Color Psychology: How the Colors You Use Impact a Visitor’s Actions

Do you remember the change from black and white over to rich color as Dorothy steps out of her house into Oz?  The crisp, bright colors make an impression on viewers.  While the immediate contrast in the film is unforgettable, many online brands do not harvest the potential to make an incredible impression on web browsers.

Colors encompass all matter around us, but marketers understand the psychology associated with colors, using them to impress and motivate consumers.  Is your website exacting colors to influence visitor actions?  Products and services seek to address problems of consumers, and part of the mission of ad copy is alerting consumers of the solution.

For example, the color red is known for grabbing attention; green, alternatively, relaxes viewers.  A vacation destination may leverage both colors in their advertising, first generating initial interest with red then applying hues of green to emulate the relaxation felt while on vacation.  It’s a mild leverage of color and psychology, yet markets and brands enjoy the fruits of expected reaction.

Brand Recognition

Color PsycologyBranding involves associations to a company, encompassing slogans, personalities, and colors.  Are you effectively leveraging colors as part of your branding process?  Consider the psychology related to particular hues.

For example, the color red is associated to boldness, excitement, and heat, a great color for nightclubs, extreme sports brands, and brands that want to be known for making progressive or bold implementations.  Conversely, cooler colors, such as light blues, are associated with tranquility and calmness.  A lounge chair company, channeling feelings of calmness and relaxation, may use light blue effectively. These colors would be implemented in your logo, maybe even on your Custom Boxes Now containers for branding purposes.

Imagine a king, wearing his royal robe.  Do you see purple?  Purple is regularly associated with authority, sophistication, and royalty.  A number of brands, interested in creating associations of prestige, implement purple into their brand logos and websites.

Where on your individual brand pages could you implement color to help facilitate an intended or encouraged mood?

Varied Media

What varieties of media are you providing to your brand’s customers?  Depending on their journey through the sales cycle, you may want to induce different feelings and associations.  For example, as in the intro, a contrast of feelings is used to ultimately entice a consumer to make a purchase, introducing a palatable issue and offering the brand product/service as the solution.

Let’s assume a landing or ad page leverages a kitchen renovation service.  Do you want to invoke feelings of jealousy or envy?  Perhaps the renovation service could implement the color yellow, showing the viewer a picture of those ‘who have’ vs the ‘have nots’ viewing the ad.  Furthermore, since green inspires associations with good taste.  Another page, further down the sales cycle and infused with that color, may refer to the intended consumer’s future spoils of good test, symbolized by their new kitchen renovation.


A company’s logo is its face, how we immediately recognize a business, like we would a friend or associate.  While geometric shapes also influence perception, marketers purposely infuse logos with particular colors, facilitating associations with each interaction.

As mentioned above, the color red is associated with boldness and intensity, often found in logos of martial arts studios, training facilities, and professional teams.  (Cincinnati’s baseball team, the ‘Reds,’ serving as an example).  While, text is used to communicate to consumers via taglines and slogans, the textual entities may be enforced and encouraged through color implementation.  In some cases, such as women clothing brand, Victoria’s Secret, brands reverse the associative structure, urging consumers to ‘think Pink,’ a color associated with sophistication and sincerity.

color emotion guide

Consistency and Ambiguity

Colors and elicited psychological associations are not a simple science, nor does simply implementing a color demand a direct response.  In addition, one may identify conflicts or antithetical implications; for example, though red is identified with intensity and sports, the St. Louis Blues, a national hockey team, host a name normally associated with pacific emotions.

More than one-time implementations, marketers and brands work at delivering consistency, helping to bridge the gap between contrasting emotions and similar colors.  Branding is a continuous process; therefore, web masters are encouraged to implement consistency throughout web pages and brand property.

Are you leveraging colors throughout your site consistently? Moreover, are you accounting for your exact target market and not the general population?  As you’ll read next, different cultures develop varying associations.

International Business

If you belched at your mother-in-law’s kitchen table, you may be labeled rude.  However, in other cultures around the world, burping is considered a compliment to the chef and the host serving the food.  While particular color psychology applies in a general sense, such as red equating to love, marketers and web masters must account for individual context.

While colors help brands produce consistent messages and reactions, businesses must account for different geographic areas and cultures.  For example, a study conducted using peoples of China and Britain produced dissimilar results according to reactions of color swatches.

Each participant was shown 20 different color swatches, with elicited feelings and reactions noted.  The Chinese participants reported choosing colors they self-rated as associating feelings of cleanliness, freshness, and modernity, but British participants showed less affection for colors as well as feeling varied immediate emotions than the Chinese.

Furthermore, in America, being ‘yellow’ is oft associated with cowardice, but in Africa, tribes often implement the color as a sign of victory.  Is your brand international?  Are you producing the same affects with your chosen colors?  Furthermore, ensure your target market does not associated particular colors to things they dislike.  For example, the Philadelphia Eagles’ uniforms brandish the color green.  While green may produce positive associations in Philadelphia, the color blue may not be so well liked, being the color associated to the Eagles’ tri-state area rival, the New York Giants.


When evaluating purchase intent, marketers urge brands to think about target markets first, and then leveraging colors.  For example, as noted above, Pink is associated with sincerity and sophistication, but it’s highly unlikely a male lawyer would make his practice’s logo pink.  Of course, we would assume every business would like to be associated with elements of sincerity and sophistication, yet it’s unlikely a male would choose a color generally associated with femininity.

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DiTesco is a Business and Inbound Marketing Consultant, and founder of iBlogzone's main objective is to help startups and small business owners achieve success in their online ventures. | More About Me and my Digital Marketing Services in SP Brazil.

15 thoughts on “Color Psychology: How the Colors You Use Impact a Visitor’s Actions

  • Choosing color is the most important thing in website creation. As color plays with the visitor’s mind and impact them deeply. Good color combination in your website attracts more visitors to take some action on the website. Thanks for Sharing 🙂

    • Thanks for your comment Kiesha, yes choosing colours certainly is one of the most important things in web designing…

  • Colors really play a huge role when it comes to to increasing clicks.
    I uses red most of the time on my site. Just to highlight important things like those titles…you know…many people skim through pages.
    Still thinking if I should use other and different colors!

    • The best way to decide what colours are the best choice for your site is of course testing so try a few variations and see which one works best…

  • I can totally relate to this and wrote a similar post about the power of colour a year or so ago. Understandably we are all striving to be noticed and successfully using colour that is striking and appealling will attract eyes, generate traffic and can influence how people respond when they do visit us.

    Enjoy the journey.


  • Colours are very important tool in web design.Colour and image in you website gets your visitors attracted to your site. Bold colours play huge role. The colour should not be so bright that is not comfortable for retina.

  • Thanks for the informative article. I use bold red for the background and within my website/blog. It was a purposeful choice. I’m in marketing and I wanted the site to “pop.” I’m happy with the color and design. I upgraded to the latest version of my theme and decided to leave well enough alone and kept the same design and color scheme.

  • Great share sir …

    you’re right color is very important for every blogger and even it maintain image of our Blogs and website… that’s why i always use my best color to everywhere … i always use Blue color to maintain my blog … Thanks alot sir to Explains us how color is Important for us… I really appreciates your knowledge.

  • Excellent information. I always try to do the best for my blogs in case of good navigation and perfect design. But I always have problems with logo. I tried to buy a logo from freelancers but have no good results.

    About color psychology: I think when we speak about “color psychology” as a part of business (Google Adsense for example) – I think it can gives 30-40% of success for our blogs )))

  • Finding the right mix, without it looking obnoxious, is a skill. Thanks for this article…now someone needs to do one on what hex codes are best for certain niches!

  • Very informative post! Thanks for sharing my friend. Will bookmark and keep this post in mind whenever I use images or customize the color schemes on my blog.

  • i always use black and looks like simple when i use black and white.if i use colourful theme looks like complicated.

  • Hi charles, I understand the importance of colors in the life of a business. It gives a business its identity, if you try to think of all the business logos in the world to be in black and white. I think the possibilities of so many businesses will not be there. Very few brands will be available with unique logos used by them, in the absence of colors.

  • In the field of website design, colors play a vital role. And this is the thing by which you can attract more visitors. Choosing color is the most important thing for your related business. Thanks for sharing such nice information.

  • Really interesting piece of article with quite a detailed explanation. I fully agree with you that colours play an important part in attracting the visitors. And all big companies are quite serious about their logos because it forms an identity of the company.
    Thanks for the great tips.

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