is synonymous with enthusiasm, energy, vitality, and endurance. It conveys values of communication and creativity.

In marketing, orange is a color that can incite consumers to action, that is why it is often used in call-to-action buttons/texts. Ideal in the food sector, it stimulates the appetite and is generally associated with healthy eating.

Sectors using orange: new communication technologies, food, leisure

Logo SoundCloud Couleurs. Colors. Colores
Logo Nickelodeon Couleurs. Colors. Colores

Yellow color meaning

Yellow expresses tone, optimism, youth and clarity. It is the color with the most wavelengths, so it is one of the most psychologically convincing colors.

In marketing, yellow is used to attract the attention of customers. It stimulates the mental process and communication. Being a spontaneous, even unstable color, it is not recommended to use it to create a sense of stability or security.

Sectors using yellow: vehicles, delivery, food industry

Logo Ferrari Couleurs. Colors. Colores
Logo Chupa Chups

Green color meaning

Green symbolizes growth in all its forms: ecology, fertility, earth, but also finance and health. This color expresses calm, relaxation, healing and nature. It is the most restful color for the human eye, in addition to having the effect of facilitating rest.

In marketing, it is often associated with ecology and is favored by brands that are committed to the environment. Nowadays, many companies transform their visual identity and opt for the green color in their logo.

Sectors using green: tourism, beauty/wellness, agriculture

Logo Greenpeace
Logo Animal Planet

Blue color meaning

Synonymous with knowledge, serenity and stability, blue can also symbolize authority and professionalism.

In marketing, blue is generally chosen by banks and large companies and government bodies to best illustrate confidence and stability. This color is to be avoided in the food sector, as it suppresses the feeling of appetite.

Sectors using blue: finance, new technologies, aviation

Logo ONU
Logo PG

Pink color meaning

Pink is a great emblem of love, femininity, tenderness and comfort. It also appeals to compassion, softness and childhood.

In marketing, this color tends to reach a more feminine clientele. It allows you to stand out from your competitors by expressing a sophisticated side to your brand.

Sectors using pink: beauty, fashion, baking

Logo Cosmopolitan

Purple color meaning

Purple represents melancholy, spirituality, mystery, nobility, wealth, royalty, and wisdom. Also, it is a symbol of creativity and learning.

In marketing, purple is used to soothe and calm. It is a good choice for feminine designs.

Sectors using purple: luxury, technology, politics

Logo Yahoo!

Brown color meaning

The color brown calls for warmth, nature, tradition, authenticity, softness, and melancholy.

In marketing, brown represents neutrality. This color lends itself well to traditional, rustic, artisanal or organic brands.

Sectors using brown: agriculture, culture, food

Logo Nespresso
Logo m&m's

Black color meaning

Black conveys a very strong symbolism. It is synonymous with power, elegance, simplicity, and sobriety.

In marketing, black gives off a high-end image and gives an impression of elegance and prestige. It is commonly used to promote prestigious products.

Sectors using black: luxury, cinema, art

Logo Walt Disney
Logo Saint Laurent

Grey color meaning

Gray represents sobriety, modernity, maturity, refinement, but also sadness, monotony and melancholy. It symbolizes timelessness.

From a marketing point of view, gray is neutral and balanced.

Sectors using gray: automotive, news, technology

Logo Wikipedia
Logo Mercedes-Benz

White color meaning

White is not technically a color, but the public still calls it that. It is associated with innocence, cleanliness, purity, safety, and neutrality. In brand logos, white is often associated with black or gray.

In marketing, white is used to encourage creativity, which is why it is the most common color in office buildings. In addition, this color is associated with weight loss, low-fat products for example.

Sectors using white: fashion, news, technology

How to use color psychology?


The logo is the heart of your visual identity. Knowing the meaning of colors is essential, since they are part of the public’s perception of your company. Indeed,

Pharos Digital designs your personalized logo in 2D or 3D! With unlimited revisions at each stage of production, follow the development of your visual with our team: typographies used, color codes, symbol used.

If you want to integrate it into your video intros and outros, that is, at the beginning and end of your corporate videos, we can animate it for you!

Logo Tripmotion
Handle Logo

Packaging design

Today, packaging is an important part of the consumer experience. Color plays a key role in your primary and secondary packaging.

It has 3 functions:

  • Identify the product: color allows to catch the consumer’s attention
  • Reinforce the product’s belonging to its product universe: color is an indicator of product families, it makes it easier to find the product (green for skimmed milk and blue for semi-skimmed milk)
  • Appreciate and evaluate the product: recall the nature of the product (white for milk, yellow for oil, green for ecological products…)


You should not choose the colors of your website according to your tastes, but according to the emotions, you want to arouse in your users. 93% of Internet users say that the visual aspect of a site has an impact on their purchasing decision!

For your website, you must choose a color according to :

  • its meaning
  • your business line
  • your target audience (their cultural background, age, gender…)

You don’t know how to go about it? Pharos Digital can create your website with our complete offer.

  • Design and development of the website
  • Licensed images and customized icons
  • Website maintenance for 3 months (can be renewed)
  • Responsive design (phone, tablet, etc.)
  • Training at the end of the project on how to manage your website (no technical knowledge required)

Content strategy

Your colors are expressed on your website, but also on your social networks. Through your logo, your banners, and your posts, you share your identity with your audience.

Do not hesitate to use your colors on videos to boost your communication: motion design, 2D/3D videos, explainer videos! These powerful and attractive videos allow you to convey a positive and serious image of your company.

Find out in our blog post if animated videos are right for your company!

Closing thoughts

In visual communication, color is a powerful vector of information. Thanks to their different shades, they can play a key role in the visibility and clarity of the message conveyed in the various media of a brand or a company.

You have plenty of ideas, but you don’t know how to materialize them?

Logo Pharos
Pharos Digital is a communications agency specialized in video production, web-design and digital marketing. Our team creates and designs unique solutions to help your company develop its reputation on the Internet.


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