How To Use Color To Boost Your Mood or Brand

color message color theory color therapy color use personal branding Nov 11, 2020

The Science of Color and Emotional Response

There you are driving down a busy street when you see it. Your favorite fast food restaurant is gleaming brightly with the lights on, and you start to feel that urge to cut off the person beside you and pull over into the parking lot. The only thing on your mind is a large fry and a root beer, when just 3 minutes ago, you were gleefully on your way to see your grandparents.  (Side Note- The fries will not make it to them so don't get extra.)

We know that fast food restaurants choose their color palettes solely to initiate an emotional response or feeling. If you weren't privy to this knowledge, consider how many different main color palettes there are for fast food chains.

2-----There are only 2 dominant color palettes for fast food chains in the US.

Red and Yellow, or Blue and White.  Sure there are a few out layers, but I would assert that they have a different branding message. Taco Bell has been an out layer for years, but it's main colors Orange and Purple combine to make you feel like it is creatively different, or even somehow regal.  Yep, I said it...Taco Bell is Regal๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

This scientific and specific use of color is not just for fast food restaurants. You can see it all around you with household brands.

Color Theorists, Therapists, and Scientists have long relied on the use of color to initiate a mood, emotion, or feeling to set the tone with marketing and branding strategists. So why can't you use this same science to boost your mood?

After being in the personal branding industry for over 2 decades, I can attest to the truth that runs behind the science of color. I have used in in many branding and marketing strategies for years.

I've helped reporters develop resume reels based on color theory alone that landed them jobs in top level news markets.

I've helped women business owners turn around sales, by simply changing the color palette that they wore in their Facebook Lives and Instagrams.

Color Theory works....But can you use it, even if you aren't a big corporation, or in front of a camera?

Absolutely, and here is why:

Science shows that when an individual sees a particular color there are at least 3 areas of the brain that respond with an emotional connection to that color.  If you want to feel a specific emotion - simply wear that color or place something in your vantage point with that color to initiate that feeling.

It is important to note 2 separate things when choosing a color to boost your mood.  

1) You will also boost the mood of those around you...Have kids at home- try a color that registers high with peace, like the Pantone shade "Serenity." This can also do wonders for your own small business strategic marketing efforts. If you have a small business or side hustle consider using a color that promotes the emotion that you would like your clients to feel.

2) If you have been through a traumatic event and a color has been associated with that trauma- the normal color emotions are negated for that color. You can do a personal testing of color to see which hue is a suitable replacement for the color that is associated with trauma. I suggest stopping in your local J.Crew location and visit the cashmere sweater display.  There are usually 20-30 different colors all in one place and you can test each one out individually by holding it up and taking note of the emotions that you feel.

Below you will find a basic list of colors with a dominant emotion that I use when working with clients, or ensuring that I am coming across with the emotion that I want my clients to feel.

Red- Love

Orange- Creativity

Yellow- New

Green- Fresh

Blue- Stability

Hot Pink- Vitality

Purple- Regal

Creme- Clarity

Black- Ending and New Beginning

Each varying hue of the basic colors listed above will have at least 2 additional emotions. Start combining colors, and you are sure to find the exact emotion that you'd love to feel without ever turning on the Hallmark Channel to get that desired result!

We'd love to hear how you are going to start applying color to boost your mood or brand. Tag us on Instagram @brandiepriceimage

Brandie Price is an Award Winning On-Camera Image Consultant, Celebrity Branding Expert, and On-Camera Spokesperson for Major Household Brands. You can follow her at or join her free Facebook Community, On Camera Confidence for Women where she goes live weekly sharing the behind the scenes tips for On Camera Confidence.

Check out Pantone Institute® for more color meaning and emotions. Seriously- they are the leading experts in this field and I have had the honor of implementing their color theory for decades.


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