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From the Design Desk: The Color of Emotions

When I was in high school, I was considering a career in either graphic design or interior design and was fortunate enough to take semester-long courses in both.  In our interior design class we often had a lot of spare time, and as an activity to keep us engaged the teacher had several black & white illustrations of different home interiors.  She challenged us to create several different versions of the same interior using the fabric and paint swatches she had collected over the years.  It was essentially giving us coloring pages to keep us busy, but we actually learned a lot about pairing fabrics, colors and finishes by doing it. It was interesting to see just how much difference a particular fabric or paint color could make to the atmosphere of a room. 

Color theory and history has been one of my favorite topics to dig into over the last few years. The way that humanity has interacted with different colors over the years is fascinating when you think about how we associate color with specific regions, cultures, holidays and emotions.  As a graphic designer, understanding how people relate to color differently is crucial when it comes to developing a campaign or brand identity.

How Color Evokes Emotions

This point is the focus of a recent article on Creative Bloq discussing the emotions that different colors evoke when applied in branding and design.  While the article is specifically targeted to web design and UI, the principles are the same when applied across all types of media and print when it comes to colors and how we associate them with brand image.

The article goes into great detail and gives examples of each color, so I highly recommend giving it a good read, but if you’re just looking for a quick reference, I’ve listed the 12 colors below and the associated emotions in a handy graphic that you can download and keep as a handy guide to using color in your next marketing piece:

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