Quick! What was the last digital sign that caught your eye? What color was it? Do you remember? Did it’s message stick with you?

Colors are extremely powerful. Studies have shown that colors can affect moods, behaviors, attitudes and even purchasing decisions. Color psychology is a deeply complex subject that one can spend inordinate amounts of time on. Here is a quick reference guide to color psychology to use when planning your digital signage content.

Warm Colors:

Yellow is the most visible color and is very strong when used as a background color with dark typefaces. It tends to evoke cheerfulness, excitement and can increase concentration in some.

Red is the most intense color. It has been shown to grab attention, release adrenaline, and even cause anger. It also has been shown to increase appetites and influence food purchases.

Orange shares characteristics of red and yellow in that it evokes energy and cheerfulness. Children often respond well to orange.

Cool Colors:

Blue is the U.S. population’s favorite of all the colors. It calms, soothes and can make a brand feel more comfortable.

Green is often associated with growth, wealth and prosperity. Obviously a big hit with financial institutions.

Purple is the color most often associated with dignity and royalty. It is generally soothing but sometimes can have the opposite effect.

Black and White:

White is use more to help text “pop” on dark backgrounds than used for large coverage areas because it tends to show the most inconsistencies across different signage solutions (though NanoLumens displays do show white brilliantly!)

Black can be associated with sophistication but also can have a negative effect on people depending on the use. It is not an attention grabber so it is generally used as a text color or accent color.

Simplify Your Color Scheme:

In digital signage, sometimes less is more. Digital signage is used most commonly to grab attention and comunicate a message quickly and effectively. When too many colors are used, our eyes do not know where to look first. By simplifying your color palette you will be able to more effectively guide viewers to what you want them to read. The trick is getting creative using less colors but still delivering content that is unique and therefore memorable.


I will address contrast in detail in a later post but in general, contrast is a key element in color choice because you want to make sure your message is easily readable which involves high contrast between the text and the background. For instance, use black text on a yellow background or white on dark blue for easy readability because there is enough difference in the colors.