Color Theory and Infographic Design

Color Theory leaflet design

Imagine a yellow and red logo. What company initially comes to mind? Most likely you think of McDonald’s. McDonald’s logo is an excellent example of how powerful color marketing is and how important it is to choose colors that evoke emotion. The shape of the arches and the yellow and red logo are easily recognizable as explained in color theory. McDonald’s is not the only fast food chain, however, to use these colors. Most American fast food chains have yellow and red in their logos, as they induce appetite. 

This is an example of color psychology, and it’s something to keep in mind when designing infographics and other content for your business.

The Psychology Behind the Colors

psychology_of_colors
Image via Flickr by amytrippmyers

Much in the same way that you taste with your eyes first, the initial point of interaction with a consumer is visual. Having a visually striking color theme or logo informs the buyer about your product. Instead of talking about each color on the list, let’s take a look at a few colors and what they usually evoke. Black can mean bold, sleek, and sophisticated. Purple can mean regal and unique. White is modern, fresh, and clean. You will find that many electronic and makeup brands use these colors frequently.

Take a walk down the grocery store aisle for other examples of color psychology, and note the similar color combinations between labels and bottles. Stop by the laundry detergent aisle, and you will notice that many detergent logos are blue and orange. In this instance, blue shows cleanliness and orange displays energy, power, and efficiency. Although color does play a significant role in advertising, remember that responses can be unique to the person viewing the advertisement.

The Lasting Power of Marketing

In one study researchers gauged the activity of participants’ brains using MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). While participants were in the MRI machine, they viewed 3-second images of both well-known and lesser-known car manufacturer and insurance companies’ logos. The study showed that “strong brands activated a network of cortical areas and areas involved in positive emotional processing, and associated with self-identification and rewards.” Weaker brands caused the participant’s brain to work harder and showed negative emotions. Strong logos and graphics in your content attract attention and leave lasting impressions.

Choosing the Right Content  

When designing an infographic, color is most likely the last thing you think of, because you want the product to speak for itself. As we’ve learned, however, it’s crucial. Ideally, you want to choose between three and five colors, or else the infographic becomes busy and your data gets lost. Although colors are essential, you should also factor into your design shapes, numbers, and letters. Choosing content might seem daunting. If you’re overwhelmed and unfamiliar with color theory, you might want to seek professional and premium content for your infographic templates.

The next time you’re at the mall, look at the labels and colors on all the products. How you see the world of advertising will never be the same.