Direct Mail: The Impact of Color Psychology 

Lauded psychologist, Carl Jung believed that “color is the mother tongue of the subconscious.” In other words, he believed that color affects our mood and it can influence our actions. If you’re looking to deploy a direct mail campaign, color selection is an important design element you might have overlooked. Gaining an understanding of color psychology can enhance your marketing efforts.  

The Basics of Color Psychology 

A good deal of research has been dedicated to the use of color in marketing and how it influences consumers. From this research, we know that color can impact the perception of a brand’s image and its services. For instance, there is a psychological reason why most fast food establishments have bright hues of red and orange in their messaging. The colors a person sees can affect their overall perception of a brand or product. This is because color evokes emotion. For instance, the color red is associated with hunger or passion while blue is associated with tranquility and trustworthiness.  

Determining which colors you select for your direct mail campaign should be based on your existing brand image, what works well with your logo and other branded graphics, and the industry with which you operate.  

Graphic designers can help you pick colors that won’t appear distracting or unprofessional with your existing brand image. It is important to consult with professionals since selecting the wrong tone of a color or using too many colors could detract from your overall message. Your goal is to seamlessly inject color to evoke a response and without help from a professional, you run the risk of turning potential customers off. 

Color Psychology and Emotion 

If you’re wondering which colors could enhance your next direct mail campaign, it is important to have a basic understanding of the emotional response connected to specific colors.  

Here’s a helpful guide to get you started: 

Red: This color is seen as energetic. Red hues are commonly associated with passion, excitement, and hunger. When you think of this color, consider how people feel when they see Target’s or Coca-Cola’s logo. 

Blue: Seen as tranquil and reliable, blue is often associated with trustworthiness and dependability. A great example of blue being used to promote these emotions is how major car insurance carriers such as GEICO and Allstate utilize this color.  

Green: Conveying wholesomeness and vitality, green is often associated with nature and inviting environments. This is why many supplements, health products, and wholesome foods utilize green in their logos. Businesses based in the agricultural and food preparation industries commonly use green for these reasons.  

Orange/Yellow: These colors tend to promote feelings of optimism and joy. Due to their bright nature, these colors should be used sparingly and thoughtfully. Popular orange- and yellow-themed brands you know include Taco Bell, Nickelodeon, Fanta, and MasterCard. 

Purple: This color is most commonly associated with wisdom, royalty, and creativity. Purple is commonly seen in skincare products and among innovative brands with staying power such as Yahoo!, FedEx, and Hallmark. 

White: Typically associated with purity and cleanliness, white can evoke strong emotional associations with consumers. Many modern and minimalist brands like Ikea and Apple utilize white very well.  

Black: Although black isn’t technically a color, it is a hue that evokes emotion. Black is often perceived as strong, capable, and dominating. Popular brands you know of that utilize black include Adidas and Chanel. When black is executed strategically, it can command attention in all the right ways.  

If you have questions about color psychology and your next direct mail campaign, give the Pel Hughes team a call. We offer in-house graphic design and printing with excellent client service. You can request a quote online or call us at (504) 486-8646.