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MOTIVATION OF COLOR

By Erik Hofstetter
CEO Creative Visions



What we buy, eat, wear, use, the spaces in which we work and play… all have colors that elicit a subconscious and powerful response, reflecting who we are, what we think and how we feel. Since the early 1900s, response to color has come under the scrutiny not only of science, but of people seeking to reach other people in an immediate and visceral way. While experts doubt singular connections between color and the decision to buy or act, color is the first thing we notice and last thing we forget; in the right hands, it is a tool with power to sway.

Marketing research has codified emotional responses to color. Blue is typically associated with knowledge or serenity, yellow connotes value and red prompts impulse buying. It’s important for advertising professionals and designers to understand the motivations of color. For example, one would not use blue which denotes serenity, as a key color for a painting designed to convey terror. The end result is a confused message.


Choosing an identifying color is tough in a competitive business world. Green can be problematic because it is the symbol of the environmental movement. Even though you have an environmentally-conscious company, is that the best statement to lead off with? Blue, the color of trust and solidity, is still the most popular of all the corporate hues. Reds and oranges are popular because they are strong, aggressive and reproduce well, but the reluctance to move beyond these colors may be a missed communicative opportunity. Creative Visions determined that pink was the best choice for the Lola’s Sugar Rush branding assignment because women were the primary target and this color evoked deep desires, which motivates them to purchase what they consider “sinful” candy.

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