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The Psychology of Color in Marketing Materials

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Market researchers have had a field day identifying the colors and the likely effect they have upon us. However, the effects of color differ among different cultures, so the attitudes and preferences of your target audience should be a consideration when you plan your design of any promotional materials. For example, white is the color of death in Chinese culture, but purple represents death in Brazil. Yellow is sacred to the Chinese, but signified sadness in Greece and jealousy in France. In North America, green is typically associated with jealousy. People from tropical countries respond most favorably to warm colors, people from northern climates prefer the cooler colors.

Basically, in North American mainstream culture, the following qualities are associated with color:

Red excitement, strength, sex, passion, speed, danger.

Blue (listed as the most popular color) trust, reliability, belonging, coolness.

Yellow warmth, sunshine, cheer, happiness

Orange playfulness, warmth, vibrant

Green nature, fresh, cool, growth, abundance

Purple royal, spirituality, dignity

Pink soft, sweet, nurture, security

White pure, virginal, clean, youthful, mild.

Black sophistication, elegant, seductive, mystery

Gold prestige, expensive

Silver prestige, cold, scientific

Market researchers have also determined that color affects shopping habits. Impulse shoppers respond best to red-orange, black and royal blue. Shoppers who plan and stick to budgets respond best to pink, teal, light blue and navy. Traditionalists respond to pastels – pink, rose, sky blue.

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The Psychology of Color in Marketing Materials
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