Color Psychology: How to Use Color in Learning #colorize

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Marketing departments spend millions of dollars on it.

Because people see color before anything else.

Color triggers physical, emotional, and cognitive effects.

In consumers.

And in students.

So if color affects learning (and it does) let me share how you can use color to benefit a child’s memory, performance, and concentration.

how to use color in learning

How to Use Color in Learning

Kids will pay better attention and remember information better when color is utilized in the presentation of information.

Use color to learn, and then to recall information. Studies of people with Alzheimer’s Disease showed improved memory with color cues. Other studies showed that learners recall images better if in color not in black and white.

For example: when creating thinking maps (also called graphic organizers) differentiate and organize topics and sub-topics by color and hue. Then when learners need to remember, they’ll be able to recall the color cues as well as the information.

Color in Learning

The Color RED

Why do you think Stop signs are red? Red screams pay attention to me!! RED helps learners remember facts and figures. Red on white is easiest to read. But a little goes a long way so use red sparingly.

Want to get your kids excited to learn? Use RED ink or print on RED paper.

Want to get your kids to remember what they learn? Use RED ink or print on RED paper.

Do NOT mark mistakes in red. This only reinforces the mistake. Don’t do it.

Write key points in red.

Write homework lists in red.

Color in Learning

The Color GREEN

Green is not only a relaxing color associated with all things healthy, it helps concentration.

Want kids to concentrate on what you’re teaching? Write with green marker on a white board. Use a green light bulb in a desk lamp. Decorate with leafy green plants.

The Color BLUE

Blue is said to promote creativity as well as peaceful feelings. Educators can use blue for learning situations that are challenging. Try using blue paper for complex information or blue ink can improve reading comprehension.

Use blue paper for reviewing information.

Organize your 5-paragraph essay notes and ideas into a blue-flavored flip book. Use the colors to represent each section of the essay: intro, body paragraphs, and conclusion. 

Color in Learning: Use color to organize information in essays

The Color YELLOW

Yellow is a stimulating color that asks the learner to pay attention. That’s why so many highlighters are yellow. And school buses! 🙂

Highlight important information with yellow.

Use yellow-colored borders on handouts. 

Color in Learning - highlight important info in yellow

The Color ORANGE

Welcoming and mood-lifting orange can help learners feel comfortable which in turn improves brain function. Some research says that orange tinted glasses improve a person’s mood. Interestingly enough, orange glasses do effectively block the blue light from electronics that can interfere with melatonin and sleep.

Maybe we should all wear orange tinted glasses?

Color and Learning

Use orange overlays on white papers for children with dyslexia, autism, and visual sensory processing disorder. Other colors can be used effectively as well. See what works best for your learner. I found an interesting book on this subject called Reading by the Colors by Helen Irlen: Overcoming Dyslexia and Other Reading Disabilities Through the Irlen Method.

Use orange paper for tests.

read with a colored overlay

The Color PURPLE

Purple is the hardest color for the eye to discriminate. Use purple with other colors only, not by itself.


To kids with dyslexia, autism, or visual sensory processing disorders, white paper is too bright, almost glaring. Try colored overlays or tinted glasses.

All monotone environments (all white) walls aren’t optimal learning or work environments because white is not stimulating.


I’m still learning about color blindness, but it’s my understanding that color-blind students have difficulties differentiating between green and red. Apparently, color blindness affects around 10% of boys and .5% of girls. Find out if any of your students are color-blind before you integrate red and green into the learning process. (Here’s a link to an online color blind test for kids but the best test is done at the eye doctor’s office.)

This article is sponsored by ASTROBRIGHTS® Papers, a line of vibrant color paper. Find more inspiration and ideas to COLORIZE your life at Also find ASTROBRIGHTS on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram @ASTROBRIGHTS.

Astrobrights Papers are perfect for color learning!



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