Does color really matter?

Why is it so difficult to have a conversation about color? The words “black” or “white” often produce a visceral reaction in the listener. “Brown” is a “common” color, never associated with the “upper class“. Have you ever seen “red” when you’re angry or gone “green” with envy? Does this entire line of thinking make you feel “blue”?

Color does matter and it always has, from the rise of the first civilized society to this very day. In the beginning, colors were used to distinguish one tribe from the next. Today, we have a tendency to associate color with race, classifying all God’s people into black, white, brown, red, or yellow. Deny it if you want, but I’m betting you do it too.

Other, more politically correct terms exist to classify homo sapiens, but most humans color code other humans. Worse yet, we tend to migrate towards those who share our personal “color”. This “self-segregation” results in a lack of understanding of each other, the catalyst for many of society’s problems.

Pause here for a moment to reflect on what you just read …

The Emotional Impact of Colors

This lesson is not about social consciousness, but consider for a moment the messaging in the section above. Specific colors make us feel a certain way. Color-coding human beings is cultural bias, a conscious decision to separate from that which is different.

Eliminate cultural bias, and colors evoke an instinctual emotional response in the viewer. This has been proven by scientific studies and is a guiding principle in website design. The following colors are associated with specific emotions, listed next to each:

  • Red: Passion, Love, Anger.
  • Orange: Energy, Happiness, Vitality.
  • Yellow: Happiness, Hope, Deceit.
  • Green: New Beginnings, Abundance, Nature.
  • Blue: Calm, Responsible, Sadness.
  • Purple: Creativity, Royalty, Wealth.

Marketing mediums that implement color as part of their design are more powerful than simple black and white messaging. Full color magazines are valued more highly than newspapers. The Internet took that to a new level.

Are you following the progression? As our technology has progressed, color has become a more critical factor in advertising and marketing. Today, knowing what we do about the psychology of color, we are able to create advertisements, videos, emails, and websites designed to evoke a specific human reaction.

What Color is your Monthly Notice?

Is your lodge’s monthly notice a bland, black and white pamphlet that most of the brethren don’t read? Take a look at the following:

Don’t worry about being able to read them. I’m using these as color examples. The notice on the left is a newsletter I put out for Hiram’s Edge last month. If you’re subscribed to our email list, you’ve already seen it.

The center example is the St. Patrick’s Day, “Spring” notice for Saint Paul Lodge. The right side example is our April notice. It contains a paragraph about two older buildings that housed our Grand Lodge on Tremont Street before the current one.

As you can see, I’m partial to greens and blues. Take a moment to review the bullet points above. Blue produces feelings of Calm and Confidence (Responsible). Green makes us think of New Beginnings, Abundance, and Nature.

The templates for these are all in Constant Contact and my open rates are, from left to right, 49% (newsletter), 63% (St. Patrick’s Day), and 52% (April notice). The audience I sent each of these to is roughly one hundred email addresses.

Do your “open” or readership numbers look like that? How many times have the brethren in your lodge said they either “haven’t gotten” or “don’t read” the monthly notice? Try using colors and see if that changes.

Masonic Adventures in Living Color

As many of you may know, I was recently appointed Director of Content Creation for Lodge of Instruction. Part of that job, and the reason why I haven’t posted in three weeks, was to build the online make-ups for this year. They are done.

From the module titled “Ahab’s Bucket List (Manhood)” watch the following video:

The LOI asks you to list five Masonic Adventures. I absolutely love that idea and want to take it one step further. I’ve come up with a new project and I need your help with it. My idea is called MasonicAdventures.com.

If you go to the site, you’ll see very little right now. That’s because I want this new site to be exclusively user-generated content. In other words, I want to publish your stories, not my own, on this website. Does that intrigue you?

I’ve spoken with a number of brothers already and I’ll be using the Hiram’s Edge marketing machine to reach out to others, both inside and outside of Massachusetts. What I’m looking for is photos and stories from your Masonic Adventures.

Have you visited the Scottish Rite Museum in Lexington? Send me photos. Grand Lodge Tour? Out of state Masonic events? Send me photos and summaries. Let us know why other Masons should go on the same adventure.

You don’t have to be a professional writer. Put whatever words you’re capable of down on paper and send me photos, lots of them. I will publish everything that isn’t vulgar or offensive and spread the word throughout the country.

Let’s see how big we can go with this. I’m going to start building the site this week and I’ll be adding social media components shortly after, so our project should grow quickly. Email your thoughts, stories and pictures to Kevin@HiramsEdge.com.

Or send me feedback using the form below:

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