When scientists talk about the visible light spectrum, they’re referring to our ability to differentiate colors subjectively. Color psychology in product design uses our subjectivity when perceiving color to create positive, subconscious responses to an item.
The best use of color traces back through millennia of human civilizations. In On Colors, a text written in ancient Greece, people discovered that black isn’t a color but instead signifies the absence of light. More than 1500 years later, Isaac Newton conducted the first scientific studies on color and created the foundation for how we classify, group, and understand the visible light spectrum in his book Optiks.
Newton defined colors into three groups:
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was the first to state that our subjective experience created by color may differ based on our psychology.
Modern product designers now have a wealth of information available when making decisions about an item’s color scheme to help evoke a psychological response in consumers. With so many considerations involved in soliciting the perfect response from customers for a product, this blog will cover everything you need to know about color psychology in products.
Associating color with emotions is second nature to consumers. It’s why stop signs are red and we use phrases like “feeling blue.” Just altering the hue or shade of a color can alter the perception of an item in the subjective mind. Most consumers create associations between specific colors and big brands – and it’s not by accident.
Consider the common emotional responses to colors below and the brands that use them:
Companies that want to create positive associations with their products need to identify the unique position they want when choosing their primary color. However, these aren’t simple rules that you can adopt for all your product designs. Remember that the color will create an immediate impression on the user, and there are additional color considerations that influence the psychology of consumers.
People of different genders will experience colors differently on average. On preference alone, there are major differences in what men and women choose as their favorite color. Research shows that women also have a larger color vocabulary, especially when it comes down to shades and hues of non-primary colors.
Where colors looked identical to men, women were able to discern slight changes in hues among the middle of the spectrum. Similarly, men were more sensitive to changes in brightness across contrasting colors.
These changes may point to evolutionary differences in how men and women process colors, making it a vital consideration when trying to understand the psychology and emotional response by different audiences to a specific product’s color scheme.
Another consideration is that each culture may associate different emotions with a specific color. Blue is the safest color for products, as around the world in many cultures it signifies trust, security, and authority. This is probably why most police forces and emergency services opt to use blue uniforms.
Some of the cultural differences in color perception include:
Knowing about these and many other differences can help product designers avoid making a mistake when designing a product for a particular cultural region.
Choosing the right color for your product will depend on its intended application and the user’s preferences. Arbitrarily choosing colors for products without considering the emotional response you want to create is a risky approach. While in the design stages, you should use a rational color selection methodology that adds value to the final product.
A color selection methodology requires:
Lately, the main trend in consumer behavior is a rising need for product customization and personalization. Advances in manufacturing techniques and mass product customization techniques are giving buyers a wealth of options when shopping for products.
Using predefined color schemes, finishing, and material options are allowing customers to co-design products on the fly with enough freedom to create a product that suits their particular tastes.
Adding customized options to your products has many benefits. It’s one of the best ways to attract new buyers and provide exceptional buying experiences while helping to grow your brand. It’s especially true if you offer highly configurable products that use modular designs, and you can integrate the engineering and manufacturing requirements into your marketing process.
A product configuration and personalization platform enables you to provide different color schemes, finishing options, and customization capabilities to your customers.
Product customization gives your customers the freedom to choose from different options that suit their unique style and color tastes. For fashion brands, the choice of color for a particular dress or garment has a major impact on a shopper’s buying decision.
By including customized product options, you can:
Using product customization, you can maximize your use of color psychology in fashion, interior design, and many other products. One of our favorite examples of where color psychology meets product customization can be found in the Fender Mod Shop.
Here, customers have complete design freedom to change the color, base material, neck shape, and other elements that will make a guitar or bass unique to their tastes. As a Fender guitar is often a once-in-a-lifetime purchase, providing customization options and enticing color palettes ensures that no customer has to settle for a guitar that doesn’t match their preferences to a T.
To create a unique buying experience and allow customers to co-create products, your product customization options need to go beyond novelty effects and add aesthetic or function value. Having multiple color options available is one of the most basic but profitable customization features you can offer.
Industries that are using color psychology and product customization effectively include:
Using mass customization, product personalization, and color variations are the best ways to differentiate your brand from competitors. The advance of technologies like 3D rendering, AR, and interactive product personalization is helping today’s product designers to deliver shopping experiences that surpass customer expectations and provide unique products that delight customers.
While it’s still important to think through the color options you offer for your products, product personalization puts your customers in the driver’s seat. Ultimately, this helps increase engagement, conversions, brand loyalty, and your bottom line.
With ConfigureID’s product personalization platform, you can offer unlimited customization options including colors, materials, text personalization, and more.
Our platform provides an intuitive user interface, photorealistic 3D visualization, and sophisticated configuration logic that guide your customers through the personalization process from start to finish.
Leverage the power of color psychology and mass product customization to boost margins and loyalty with ConfigureID. Schedule a demo to see how.