The Psychology of Color

The Psychology of Color

Choosing the right colors for your graphics and website is a vital step in the design process.  Different colors have very different psychological effects on your audience, and knowing the effect you want to create can help you in your color selection.

The following table gives some of the basics of color psychology. 





reliability, dedication, progress, creativity, trust, loyalty, coolness, tranquility, harmony, intelligence, communication, efficiency.

sadness, aloofness, lack of emotion, unfriendliness.


nature, freshness, calm, growth, fertility, wealth, balance, relaxation, peace, environmental awareness.

jealousy, sickness, inexperience, boredom, stagnation, blandness.


playfulness, creativity, optimism, confidence, concentration, friendliness, warmth, easygoing attitude, inviting, sunlight, intellect, innovation.

caution, decay, sickness, jealousy, dishonesty, irrationality, depression, anxiety.


warmth, comfort, contentment, strength, food, appetite, security, sensuality, abundance, fun.

immaturity, frustration, demanding, distrust, deceit.


power, passion, courage, vitality, visual impact, high energy, leadership, excitement, strength, sex, impulses, speed, defiance, heat, fire, love, heart, warmth.

danger, basic survival, emergency, blood, force, aggression, confrontation.


royalty, luxury, lushness, wealth, sophistication, individuality, consciousness, spirituality.

artificiality, moodiness, grief, depression.


authority, power, formality, purpose, drive, dignity, reliability, wisdom, security, substance, silence, elegance, mystery, glamour.

submission, death, despair, mourning, menace, heaviness, coldness, oppression.


purity, innocence, perfection, truth, harmony, loyalty, sincerity, responsibility, innocence, cleanliness, clarity.

harshness, sterility, blinding, clinical, coldness, elitism.

There are many other factors that affect color choice as well.  Avoid using overly bright colors in your website, since they tend to look garish on the computer screen.  And make sure that the colors you choose complement one another so that your site has an overall sense of harmony.

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