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In our previous blog post, we gave you the recipe for the ultimate business card. One of our tips included using complementary colors to catch your clients’ eyes. But did you know that colors have more of an impact on your audience than just to grab their attention? In fact, multiple studies note how different hues, shades, and tints affect human behavior.

Here, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about color psychology and how different colors affect your company’s persona.

The Science Behind Color Psychology

According to Andrew J. Elliot (of the University of Rochester) and Markus A. Maier (of the University of Munich) in a 2007 article on color and psychology, people observe color in everything they see. Our brains process these visual stimuli and assign a color to the items we observe. And since our brains detect so many colors each day, various hues and shades capture our attention differently.

Our brains also associate colors with multiple, contextual meanings. These connotations trigger a number of psychological responses, such as emotional and behavioral changes. We might even identify colors with positive or negative experiences. As a result, we develop a strong like or dislike of certain tints-and we associate positive or negative emotions with products that display these colors.

As a business owner, you want your current customers and future clients to develop a good-and correct-opinion of your company. To achieve this goal, you need to implement the right colors in your logo, brochures or pamphlets, signs, and business cards. Read on to learn more about each color’s meaning and how it affects your company.

Colors and Their Significance

As previously mentioned, people attach meaning to every color. Consult the list below as you decide on which colors to use for your business’s visual components.

Red

Red paves the way for both positive and negative interpretations. It is often associated with the following words and characteristics:

• Courage

• Energy

• Boldness

• Strength

• Danger

• Anger

• Desire

• Passion

• Love

• Vigor

• Leadership

Because red is such an intense, vivid color, people tend to notice it immediately-despite its multifaceted nuances.

Orange

Since one of its base colors is red, orange also has good and bad connotations. People often identify this color with different states of being, including:

• Creativity

• Aggression

• Enthusiasm

• Cheerfulness

• Fascination

• Attraction

• Success

• Prestige

• Illumination

So if you want the boldness of red with a more positive result, choose orange for your color scheme.

Yellow

Many people think of joy when they see the color yellow. And because this is the color of the sun, they often feel happy and energized when they see yellow’s various hues. Your audience will feel these sentiments if you use yellow:

• Comfort

• Hunger

• Liveliness

• Energy

• Optimism

• Warmth

And since designers typically use yellow in a bright shade, it grasps a person’s attention quickly.

Green

To give your company a more natural, holistic persona, add green to your business cards and pamphlets. Green often symbolizes encouraging feelings and ideas, including:

• Growth

• Harmony

• Reliability

• Trustworthiness

• Safety

• Honesty

• Relaxation

• Calmness

• Healing

• Wealth

• Endurance

• Hope

You’ll often notice different shades of green in the medical industry to promote feelings of confidence and prosperity. But you can use this color to tell your customers that you are an honest, reliable company regardless of your field.

Blue

Appeal to your audience’s mental well-being with blue. Your customers often infer the following when they see this color:

• Peace

• Dependability

• Competence

• Trust

• Honor

• Stability

• Calmness

• Expertise

• Knowledge

• Integrity

• Seriousness

• Tranquility

Use darker tints of blue, such as navy or cerulean, to give your business a more professional undertone.

Purple

If you’d like your company to demonstrate the energy of red tones with the calmness of blue ones, purple is your best option. Purple often conveys characteristics such as:

• Imagination

• Spirituality

• Unity

• Harmony

• Balance

• Firmness

• Originality

• Individuality

• Luxury

• Nobility

• Love

• Nurture

• Creativity

• Mystery

• Dignity

• Wisdom

• Wealth

• Power

Note that purple is a feminine color, so you’ll want to use it if your clientele consists mostly of women.

Black

Neutral colors let you to accent brighter colors without sacrificing quality or perceived meaning. Black allows you to emphasize the following characteristics:

• Elegance

• Strength

• Sophistication

• Formality

• Authority

Don’t use black as you main color, since it makes material harder to read and distracts from images and other important information.

White

Like black, white allows you to complement bold tones. This tint also conveys the following messages to your audience:

• Goodness

• Light

• Purity

• Newness

• Simplicity

Again, only use white as an accent. Most people view white as a safe color, so only add traces of it to your business cards.

Choose the Appropriate Colors

As you work with a graphic designer to draft or recreate your business cards, keep these principles in mind. Remember the words associated with each color, and pick a pigment that speaks volumes about your company. When you choose colors to represent your business, select one or two that give your audience the correct impression.

And if you aren’t sure which colors work best for your company’s persona, ask your graphic designer for his or her professional opinion.