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What is the Psychology of Colors?

Image of a custom sign - Signs and Banners in Durham, NCOver the last 100 years advertising has developed into its own art form. Advertising artists utilize effective slogans, persuasive statements and color manipulation to create their masterpieces. You only need to look to some of the larger companies seen in the Durham, NC. area to see this art form and practice. One area in advertising that is very effective but often overlooked by small businesses is the psychology of colors. Colors are able to cause the mind to think and view products, services and conditions differently.  In some cases a spontaneous action is created as a result of the color that is viewed. In this article we are going to dicuss the psychology of colors and how it can help with advertising for your small business in Durham, NC.

Stop On Red; Go On Green

Everyday we are surrounded by colors. We have even been conditioned to respond to certain colors, if you see a red stop sign or stop light you know it means to… (wait for it) … Stop. Once you recognize that colors can help grab someone’s attention or help place someone in a certain mood; it will help your sign, promotional materials, and business card be more effective based upon its purpose.

Should I use Pastels or Primary Colors


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Picture of a neon sign   - Signs and Banners in Durham, NCThe colors used in your advertising project can help identify the purpose of your ad.

Generally primary colors are used to help grab someone’s attention. The colors red and yellow bring about a level of awareness while blue and green establish a sense of clarity and instruction. Studies done at universities and medical centers, show that when candidates were shown different colors some physical changes took place. Red and yellow for example, would raise the blood pressure; in some cases they even caused the candidate to perspire from a sense of anticipation. They saw that the mind and body reacted to these primary colors by placing the candidate in a reactionary mode.

Pastel colors are used in areas where you want something to be considered. Utilize colors such as these when you want someone to ponder or think about the information that’s being provided. Informational flyers would be a great place to use pastel colors. Softer tones like pastels can bring about softer responses; these colors could also be placed against darker colors, allowing the recipient to be made aware of the circumstance without invoking a physical response.

Everyone Knows that Blue is for Boys and Pink is for Girls

For Years these colors have been used to identify products and services based upon gender. There is no psychological equivalent to the use of these colors in its origin but rather identified through societal shifts. According to the Smithsonian:

“A June 1918 article from the trade publication Earnshaw's Infants' Department said, “The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.” Other sources said blue was flattering for blonds, pink for brunettes; or blue was for blue-eyed babies, pink for brown-eyed babies, according to Paoletti.

In 1927, Time magazine printed a chart showing sex-appropriate colors for girls and boys according to leading U.S. stores. In Boston, Filene’s told parents to dress boys in pink. So did Best & Co. in New York City, Halle’s in Cleveland and Marshall Field in Chicago.

Today’s color dictate wasn’t established until the 1940s, as a result of Americans’ preferences as interpreted by manufacturers and retailers.”

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Bull City Signs serving the Durham, NC. and the surrounding areas is ready to put our experience to work for your business. For years we have provided high-end graphics and signs that are not only attractive, but will grab the attention of your potential customers as well. To back that up, we provide a wide range of services from Electric Signs to window treatments to help get your message out even more.

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