The Psychology of Color: How Color Influences Emotions and Behaviors

Color plays a significant role in our lives, evoking emotions, influencing our moods, and shaping our behaviors. In the realm of digital illustration, understanding the psychology of color is paramount to creating impactful and engaging artwork. In this blog post, we will explore the fascinating world of color psychology, examining how different colors evoke emotions and discussing their cultural and contextual influences.

Bevor we start I want to tell you about a "little secret" about my branding here at Digidesignresort.

The Safari Lounge Designer Classes

The Safari Lounge launched for the first time on August, 1st 2009 - with a huge success I didn't even know was possible. At that time we had a forum here at Digidesignresort as well as a gallery and a store. In the forum we had different categories and bevor the launch date of the Safari Lounge they have been named with something like "Pool Bar" or "Creative Corner" and we also had the "Beachbabes" who were our Creative Team.
These names came from a vacation I was on when I was a child. We went with the whole family to Tenerife and spend our holiday at a hotel where was a lot for children. There was entertainment the entire day - we could participate in sport competitions (and even got medals: gold, silver and bronze) and do crafts while of course playing in the pool or having lunch. It was a wonderful holiday because there wasn't one minute we kids were bored. And when I launched Digidesignresort I thought of a place like that. A "Resort" where my peeps (aka our dear members) could be and relax while experiencing new things. In my imagination DigidesignResort was a place where people could learn and experience everything about digital (=digi) design while being on a downtime from every day life.
Why I'm telling you this: My imagination for Digidesignresort shaped the choice of the colors. The dark brown stands for nature, wood, being on a safari (=adventure), the light pink reminds me of a sunset while the turquoise reminds me of the beautiful sea. The cream gives a contrast to the dark brown on the one hand but at the same time it allows me to play with the dark and light color without using black and white (which are pretty hard).
The branding here took me a few weeks. I trusted that, one day, it would just feel "right". And yes, it did.

I guess that, without my explanation nobody would think of "the Resort" as a place of vacation based on an island with beautiful turquoise water and a light red sunset. But I really hope that anyone who arrives here feels welcomed because of the colors I've chosen. See my brand board above - I know it's a mess but it contains everything I stand for, I like and what I want Digidesignresort to be and make my visitors and members feel.
And that is why it's worth to learn more about color psychology.

My Nature and Animal Pictures

As explained above there is a reason why I have chosen the colors I have picked. And there is a reason why I choose the pictures I do. Mostly they have been taken in zoos here (this is not stock photography, we usually take the photos ourselves because we love to do that!). And the pictures have filters applied which reflect - hopefully - the style of Digidesignresort which is a little bit of Boho mixed with animals from the African continent. 

Beside that I deeply love animals and I love to watch their behavior. That's why I think they make a perfect fit. Additionally, the colors fit to Digidesignresort - cream and brown for example. And the animals always have stories they tell suitable to my text. See the two camels? They look really interested in color psychology, don't they? ???

Understanding Color Psychology

So let's start by defining what color psychology. It is the study of how colors affect human emotions and behaviors. It delves into the psychological and physiological responses that colors elicit, helping artists harness the power of color in their digital illustrations. By understanding color psychology, digital illustrators can create artwork that resonates deeply with viewers.

The Emotional Impact of Colors

Colors have unique emotional associations and can evoke specific feelings. Let's explore some common color categories and the emotions they typically elicit:

Warm Colors

Warm colors, such as red, orange, and yellow, evoke strong and energetic emotions. Red is often associated with passion, love, and intensity. Orange radiates vibrancy, enthusiasm, and optimism. Yellow brings feelings of happiness, positivity, and warmth.

Cool Colors

Cool colors, including blue, green, and purple, tend to elicit calming and soothing emotions. Blue is often associated with serenity, trustworthiness, and reliability. Green brings forth feelings of nature, harmony, and growth. Purple is linked to luxury, creativity, and spirituality.

Neutral Colors

Neutral colors like white, gray, and black have their own psychological impact. White symbolizes purity, simplicity, and cleanliness. Gray connotes practicality, balance, and sophistication. Black represents power, elegance, and mystery.

Color Symbolism and Cultural Influences

Color symbolism can vary across cultures and contexts. For example, while white signifies purity in Western cultures, it may represent mourning in some Eastern cultures. Understanding the cultural connotations attached to colors is crucial when creating digital illustrations for diverse audiences. Additionally, colors can have different interpretations within different industries and contexts. For instance, healthcare may utilize blues and greens to evoke a sense of calm and trust, while marketing and branding might employ vibrant and attention-grabbing colors to stimulate excitement and engagement.

Applying Color Psychology in Digital Illustration

Digital illustrators can leverage color psychology to create artwork that effectively communicates emotions and messages. Consider the following tips:

  • Understand the emotions and messages you want to convey in your artwork. (Look at what I tried to archive with my colors here at Digidesignresort!)
  • Choose color palettes that align with the desired emotional response.
  • Create visual harmony and contrast through well-balanced color combinations.
  • Consider the cultural background and contextual factors of your target audience to ensure your colors resonate with them.

Case Studies and Examples

Let's delve into some case studies to see color psychology in action. In a digital illustration depicting a serene beach scene, the artist uses cool blues and greens to evoke a sense of tranquility and relaxation. In a branding project for a luxury product, the artist incorporates deep purples and golds to convey opulence and exclusivity. These examples showcase how color choices can effectively convey specific emotions and messages.
When you design a digital illustration set try to get into the mind of your customer. What will she use it for? Will she scrapbook with your clipart? Will she design wallpapers for her mobile or wall art prints for her home? You route your customers in a direction by the colors you choose, the clipart you add and the samples you give. 


Color psychology is a powerful tool for digital illustrators. By understanding the emotional impact of colors and considering cultural and contextual influences, artists can create digital illustrations that evoke strong emotional responses and effectively communicate messages. So, the next time you embark on a digital illustration project, dive into the world of color psychology and let the power of color enhance your artwork and captivate your audience.

By harnessing the psychology of color, digital illustrators can create impactful and emotionally resonant artwork. Whether you're aiming to convey warmth, tranquility, energy, or elegance, color plays a vital role in shaping the emotional experience of your audience. So, embrace the psychology of color and watch your digital illustrations come alive with depth and meaning.

Wanna learn more about Colors?

Have a look at my FREE Procreate Class, I've also included several color palettes you can use for your projects:

Procreate for iPad Beginner Class

Join me in the free Procreate Class and learn everything you need to know for creating your artwork in Procreate. 

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