Maybe it’s the color of the room you’re sitting in.
Color psychology is something that has fascinated people for decades. Artists and interior designers have long believed that colors can dramatically affect moods and emotions, and color marketing has become a hot topic in marketing, art, design, and print. As Pablo Picasso once remarked, “Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions.”
Color is a powerful communication tool, so understanding it can help you signal action, sway the mood, and even influence psychological reactions. Want to give it a try? Here is a quick snapshot of color harmonies, including color combinations to try in your next poster, banner, or custom label.
The color wheel consists of three primary colors (red, yellow, blue), three secondary colors (colors created when primary colors are mixed: green, orange, purple), and six tertiary colors (colors made from primary and secondary colors, such as blue-green or red-violet).
When you draw a line directly through the center of the color wheel, you will separate the warm colors from the cool colors.
Warm colors (reds, yellows, and oranges) are vivid and bold in nature and tend to advance forward when viewed. They communicate energy, brightness, and action. Cool colors (blues, greens, and purples) appear soothing by nature and typically make a space seem larger. Cool colors are often associated with nature, calmness, peace, or serenity.
When choosing your next color combination, remember that complementary colors (those opposite on the color wheel) provide sharp contrasts. This can make your imagery really pop, but are best when used sparingly.
To avoid overdoing things, remember complementary colors do not need to exist in equal parts. If you want to use purple and yellow, allow one color to dominate and add only a tiny bit of the other.
For a more subtle approach, use triadic colors in your design (those that are evenly spaced around the color wheel). Or use analogous colors (those next to each other on the color wheel). Here one color will dominate, and the other will provide a sophisticated accent.
Ready to get started? Check out these gorgeous blends:
Try magenta, goldenrod, turquoise, and brick. This four-color combination brings zest, personality, and a friendly, exciting tone.
Try gold, charcoal, and grey. This perfect combination of sunshine and somberness offers a cheerful tone with a grounded, mature accent.
Try tan, deep turquoise, and black. Against the more neutral base, turquoise leaps to the forefront to evoke creativity, life, and freedom. For a more serious feel, use turquoise sparingly and add touches of brown or deep orange.
Try mauve, sapphire, and powder blue. The baby blue brings a gentleness, while the rich pink and deep blue highlights scream femininity.
Try pine green, burnt orange, and light peach. When you want to set your design apart, orange is guaranteed to stop traffic. Burnt orange offers a more distinguished feel than a pumpkin or neon orange hue, but it still gets the job done. The rich green offers a warm, natural accent, and light peach ties everything together perfectly.
Want to set the mood or connect with your core customers?
Whether you lean toward simple and sophisticated or edgy and eccentric, colors build emotional bridges like nothing else can. Bring that wow factor to your professional printings through beautiful, unforgettable color combinations.