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Primary Colors: Learn Source of All Colors

Aug 4, 2021
10
min reading
Color Name HEX Code
Red #FF1616
Blue #0000FF
Yellow #FFDE59


What are the primary colors? A reader recently asked me what the primary colors are, which lead me to write this article. The dictionary says a "primary colors are pure, intense colors from which all others can be doable by mixing

If you look at the color wheel on right, you will see three primary colors: red, blue, and yellow. The beautiful part of color is that combinations between each others

Red, blue, and yellow are known as primary or pure colors; all other colors, called secondary or mixed colors, are made by mixing these primary colors in different amounts and brightness. 

An easy way to remember that color is by using a mnemonic method. The first letter of each color (Red, Yellow & Blue) is the same as the last two letters of "Primary Colors".

First Primary Color: Blue

island middle of the blue ocean
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The web is full of this particular color. It makes web surfing look less boring. From time to time, people choose this color for their car paint job or even use it extensively during a house painting project. This color has made its presence felt in women’s accessories too. Add a dash of blue color to your appearance and look smart and fashionable!

I love Blue. To be honest, I didn’t like the Blue color before, but when I look at it or use it, it makes me happy and relax. I think that's because of the feeling of freedom and peace you can get from the color; as a result of using the color in your house, you can get more peaceful and calm. 

Meaning of Blue Color

The color blue is often associated with power, trust, loyalty, and spirituality. Blue’s opposing color is orange, which is stimulating and exciting. 

Second Primary Color: Red

drop on red fabric
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The color red imparts a sense of urgency. Imagine the fire department is screaming at you to move out of the building because they are about to break down the door. Yikes! Now it’s even more urgent that you move now! 

Color conveys emotion. It is no different than music in its ability to evoke an emotional response from us. We may not all share the same emotional responses but we will all share an emotional reaction as it reaches out and touches our soul!

In the world we are living in, there is a popular belief, which is being followed by most of the world. Dark color represents power, strength, and dominance. On the other hand, Red color has similar meanings as compared to dark color. It represents love, blood, and achievement.

Meaning of Red Color

Red is the color of excitement, passion, love, danger, and warnings. All our senses of instant reaction. In ancient times, red was used to represent anger and blood lust, as well as a thirst for blood (remember that cover of the thriller book or newspaper). The symbol of life today one of the most popular in the world. Use it to show camaraderie or sympathy. It is the color of romance and attraction.

Red is a loud color. It gets noticed. People wearing red are often perceived to be powerful and in a leadership position. It symbolizes courage, blood, passion, danger, and heat. In heraldry, it is used to symbolize Mars, the war god of Roman mythology.

Third Primary Color: Yellow

Banana on yellow background
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Besides this, Yellow is the color of intellect and communication. Yellow helps in activating your mind while encouraging communication between your brain and various body parts. It is believed that Yellow can make you feel active and productive throughout the day. Yellow also makes you feel optimistic about things to come.

This color evokes a sense of creativity, energy, vibrancy, and fun. Yellow is a warm color that usually comes to mind to people. It’s the easiest color to use for many reasons – it looks great on its own, especially on sunny days, it blends in perfectly well with other bright colors, and it makes an excellent choice for text links.

Meaning of Yellow Color

Yellow is a color that we often associate with happiness and freedom. I want to talk about the true meaning of this color. It stands out from the rest because it touches down on all points in our lives. 

The yellow color is an energy booster and is also widely used in the weather forecast. In the color psychology, yellow represents joyfulness, happiness, creativity, intellect, and inspiration.

Why Colors Are Important

Rainbow painting
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There are numerous reasons why colors are important. The first and the most obvious is that they evoke an immediate visual response and recognition from people. 

Colors can set moods, influence emotions, and be used as a method of marketing to reach potential customers. And according to statistics, it is estimated that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. 

This means that more than 90% of consumers make buying decisions based on their perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs towards color. Hence, the reason, why colors are so important, and we don't buy with our minds but with our hearts.For any graphic designer, color is important. It’s the first thing that catches the eye, and it’s an incredibly powerful tool when used correctly. 

The colors you choose for your website, blog design, etc. can make a huge difference in how people perceive your brand, message, or product. It can even influence whether or not they read your content and look any further. On top of all this – picking colors can be crazy hard sometimes! 

Did you know their impact is much bigger than how they make you feel or how aesthetically pleasing they are? 

Whether it be a corporate website, portfolio, blog, or personal resume, colors have the power to influence users’ behavior and choices. 

Why do we need to know about colors? They are all created equal right? It’s just a question of liking one more than the other. Well…it’s pretty important when it comes to designing your website and appealing more to your visitors. 


You might have already heard about designing your website using the color psychology applied to it. That’s why picking your perfect color scheme is an important task after you create a web design mockup for your business website design. So, instead of relying on my random choice or someone else’s opinion – I am going to give you a handy chart of the most used colors in web design and tell you their psychological effects on users. So, let’s deep dive into

Color Psychology 101

Colorfull consumer products
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The human mind is frequently triggered unconsciously by different colors. The psychological effects of color are experienced due to the effect of a stimulus on the nervous system, as well as the sense of sight. Each hue affects our emotions in its way, while some provoke positive emotions and others – negative ones. Let’s remind ourselves what is color psychology and what messages it passes to us. 

What are the color meanings? Color psychology is a fascinating branch of psychology that incorporates the effect of colors on people. The human eye can differentiate approximately 12 million colors, but only a small portion of all these colors has a meaning for humans. 

Scientists have also discovered that only 8 % of the information transmitted from our eyes to our brains is visual and no more than 40 % is processed consciously. But how exactly do colors affect humans and their behavior?

This section aims to answer this question by analyzing what color psychology is, why it exists, how it affects us and how it can be used in marketing

Psychological Effects of Primary Colors

All colors have psychological effects. However, since we are currently looking at the main colors, in this article we will only examine the psychological effects of primary colors.

Psychology is the study of human behavior and the mind and consists of several subdisciplines including psychophysics, cognitive psychology, abnormal psychology, personality, behavioral biology, social psychology (Social Psych), developmental psychology, and experimental psychology. The list goes forever. 

Many psychological experiments have found that colors play a major role in the psychological effects on human behavior and the mind. We all are affected by the impact of colors whether we realize it or not. Colors help set our moods, can create around us certain feelings, or even alter our thinking process; we can get carried away by certain colors that don’t help in carrying out daily activities or tasks at hand.

According to some studies, a baby’s brain can recognize a difference between the colors green and blue before it can tell the difference between a human face and something else. It’s true — not only does color affect those born into this world, but it also affects those who are older. The psychological effects of primary colors can affect how we feel well past childhood.

Most Psychological Effects of Red 

Let me tell you from the beginning. The effects of color may also be related to the individual's personal experiences. The effects mentioned here are those that can be common but also vary from person to person.

Red is a color that quickly captures attention. It makes people feel in love, excited, or even thrilled. Red can be inspiring and motivating, but also exciting and fast-paced. Parts of the brain regulate emotions when looking at red, triggering the release of energy and excitatory neurotransmitters. When the color red is combined with other colors, its effects can often be either magnified or lessened depending on the other colors it is combined with.

I love red. It always feels like a new beginning. Red is also the color of passion, love, and blood which are exciting and intense things in themselves.

Most Psychological Effects of Yellow 

The color yellow has a different psychological effect on everyone. For some, yellow is a calming color that brings about feelings of happiness, laughter, and warmth. For others, the color brings about feelings of hunger and intensity. Still, for others, the color brings about feelings of frustration or anger. The reason behind these differences is rooted deeply in our subconscious minds where even the minute details can play a role in affecting our moods. 

But generally speaking; Nothing beats the color yellow when it comes to attention-getting visuals. Anyone who has turned the pages of a comic book flipped through an old National Geographic monthly or leafed through a school textbook can surely attest to this. Yellow is not only eye-catching, but it can also make you happy and help with food cravings.

Most Psychological Effects of Blue

The history of the color blue leads us to a variety of conclusions. Blue is the color of most uniforms around the world and is seen as a sign of loyalty. The color blue can calm people on both verbal and physical levels.

In the world of business, in particular marketing, the color blue has been used to promote several characteristics. 

These characteristics range from serenity to loyalty and even coldness. The truth is that many corporations are taking advantage of our psychological response to blue, using it as a color of preference by placing it prominently in their branding campaigns. 

Let’s take a look at some of the effects Blue creates and show how businesses have exploited this knowledge for their benefit: Psychologically speaking, blues is considered one of the most popular colors. 

Humans typically focus on stimuli with this color because it uses frequencies that are easy to detect and concentrate at. It is also comforting, soothing, encouraging, and reassuring compared to other colors. It also causes us to focus more on

Last Worlds

In the whole palette of colors that are available for you to use in your designs, it’s important to choose carefully. Color is possibly one of the most important aspects of a design because it’s used to catch attention, show information, and sometimes even draw emotion out of the person viewing it. There are some colors I personally never use for my designs.

I hope I helped us understand the primary colors. If you are interested in colors, you can also check out my collection of gradients. However, I suggest you review my page where I also explain the color tones

Cover image: Sharon McCutcheon