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Advertising and Color

By Karen Saunders

What’s the quickest way to create mood without saying a word? Color!  Before they read your marketing piece, they see it – and their feeling about your business begins. So it’s a good idea to take some time to find out what colors mean – and how they can help sell for you. When you learn the psychology of colors you will be able to add a whole new layer to your marketing materials. Here’s how using certain colors will help you attract a specific target market and evoke the desired response:

  • The color scheme you choose for your flyer or business cards can help or hurt the overall tone of the piece. For instance, if you own a gift shop, you would want to work with a lot of yellows, including coral, orange, amber and gold. Why? Because yellow symbolizes joy. It exudes energy and happiness, and is associated with being welcoming and homey.

  • Red, which includes mauve, magenta, crimson, and scarlet, is the color of power, romance, and vitality. It’s an eye catcher, and makes us sit up and take notice. That’s why it’s so often used in the financial arena when the numbers are going in the wrong direction. Red can also have a physical effect, even raising blood pressure!  Use red in your ad when you want people to take action.

  • If, on the other hand, you need a very friendly, non-threatening campaign, green is your color. Green and its shades, including lime, leaf green, sea green, emerald, teal and sage, symbolize life and nature. It’s good for us, and your reader will receive that impression about what you are selling as well. In contrast to red, in the business world, green symbolizes growth and prosperity.

  • When you need a more serious, classic look that conveys law and order, dependability, and trustworthiness, go for the blue and purple palette. This includes sky blue, ultramarine, violet, purple and azure. These colors work great in certain markets, specifically for older, more mature audiences. It’s common in financial institutions, hospitals, and the legal and medical professions.

So what kind of business do you have? Do you sell a product or a service? Think about your target market, and try to determine what emotion will appeal to them the most. Now try to match that with one of the above color palettes when you are designing your ad. With the right colors, your marketing piece is sure to be read.

Read other articles and learn more about Karen Saunders.

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