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Popular colors vary over time due to situations, consumers' feelings

DCN Reporter

The relationship between colors and emotions exists on a subconscious level. Colors can excite, impassion and encourage, or they can ease, soothe and console. Because of this power, businesses use colors to achieve the desired effect from consumers.

“When you start studying colors, it’s absolutely magnificent,? said Ardith Beveridge, a member of the American Institute of Floral Designers and an instructor at the Koehler and Dramm Institute of Floristry in Minneapolis.

“Color does produce emotions,? Beveridge said. “People who are marketers know this … it’s business.?

But the colors considered most fashionable are constantly in flux from season to season, affecting choices from clothing to furniture to flowers.

The hot colors this year? Brown, blue and rose hip, a shade of red.

Working with color—and flowers—is something Angela Stocke knows very well. She is the owner and lead creative designer of the floral shop, Angela’s Bella Flora, located on First Street in Duluth, Minn. Stocke attends “trendsetting? seminars to learn about the newest colors in fashion and how to incorporate them into her work.

“[At] my last wedding … the whole thing was chocolate and caramel,? she said.

Jay de Sibor is a past president of the Color Marketing Group, a New York-based organization that meets periodically and decides which colors will be important for the year.

“[Color is] driven by things that are going on around us: the world situation, environmental factors, globalization and ethnicity,? said de Sibor, as quoted in “Blue Tops Design Horizon,? an article published in the magazine “Art Business News.?

Understanding consumers’ emotions helps the group choose which colors to promote.

For example, since Sept. 11, 2001, Americans have been seeking a sense of security and safety, thus attracting them to red, white and blue, according to de Sibor.

This year, the three most prominent colors are brown, blue and red because they are comforting, relaxing and energizing, respectively.

The American people are subconsciously drawn toward brown because it is symbolic of the earth, Stocke said. She also said that, during times of war, people are protective of their children and neighborhoods as if trying to claim their piece of it.

Blue, also a color of nature, is relaxing and soothing, and navy blue, specifically, encourages feelings of loyalty and strength.

The color’s sense of serenity is due to its relation the sea and sky, according to de Sibor.

“Blues make us feel safe and grounded,? he said. “We assume that no matter what happens tomorrow, the sky will always be blue. It's a color that exudes tranquility.?

Blue can also evoke certain reactions, according to Beveridge.

“You would trust me more (if I were) wearing navy blue,? she said.

In contrast, if you played tennis against an opponent who wore red, you would play better, according to Beveridge, because it inspires a higher level of emotion and feeling.

“Red is a real energetic color,? Beveridge said.


I loved this blog. It was exactly what I was looking for. I took color theory in college and knew something must be happening if brown is the hot color. My brother-in-law just painted his daughter's room hot pink. He doesn't believe me when I say it'll make her angry.