How to Leverage the Power of Color in Print Marketing

Colors play a vital role in our lives, influencing our activities and our responses to the world around us. Print has the ability to affect customer behavior in ways other mediums do not. A printed piece is tangible. It’s the sign that draws you into a store, or the shelf-talker that notifies you of a sale. It’s the menu you order from, the brochure you flip through, or the customer card you stamp.

So it only stands to reason that retail institutions and print shops should consider color carefully when planning their next campaigns or helping clients select marketing materials.

The Psychology of Color in Print Marketing

Consider what researchers in the field of color psychology have found and see if you can find ways to use color in your print marketing to meet the specific needs of your customers or your in-house team.

Warm Colors: Red, Orange, Yellow

Let’s start out with the most vibrant–reds and their derivatives. Red, yellow and orange are used in restaurants because those colors appear to stimulate appetites. Red, with its positive effect on memory, also has been shown to increase heartbeat and breathing.

Yellow is a happy color enhancing concentration and denoting happiness. Orange combines properties of the two. Try yellow, orange, and red for your clients in fast food or discount retail.

Cool Colors: Blue, Green

Blue is the cool color. A creativity stimulator, blue connotes calm and ease. It’s also is proven to diminish appetite. Blue works well in fields where clients need extra assurance, like finance, insurance, and education.

Green is the soothing color; it relaxes the body, alleviates stress and has a perceived healing and hygienic effect, making it effective for use in hospitals. Green also has natural connotations, making it a strong choice for clients advertising environmental initiatives.

Black and White

Black is the forceful color, denoting power, authority and aggression. Products packaged in black grab attention and create urgency.

And then there is white–the neutral color. It symbolizes innocence and cleanliness, stresses sterility in medical situations and lends an air of sophistication to clothing.

How Color Affects Retail Buying Behavior

Did you know that 93% of purchasing decisions are based on visual appearance? Color does more than just attract attention. Used strategically, color can actually boost sales.

In retail, red denotes a sense of urgency and is the go-to color for calling attention to sales and clearances. Red, orange, and yellow are also attractive to impulse buyers. Use red in signage, sale or clearance tags, and shelf-talkers when you’re trying to move inventory quickly.

In retail, blue and green work similarly. Both are soothing and welcoming, but their cool notes denote responsibility. Cool tones like these work well with smart, budget-conscious buyers who have a clear buying plan. Use blue and green in printed brochures or mailers for higher-end products or where recipients may need more time to make a buying decision.

In retail, black appeals to impulse buyers with deep pockets. It’s connotations of prestige and timelessness make it a popular choice for high-end, superfluous purchases like expensive tech-gear, grooming products, and clothing.

White isn’t a popular color in retail. Its soft, clean vibe isn’t strong enough to influence buying decisions on its own. In retail, use white alongside vibrant colors.

Incorporating Color in Your Marketing

With the vibrant color selection of Relyco’s REVLAR, you have a wide variety of vibrant hues, pastels and whites to offer. With the new inks available in the newest Ricoh, OKI and Xerox printers–white, gold, silver, clear just to name a few – any combination of substrate and inks can be used to create the desired psychological impact.

Working with the psychology of color and combining new printing technologies will help you make a strong statement when planning sales and marketing campaigns.


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