We Are Hypnotised By Colour Everyday. Seriously.

Sometimes called ‘colour capital’, colours, pairings and palettes are used deliberately by the creative community for a huge array of purposes: some that are entirely aesthetic, some that are subjective, some as signifiers and some as directives in an increasingly complex and rich associative visual world. Some colours, used as psychological tools, are even used for the purpose of aligning your deep-animal brain with brand ideas and sales outcomes.

But how are colours and colour psychology used to increase sales, and make people think in a directed way?

It’s an interesting concept which makes several assumption about your eyesight, your upbringing – and the media conditioning you’ve been exposed to for your whole life.

colour industry

Colour psychology is indeed the world-changing marketing and sometimes labelled ‘psyops’ concept which has been used for years; although of late, it’s certainly become more of an alchemic science utilised by graphic designers, illustrators and the commercial side of the art industry.

For those of us lucky to be born with visual faculties that allow, the world of colour is at the essence of life’s experience. Usually used artfully by man or nature; as the infographic by KissMetrics below shows, they are often employed to enhance a brand’s message or even make you buy something. We are all aware of it on ‘some level’ – but it’s always interesting to see it presented so matter-of-factly.

Did you know that green is used by department stores to make you relax?

It’s the easiest colour for the eyes to process – one which we instinctively know from nature – and one we are also conditioned to associate with wealth.

For a short while, long before the internet’s new 21st century decade from 2010 onwards, online PPC and network ads were not allowed to have green text in, as it was believed that they could bias a sale. Of course now, green text in ads is quite normal.

Red – the colour of danger, urgency, hearts, blood and love – is the colour department stores will use in sales as it has been clinically proven to increase the heartrate and potentially the level of cortisol in the bloodstream – a state which can be exploited by asking you to buy something considered rare or limited in a sale.

Check out the image for more.

This is the KissMetrics infographic, based on social and marketing research, which displays how colour psychology can affect purchase behaviour:

colours hypnotise us

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