How Does Color Influence Your Physical + Digital Spaces?

How Does Color Influence Your Marketing Initiatives within Your Physical + Digital Spaces?

For more than 40 years, Pantone has been a mainstream color matching system used by the design industry, along with paint, textile, and plastics manufacturers.  Although the first Color of the Year was chosen in 2000, I vividly remember 2005, 15-5217 Blue Turquoise.  Refreshing, balancing, calming, tranquil – Blue Turquoise encourages deep, relaxing breaths.  This color speaks volumes with just one glance.  Since then, and at the beginning of each year, I not only look forward to celebrating the hope and renewal of a new year but also the introduction of the Pantone Color of the Year.  2021 celebrates 13-0647 Illuminating and 13-5104 Ultimate Gray.


Color is a powerful communication tool that can be used to signal action and influence mood. Color psychology is the study of colors in relation to human behavior. It also looks at how color influences our behavior and decision-making. Color psychology is widely used in marketing and branding, by impacting the way customers think and behave. Without using words, color communicates on an emotional level and can be quite effective at persuasion.

What Does Color Mean?

As for Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2021, the base color meaning of Yellow (Pantone 13-0647 Illuminating) typically revolves around sunshine. It evokes feelings of happiness, hope, joy, cheerfulness, and optimism. It represents energy, open communication and can spark creative thoughts. The base color meaning of Gray (Pantone 17-5104 Ultimate Gray) represents neutrality and balance. It is the perfect balance that lives between the extremes of black and white. The color Gray is often associated with stability, strength, and security.  The chart below explains some of the emotions and characteristics associated with ten common base colors.

this chart showcases the meaning or characteristics of ten base colors

How do colors influence your audience?

A study published in the journal Management Decision supports the theory that color is critical for conveying information. The study says that people make decisions within 90 seconds of their first impression of a product, and color alone contributes up to 90 percent of the information that forms the decision. This suggests that marketers must understand how the colors they use affect consumers’ ability to differentiate products and identify brands.

Understanding the effects of color and utilizing the right color scheme may help to enhance your marketing advantage. There are many studies on the impact of specific colors in marketing and how they can influence your audience, especially if the message is carefully matched with the color. Colors are also personal and subjective and when using them we should also be mindful of cultural and social influences. Overall, choosing and using colors strategically for your marketing initiatives can be very effective.  When choosing colors, remember to keep in mind the psychological effects of the three following areas:

  1. Mood – What type of emotion or mood are you trying to evoke?
  2. Actions + Interactions – What actions do you want to be taken? Do you want interactions to happen in a specific way?
  3. Perception – Color can largely affect people’s perception of your brand or business. How do you want your customers to think or feel about your product or service?

As I celebrate the beginning of a new year and Pantone’s new colors, Illuminating and Ultimate Gray seem like the perfect choice for what we look forward to in 2021.

If you would like to learn more about color psychology or how to choose the best colors to influence your marketing initiatives, feel free to contact Holt Experiential today.

About The Author

Collette Sutton is a senior account manager with over 20 years of experience and expertise in account development, consultative selling, and strategic planning with a demonstrated track record of success.   Passionate about creating environments and experiences that drive engagement and value to companies and brands in a meaningful and memorable way, she has experience with corporate, commercial, and retail interiors, sports arenas, outdoor events, POP-POS, and experiential custom exhibits.  Collette is dedicated to delivering exceptional customer experiences and service.

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