Signs and Color Psychology: What Color Should Your Signage Be?

How to Decide on the Right Color for Your Business Signs

For years, psychologists, alternative medicine experts, advertisers, and others have been studying colors and how they affect us. Without even realizing it, colors can have a drastic effect on how we feel, how we make decisions, and so much more. Have you ever thought about why your favorite color is your favorite color? There’s probably a lot more to it than you’d guess. Your favorite color evokes some kind of emotions whenever you see it, whether happiness or warmth or excitement or passion. As a business owner, you can take advantage of color psychology when designing your establishment, branding, and most importantly—your business signs. Both outdoor signs and indoor signs can benefit greatly from color psychology. To help you choose the right colors for your business, here’s a brief guide to the feelings and values associated with some of the most popular sign colors.

1. White signs are clean, pure, and bright.

The color white is so often associated with purity and cleanliness—depicted as offering a clean slate. When consumers see your white sign, they’re often made to feel calm because of the breathing room. However, giving consumers too much white space can make your business seem cold or empty. Should you go for a white sign, you’ll want to find the right balance between blank space and the right amount of color.

2. Black signs signify mystery and seduction or authority and power.

Depending on the context, the color black can signify authority and power, mystery and seduction, or formality. When used effectively, the color black on a sign can capture the attention of consumers, inviting them to learn more about your business, your products, and your services. Too much of it, however, can turn consumers off—as they can perceive your brand as too dark or unappealing—so try to incorporate other colors into the sign as well.

3. Yellow signs signify alertness, happiness, and warmth.

Yellow is a bright, eye-catching color that is most often associated with feelings of happiness and warmth. It can help promote productivity and make consumers feel better about their choices (think: the yellow smiley face used to signify great deals on Walmart products throughout the store). However, because of its brightness, yellow is one of those colors that people either love or hate. Though it will definitely grab someone’s attention, you’ll have to be careful that you’re getting their attention in a positive way.

4. Red signs evoke excitement, passion, and impulsivity.

The color red is most commonly associated with passion and excitement (e.g. Valentine’s Day). Red signs are great at capturing the attention of passersby and encouraging impulse shopping or decision-making. If you want to capture the attention of consumers and encourage them to walk in your business right away, red may be the best color for the job.

5. Blue signs signify authority, clear thinking, and trustworthiness.

The color blue, depending on the shade, can signify authority, trustworthiness, clear thinking, and productivity—among other emotions. Blue signs can help you establish trust and prove your expertise within your community. Your consumers will be walking into your business with a clear head, confident in the decision they’re making right away.


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