The Power of Color
Color creates an immediate, instinctive connection in our minds. It speaks to our likes and dislikes, the products we buy and the brands we follow, our patriotic commitment, and our support for social movements.
Association is closely linked to connection. What we see or feel in the moment is automatically compared to our emotional experiences, memories, and personal or group beliefs. And because of this, color has a powerful influence on our perceptions and emotions.
As the artist Wassily Kandinsky proclaimed, “Color provokes a psychic vibration.”
For example, some people may see a shade of green and think of new beginnings and growth, while others feel it represents jealousy. And depending on the context, red can symbolize passion, or it can alert us to danger.
Color generates powerful resonances within us. In the US we pledge our allegiance to the red, white and blue. And we use color to show awareness and support for social and political causes on a national and international scale.
After Donald Trump was elected president in 2016, thousands of women across the country wore pink knitted hats for the 2017 Women’s March – a movement so powerful it led to a national shortage of pink yarn.
When the pandemic hit the UK in 2020, people displayed rainbow flags, buttons and stickers to show their pride for national health service workers.
More recently, the war in Ukraine has united the world in outcry at the atrocities of Russian aggression.
The now instantly identifiable blue and gold flag, representing the sky and the wheatfields of Ukraine, has become a symbol of solidarity and resistance and is proudly flown next to our Stars and Stripes in visual protest across the US.
Recently, a visitor stopped off at my house while on her way to a wedding. I noticed that she had pinned two pieces of ribbon to her blouse. One yellow, the other a soft green. I asked her what this meant.
“I didn’t have the right blue so I picked something I had that was close to show my solidarity,” she replied.
Even though she didn’t have the right colors on hand, it was important for her to show support for the people of Ukraine and everyone affected by the conflict and humanitarian crisis.
Evidence that the true power of color lies in its ability to create enduring memory.
Until next time, this is Rick, signing off.
Howdy! I’m Rick, a brand expert and seasoned graphic designer in NY’s Hudson Valley. For more than 40 years I’ve been creating remarkable brand solutions for individuals, companies and nonprofits here and beyond.
I want people to understand why brand is essential to their business, share a few personal experiences, and explore what goes into a good (or bad) design.