Most people have a favorite color or color combination that they are naturally attracted to. From the paint on our walls to the cover on our phones, we are obsessed with picking just the right hue. But what about when the color picks us? Color Psychology is an involuntary emotional response induced by colors. It can be hard to determine how much color schemes really affect you. However, you can know that impulsive feelings can overtake you by colors that are presented in different environments and situations.

Color Psychology:

The effect that colors have on your psyche can be brought on through learned means or simply by natural attraction. Some can spontaneously cause you to feel more excited or calmer. On the other hand, certain color schemes can become associated with different ideas based off of the level of your exposure.

Since society has learned the innate emotional responses to color schemes, it is no wonder that stores and manufacturers have been known to use this to their advantage.

Color PyramidCredit: Ken Georgie Mathew

Consumer Behavior:

Many studies have been conducted to see how consumers behaved when presented with certain color schemes in their buying decisions. During their study, researchers have determined that:

  • "Warmer" schemes physically entice consumers into a store, on an impulse. This technique is often used in shopping malls to compel people to be more likely come into their stores over their nearby competition.
  •  Consumers would often choose a “cooler” scheme on products and services that were geared toward purchases that require careful consideration, such as home appliances or furniture.

Restaurant Patronage:

Color Psychology is also used in restaurants to create the kind of dining experience that the establishment wants their customers to experience. Some things that they consider when choosing what kinds of tones they will use are:

  • Red tones can increases appetite, while orange brings on hunger. Restaurants with these schemes want people to feel hungrier and order more.
  • Green hues bring out a calming effect and can help to aid in digestion. Establishments that want customers to feel relaxed and stay longer use these hues.
  • Blue has an adverse effect on appetite, and actually can make a person feel less hungry.
  • Bolder primary hues are mixed together send the message of urgency. Restaurants that are quick service tend to use these combinations.

There certainly isn’t any fail safe color scheme that will evoke the same emotional response in everyone. However, these techniques have been effectively used to manipulate the purchasing decisions of consumers for years.