Color Theory & Psychology

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Color is all around, no matter where we go. In this week’s episode, Jailyn and Morgan sit down with our Graphic Designer Lindsey to talk about all things color, including color theory & psychology. 

Before we get started with the heart of the topic, we, of course, have an icebreaker for Lindsey to start our color conversation.


  1. What is color? Name your favorite and why?
    Answer: Color is created by either a combination of pigment or light that affects the way individuals see life differently. There are different wavelengths, which influence individuals’ retinas to create color hues that range anywhere from red to purple, and anything in between. Lindsey’s favorite colors range – purple makes her feel warm and happy inside, while sage green makes everything good.
  2. Name the primary colors.
    Answer: Red, blue, and yellow. These colors are pigment colors that cannot be mixed or formed by any combination of other colors. Also, they are ever so prevalent in any logo, branding, and anywhere in life.
  3. Name the secondary colors.
    Answer: Green, orange, and purple. These hues are formed by mixing the primary colors together.
  4. What are tertiary colors? Name them.
    Answer: Tertiary colors are formed by mixing a primary and a secondary color together, which is why some hues are hyphenated, i.e. blue-green or yellow-orange. Tertiary colors are yellow-green, red-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green, and yellow-green.

Download Lindsey’s Color Psychology Sheet to learn more about each color’s meaning.

Color Theory

Color theory is a multitude of categories, definitions, and concepts. It’s about the way color operates in our world. From brands and logos to nature and our environment, colors have different meanings and context, which is important to remember when operating through life.

For example, red can have positive and negative meanings, depending on its context. Red is associated with positive terms, like energy, strength, power, determination, passion, and love, while it’s not so positive connotations are blood, war, and danger. You wouldn’t want to spread red along the walls or floor of a hospital because it could indicate blood. Knowing when and how to use colors is important when it comes to color theory.

Color Schemes & Palettes


Analogous colors are colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. For example, yellow, green-yellow, and green are analogous colors. The word ‘analogous’ is defined as two things with a similar function or feature comparable to one another.


Complementary colors are the opposite hues on the color wheel. In their most basic form, they are one primary color and the secondary color that is created by mixing the other two primaries. For instance, the complementary color to yellow is purple, which is a mix of blue and red. 


This color scheme only focuses on one color, which is easy to create and use. Monochromatic color schemes use different tones from the same angle of the color on the color wheel or the same hue with different levels of white tinting and black shading. 

Color Psychology

Color psychology is the study of colors in relation to human behavior. It aims to determine how color evokes our emotions and affects our day to day decisions, i.e. the items we purchase. Some colors have emotional weight in various parts of the world, like North America, Africa, and Europe. 


We recently discovered Adobe Color, and we absolutely love it. This cool resource is only available through Adobe Creative Cloud, and it allows you to choose your one of the Color Harmony Rule:

  • Analogous
  • Monochromatic
  • Triad
  • Complementary
  • Compound
  • Shades
  • Custom

After choosing a rule, you can adjust the main color as necessary, and the other colors will change too.

Contact TM’s Creative Team

How much did you know about Color Theory & Color Psychology before listening to our episode and reading this summary? Let us know in the comments below, or send us a Contact message if you would like our Creative team to assist with your next design project.

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