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Use Color To Enhance Your Marketing Message

Use Color To Enhance Your Marketing Message

Color is a magical element that gives feeling and emotion to art, design, and advertising. By understanding the meaning of color, or the psychology of color, you can choose the right color to support and emphasize your design.  Certain colors will help your product, corporate document or advertisement and help attract specific target audiences and evoke desired responses.

Following are guidelines on the symbolic meanings of color and how you can use color more effectively in your own marketing pieces or to help your clients.


Yellow, (including coral, orange, amber, gold), symbolizes energy, caution, warmth, cheer and joy.  Yellows are often associated with the following characteristics: homey, friendly, soft, welcoming, moving, excitement or adventure. It is good for press kits, stationery and shopping bags.  Use yellow for signage in work situations warning of danger. Yellow is also good for any project that needs to evoke feelings of lightheartedness, humor or friendliness.


Red (including mauve, magenta, crimson, scarlet, poster red), symbolizes power, romance, vitality, earthly and energy.  Reds evoke highly charged emotions such as aggression, danger or love. Red makes us pay attention and catches our eye immediately so use reds on items that need to grab attention.  In the financial arena, red symbolizes a negative direction.


Green (including lime, leaf green, sea green, emerald, teal, sage), symbolizes life, foliage, grass, trees and water.  Greens are sensuous and alive. Green is associated with the following characteristics: friendliness, dependability, freshness, non-threatening, safe, secure, healthy, strong, expensive and primitive.  In the business world, green symbolizes growth and prosperity.

Blue and Purple

Blue and purple (including sky blue, ultramarine, violet, purple, azure), symbolizes peace, law and order, logic, analytical, intelligent, honest, calm, clean, good will, tranquility, compassionate, serious, thoughtful, quiet, reflective, regal, classic, dependable, trustworthiness, tradition and magical. Blues are often used for older, more mature audiences and situations. Blue is common in financial institutions, hospitals, and legal and medical professions.  Purples have long been associated with royalty, magic and power. Purples are often used with feminine, rather than masculine designs.   Make sure the colors you use in your marketing materials attract the attention of your target market. Check color resource design guides or swatch books to discover what color combinations work best to make your designs pop.

Source: Karen Saunders is the author of Turn Eye Appeal into Buy Appeal: How To Easily Transform Your Marketing Pieces Into Dazzling, Persuasive Sales Tools! Hundreds of business owners have used her simple do-it-yourself design guide to create marketing materials to their products and services.