Psychology of Color: Using Colors to Influence Mood
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 9 min read


  1. Psychology of Color
  2. Color and Emotional Responses
  3. How Colors Influence Mood
  4. Use of Colors in Interior Design
  5. Using Colors in Advertising
  6. Impact of Colors in Graphic Design
  7. Color Influence in Fashion Design
  8. Color Psychology in Branding
  9. Color and Cultural Associations
  10. Conclusion

Have you ever noticed how certain colors make you feel a certain way? Or how some brands are instantly recognizable because of their color schemes? That's the magic of the psychology of color. In this blog post, we'll be exploring how colors can influence our mood, and how this knowledge is used in various fields such as interior design, advertising, graphic design, fashion, and branding. So, get ready for a vibrant journey into the world of color psychology!

Psychology of Color

Color is more than just a visual aid. It's a powerful communication tool that can influence our mood, thoughts, and behaviors. This fascinating field is called the psychology of color. It's the study of how color impacts us—more specifically, how different colors can evoke different emotional responses.

Let's look at some of the basics of the psychology of color:

  • Red: Known as a color of passion and energy, red can stimulate excitement and even raise your heart rate! It's no wonder sports teams often use red in their logos.
  • Blue: A calming color that can instill feelings of tranquility and reliability. It's often used in brands that want to portray trust and dependability—think Facebook and IBM.
  • Yellow: The color of happiness and optimism. Think of a bright, sunny day and how that makes you feel. That's the power of yellow! But be careful, as too much yellow can cause feelings of anxiety.
  • Green: Associated with nature, health, and renewal. It's often used in brands that want to portray an environmentally friendly image.
  • Purple: The color of royalty and luxury. It's often used in beauty and anti-aging products to convey a sense of sophistication.

These are just a few examples of the psychology of color. Even subtle shades and tints can have a big impact on how we perceive things. So, the next time you're choosing a color for your bedroom or designing a logo, remember the hidden power of colors. Understanding the psychology of color can help you make better decisions and create more meaningful designs.

Color and Emotional Responses

Colors have a sneaky way of playing with our emotions. The way we react and respond to different colors is deeply rooted in our personal experiences and cultural backgrounds. This is where the psychology of color comes into play.

Ever wonder why hospitals often use green or blue? These colors tend to calm and soothe. On the other hand, a fast food restaurant might use red and yellow to stimulate hunger and excitement. Understanding the psychology of color can help you understand why you feel the way you do in certain spaces or when looking at certain brands.

Let's dive a little deeper into how colors can stir up different emotional responses:

  • Red: Besides energy and passion, red can also evoke feelings of urgency. That's why it's often used in clearance sales.
  • Blue: This color can also create a sense of security and trust in a brand. This is why financial institutions often use blue in their logos.
  • Yellow: While it's associated with joy and optimism, yellow can also cause feelings of caution or warning, hence its use in traffic signals.
  • Green: Aside from nature and renewal, green can also evoke feelings of growth and wealth. It's often used in stores to relax customers.
  • Purple: This royal color can also stimulate creativity. It's no wonder many art supplies stores incorporate purple in their branding.

These emotional responses can vary from person to person, but most of us have a universal reaction to these basic colors. The psychology of color can give you a new perspective on how you view the world around you.

How Colors Influence Mood

Colors are more than just a visual experience; they can significantly sway our mood and emotions. The psychology of color is a fascinating field that studies this effect. Did you know that colors can impact your decision-making process, influence your behavior, or even alter your mood?

Let's say you're painting your bedroom and can't decide between a vibrant orange or a soft blue. You might lean towards blue if you're aiming for a peaceful, calming space. That's because, according to the psychology of color, blue has a calming effect on our minds. It's a color often associated with peace, tranquility, and relaxation.

On the flip side, if you're looking to create an energetic, stimulating environment, orange might be your color. It's known for evoking excitement and enthusiasm. But remember, too much of it might also cause agitation.

Here's another interesting fact: have you noticed that most social media platforms use blue in their logos? This isn't just a coincidence. Blue is often used to promote communication and trust, making it an excellent choice for social platforms.

Understanding how colors influence mood can help you make choices that enhance your emotional well-being. Whether it's the color of your walls or the clothes you wear, the psychology of color has a significant influence on your day-to-day mood.

Use of Colors in Interior Design

Now that you're familiar with how colors influence mood, let's look at how this knowledge can be applied in interior design. The psychology of color plays a crucial role in creating spaces that reflect the desired ambiance and atmosphere.

Picture this: you're stepping into a spa for a relaxing massage. The room is likely painted in soothing tones of green or blue, right? That's no accident. Studies in the psychology of color have shown that these colors can help reduce stress and create a peaceful environment.

Or consider a fast-food restaurant. You'll probably see a lot of reds and yellows. These colors encourage appetite and prompt quicker decision-making, which is exactly what these establishments want. They want you to order, eat, and leave quickly to make room for the next customer.

Even the color of your home office matters. If you've been finding it hard to concentrate, you might want to consider blue. Known for boosting productivity and focus, it's an excellent color for spaces where you need to get things done.

Clearly, the psychology of color is a powerful tool in interior design. It can transform a room, influence your mood, and even affect your behavior. So next time you're picking out a paint color, remember to consider not just the aesthetic appeal but also the psychological impact.

Using Colors in Advertising

Ever wonder why some logos or ads immediately grab your attention? The answer often lies in the psychology of color. Advertisers use color to create a specific response or emotion tied to their brand.

Take the famous golden arches of McDonald's, for instance. The bright yellow hue doesn't just stand out from a distance—it also evokes feelings of happiness and warmth, which is exactly the vibe McDonald's aims to project.

Similarly, the bold red color of Coca-Cola's logo is no random choice. Red tends to stimulate appetite and evoke strong emotions. It's also highly visible, which makes it a popular choice for brands that want to make a lasting impression.

Even the color of a product's packaging can influence your purchasing decision. Brands often use green packaging to suggest that their product is natural or eco-friendly. The psychology of color tells us that green is associated with nature, health, and tranquility—perfect for attracting environmentally conscious consumers.

So you see, the psychology of color is not just about understanding our emotional responses to different hues. It's also about knowing how to use these responses to create effective advertising strategies. As consumers, being aware of these tactics can help us make more informed decisions. And as marketers, understanding the psychology of color can give us an edge in a competitive market.

Impact of Colors in Graphic Design

In the world of graphic design, color is not just an aesthetic choice—it's a powerful tool for communication. The psychology of color plays a pivotal role in how a design is perceived and interpreted.

Think about traffic signs, for instance. The color red is universally used for stop signs because it's highly visible and signals danger or a need to halt. Similarly, yellow is used for caution signs to alert us of potential hazards ahead. These color choices are not random—they are guided by the psychology of color.

Graphic designers often use color to guide the viewer's eye and emphasize certain elements in a design. For example, a call-to-action button on a website might be in a bright, contrasting color to make it stand out and encourage the viewer to click.

Color can also convey mood and emotion in a design. A design using a lot of blues and greens might evoke feelings of calm and tranquility, while a design with vibrant oranges and yellows might feel energetic and exciting. The psychology of color tells us that our brains associate different colors with different feelings and ideas.

So, the next time you're looking at a graphic design, try to notice how color is being used. You might be surprised at how much it influences your perception of the design.

Color Influence in Fashion Design

Fashion is another field where the psychology of color takes center stage. Ever wondered why certain colors make you feel confident, while others make you feel cozy and relaxed? That's the psychology of color at work, my friend.

Let's take the color black, for example. It's frequently used in the fashion industry because it conveys a sense of elegance, sophistication, and power. Think about the classic little black dress—it's a fashion staple for a reason.

On the other hand, pastel colors like soft pink or baby blue are often associated with youthfulness, innocence, and relaxation. Clothing in these colors might make you feel calm and at ease.

And then there are vibrant colors like red and yellow. These can make a bold statement and draw attention. A red dress or a yellow tie could be just the thing when you want to stand out in a crowd.

Remember, there's no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to color in fashion. The most important thing is to understand how different colors make you feel and to choose clothing that expresses your unique personality and mood.

Color Psychology in Branding

Let's now shift our attention to branding, another realm where the psychology of color is very influential. When designing a logo or choosing a color scheme for a brand, it's important to consider not only the aesthetic appeal but also the emotional response that colors can provoke.

For instance, blue is a color often used by tech companies and financial institutions. This color, according to the psychology of color, conveys trust, reliability, and stability—exactly the qualities you'd want in a bank or a tech service, right?

On the other end of the spectrum, we have fast-food chains, which predominantly use red and yellow in their branding. The color red is known to stimulate appetite and create a sense of urgency, while yellow evokes feelings of happiness and friendliness. So, next time you see those golden arches, you'll know why they make you feel a certain way!

Green is the go-to choice for brands focusing on health, nature, or eco-friendliness—think organic food markets or recycling initiatives. This color communicates growth, harmony, and freshness.

The psychology of color in branding is a fascinating subject, showing us how colors can subtly influence our perceptions and decisions. So, the next time you're creating a brand or even just shopping, remember to consider the color choices and how they make you feel.

Color and Cultural Associations

Now, let's take a trip around the globe and look at how different cultures interpret colors. The psychology of color isn't limited to personal or brand messaging. It's an integral part of cultural identities too.

For example, in Western cultures, white is often associated with purity and innocence. It’s the color of choice for weddings, symbolizing a fresh start. But in some Eastern cultures, white can represent mourning or death, as it's commonly worn at funerals.

Similarly, red is a color of celebration and good luck in many Asian cultures. It’s frequently used in festivals and weddings. However, in some Western contexts, red can indicate danger or caution.

Color and its psychological impact truly is a global affair, with different shades carrying different meanings depending upon where you are in the world. This makes the psychology of color an intriguing and complex field, one that’s as diverse as the world’s many cultures.

So the next time you're picking a color, whether it's for a room, an outfit, or a brand, remember that the psychology of color stretches far beyond our individual associations. It's a universal language that speaks to us all, albeit in different dialects.


Color, as we've explored, is much more than meets the eye. It's a silent communicator, a mood influencer, and a culture carrier. The psychology of color taps into our deepest emotions and associations, allowing us to navigate the world around us.

Whether you're considering the color of your living room, the hue of a new dress, the palette of your website, or the logo of your brand, the psychology of color plays a crucial role in how your choices are perceived. It's a subtle, yet powerful tool at our disposal.

So, the next time you're about to make a decision about color, remember everything you've learned here today. Consider the emotional responses and cultural associations each color can evoke. Take the time to understand how color can influence mood and behavior. And always remember, the power of color is in your hands, ready to paint the world in whatever shades you choose.

The psychology of color is a fascinating field, and we've only just scratched the surface. But with this knowledge, you're well on your way to making more informed and impactful color choices in your daily life. Happy coloring!

If you're fascinated by the psychology of color and want to dive deeper into understanding how colors can influence mood, don't miss the workshop 'Intro to Colour Theory' by Matt Herbert. This workshop will provide you with a solid foundation in color theory and help you harness the power of colors to evoke emotions and enhance your creative projects.