Part of the magic of the human experience is the similarities we share in cognitive response. Given a set of different stimuli, a majority of humans will react or feel uniformly. Color is a common stimulus that most people rarely consider. Varying wavelengths of reflected light stimulate our nerves and create distinct responses that are not only connotative but biological as well. Color can change our moods and cause us to be hungry, drowsy, or even upset. It is has the innate ability to influence our decisions while almost unnoticed.
A great deal of study is conducted to understand our natural responses to color for the obvious benefit of subconscious communication, and there is no arena where this is utilized more than in the sales and retail industries. Smart retailers consider instinctual response to color when designing anything in association with their store, whether that means billboards, associates’ dress code, or even the walls and store fixtures. The right color of a slatwall fixture or dressing room interior may make the difference of a customer walking away empty handed or with an arm full of clothes.
Possibly the greatest model for color influence is the “Golden Arches” of MacDonald’s. Have you ever wondered why they picked yellow? Not only is yellow a cheerful and friendly color that appeals to youth, it has been proven to actually make people hungry for foods high in carbohydrates. In this example, color is utilized perfectly because it identifies with the customers by targeting younger people while generating a healthy desire for fast burning sustenance. Similarly, retailers wishing to take advantage of color stimulus should consider their customers. What is the typical age group of customers? What type of experience do you want them to have? Should there be a vibe of excitement or quiet relaxation? There are so many things to consider, but until a retailer knows their customer and even their own store, it is difficult to choose colors that will accomplish these things.
Once the store design, products, and customers have been clarified, color association may begin. Each color has a typical psychological association that it produces. Red is exciting, passionate, and warm, while pink creates a desire for candy and sweets. Blue is a relaxing color that brings refreshment and symbolizes intuition and integrity, and green universally signifies a nurturing appeal. Most color association is actually common sense if you take the time to think about it, but some colors responses might surprise you. For example, white can be both cold and sterile or it can bring life to other colors.
Color and texture combinations can range from extremely complex to very simple. If you are new to creating a color palette, keep it simple and remember to use high contrast. The more contrast, the more stimulating an environment or advertisement will be. Choose a few colors that contrast but identify with your customers according to age and style. In a retail setting, a splash of red is always great to create that itch of desire. Do not worry too much about producing the wrong effect. Chances are, if you spent some time thinking about it, it will work well. Many retailers don’t even get that far.
Post time: 03-20-2017