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The Psychology of Color in Animation

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Psychology of colors?! Did you hear about it? In this article, we will talk about an interesting subject. Stay to be amazed.

Ever since the first humans started carvings shapes in their caves, art has always been with humans. As time passed, art found newer and more diverse forms. At some point in history, these drawings on the walls of the caves were all that humans could achieve. In the 18th and 19th centuries, when the first works of art related to the animation industry came out, they were simple and colorless. However, as the technology available to producers developed, they started applying color to their works as well.

If the color was once a cause for astonishment, it is a must in modern animations. However, that does not mean it cannot be used to impress people anymore. A good combination of colors can attract the attention of anyone and make sure your Animation shines even on the darkest screens. To meet such an end and achieve great results, one must be aware of the psychology concerning color in animation. Today, I wish to discuss the psychology of color in animation.

psychology of colors in animation

Color Psychology

First, let’s see what color psychology is, why is it important to apply proper colors to your works and then, we will discuss more about colors in animation. To put it in simple terms, color psychology is the study of how colors affect perception and behavior. It matters because a properly used color, a properly used combination of colors, can attract one’s attention. It can also leave a positive opinion of your brand in the mind of the audience.

Attracting Attention

It is extra important in advertising, as you need to attract the attention of those exposed to the animation. Considering that the process of creating ads is not easy and cheap, and also the process of showing it on a platform, it’s very important to make the most out of the resources spent on it. Properly used color in animation not only massively boosts the chance it captures someone’s attention, but they also leave a long-lasting effect. It means that those who see your advertisements would remember them for some time. In a world where people have a lot of opportunities to skip watching these ads, it’s important to be able to make them want to watch the rest of it. Depending on how skillfully you created your animation, they might even remember it for years.

A Positive Opinion

If you do a good job at employing colors in animation, you can even leave a positive opinion in the audience. Psychologists have found that when we see a color we like, we tend to remember it better and hold a positive opinion of it and whatever that was related to attached to it at the instance we saw it. It means that, when deciding on the colors you want to use in your animation, you are deciding on your chance of success. According to statistics, around 90 percent of product impulse decisions are based on colors. This is how successful people who have employed a proper color in their products or ads have been.

Color in Animation

Now that we know what color psychology means and why it is important to keep an eye out for it, we are going to discuss what each color means in animation and what effects they will help you achieve. However, before we move to that part, it’s worth mentioning that, according to statistics, 52 percent of the works that received negative reviews were due to, what some may call, poor color choice.

The Psychology of Color: Red

Psychology of Red

Being one of the primary colors, red is a color associated with energy. It is also a color associated with love. In animation, it can be most effusively used with a similar scene, when either the scene is in the middle of a war or a fight, or it’s trying to induce a sense of passion and love. Red also causes, when employed properly, your audience to have increased blood pressure and respiration rate. It can be used to create a sense of rush in your audience and increase their excitement by injecting a dose of adrenaline.
Other colors related to the color red and with similar properties are magenta, burgundy, and maroon.

The Psychology of Green


Also being one of the primary colors, green is the color of nature. Have you ever wondered why what some healthcare professionals including nurses, doctors, dentistry staff, and vets wear, might be in green? The answer is that the color green is associated with health, regeneration, freshness, and harmony. Scientists have also found that it has a very strong tranquilizing effect, and thus it has a positive effect on calming the mind. When it comes to animations, they can be employed to give a sense of safety, hope, and good health.

Another color related to the color green and with similar properties is chartreuse.

The Psychology of Color: Blue

The Psychology of Color: Blue

Did you know that blue and red are considered to be sister colors? However, they do not go hand in hand as, in contrast to red, blue is associated with calmness and serenity over passion and intensity. Blue is also the color of the sky and sea, and while red could show greatness and excitement, blue shows greatness and calmness. It’s the perfect color to give a sense of tranquility along with green in your animations.

Other colors related to the color blue and with similar properties are teal and turquoise.
The Psychology of Brown

While the colors mentioned so far are mainly used to induce a feeling of youthfulness or other youth-related feelings, the color brown represents stability and wisdom. It is usually used with the older age and older people in animations, to attribute to them the mentioned properties. A particular use of the color brown in animation is its employment with older characters in familial settings, especially fathers and grandfathers. It shows their stability, both on an emotional level and on a financial level, and it can also represent their wisdom. The color brown also gives the air of reliability. When deciding on colors for your animation and its Characters, brown can be a key color in inducing a sense of “this is what you need” in your audience!

The Psychology of Color: Orange


If colors could produce offspring like humans, orange would be the child of yellow and red. The color orange is placed in between the mentioned colors, and it has a combination of their properties. It can represent communication and positivity. It goes very well with themes that require enthusiasm, happiness, creativity, success, and emotions of these categories. Similar to red, orange also can arouse excitement in the audience, however, it is not as intense as red.

The Psychology of Color: Yellow

 Psychology of yellow

Yellow is the shining color of the sun, “he who warms and brightens our day.” Yellow is associated with creativity, high mental and spiritual capacity, and fame. This isn’t something random though! Discoveries have shown that yellow is directly associated with increased mental awareness and higher energy levels. Maybe it is because yellow reminds us of the sun and daytime, and daytime is when most of us toil and are lively. Yellow is also associated with rationality and rational thinking. Scientists have found that the color yellow can stimulate the left side of the brain, thus increasing its function, and as you know, the left side of your brain is associated with rational thinking and many other processes.

Other colors related to the color yellow and with similar properties are: amber and beige.

The Psychology of Pink

The color pink is one of the gentlest colors out there. It creates a sense of innocence and youth. It also can lead to a sense of serenity. While red is the color of intense passion, pink can represent a gentle kind of love. Pink is also considered a feminine color because represents feminine aspects such as kindness, beauty, and nurture.

Another color related to the color pink and with similar properties is salmon.

The Psychology of Color: Purple

colour psychology of purple

Purple is one of the secondary colors that result from red. Like red, it induces a feeling of power in the audience. However, there is one important difference. Purple has always been associated with nobility and a sense of royalty. While red symbolizes a materialistic sense of power, purple is all about loyalty and royalty. Purple is also associated with luxury and would make a great color for ads focused on luxury goods.

Other colors related to the color purple and with similar properties are indigo, violet, lavender, and mauve.

The Psychology of White

White is the color of purity. When something is colored white, it is easy to spot any dirt or impurities on it. Thus, it is often used in animations with the purpose to induce a feeling of sincerity and truthfulness. White is also associated with royalty. Many of the kings and queens in the course of history used white in their attire. White also gives a sense of perfection, cleanliness, goodness, faith, and positive meaning.

The Psychology of Black

Black, unlike every other color, does not have a specific meaning or effect on the audience. Its effects are usually decided by the other elements or colors present. It can give a feeling of calmness, like how nights are calm. It can give us a sense of knowing and curiosity. Also, it can be the color of horror. Black is also associated with death and negative meaning. However, some consider it to be the color of absolute authority. When it comes to color in animation, you have to be careful how you employ black. It is a powerful color that can excite a wide range of emotions and feelings in your audience. If used correctly, it can serve any purpose.

Harmonizing the Colors and their effects

As you can see, every color mentioned here has a wide range of meanings and effects on the audience. When choosing to portray a certain color in animation, you have to be wary of what effects its combination with other colors which you have already used will have on your audience. For example, a properly used combination of black and white can arouse opposite feelings in a person and to give a sense of harmony, while also giving positive individual feelings of each color such as calmness, nobility, and power.

Also, combining colors with similar attributes can massively boost the effectiveness of certain features they both share. For example, a properly used combination of purple and white will leave a much stronger sense of royalty in the audience than either of the colors could do so alone. Of course, when combining colors, you can use other elements in your animation to embolden a certain feature.


For a very long time, humans have always adored art. There is no doubt that, when accompanied by color, most types of art can be a lot more beautiful and more effective at doing what they do. As a form of art, animations have been using different colors as well. With the ever-growing animation industry, it is very important to know the meaning every color has. The presence of color in animation has become a must, and it is almost impossible to ignore it. Without knowing the psychology behind every color, it’s impossible to use the colors effectively. In this article, we tried to explain what each color means, and how some of their combination would look like in your animation. However, the combination of colors in animation is not something simple and cannot be explained in just one article.

If you want to use the right colors in your animation, you will have to consult a professional. If you want to be successful in this industry in 2023, without a doubt, you are going to need the help of a professional team. Luckily for you, there is one such team nearby: Pixalent.com. They are exactly whom you need. A team of young, talented, and experienced professionals who have worked with and aided many different groups including big companies, TV channels, and commercial groups. Good luck.

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