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Subliminal, Color and Font Messaging



The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is not too happy when advertisers try to get away with subliminal messaging, hidden messages, as they view them as unfair to the public. In 2007 McDonald’s was caught inserting one frame of their logo into a food prep video – ONE FRAME! Think about that. Even though there is no scientific evidence that one frame would influence viewers, McDonald’s was convinced enough to risk the wrath of the FCC. But the FCC can’t control what color, shape, size, font optical illusions, or any other such factors are used in advertising.

Enter the world of subliminal manipulation as I like to call it.

Amazon features a curved arrow under the name. Your eye sees that it goes from the letter “A” to the letter “Z”, but, while your conscious mind ignores it your subconscious is very aware. Who among us has not said you can get everything from A-Z on Amazon. The logo just reinforces the idea. Check out the FedEx logo. The white space between the E and the X is an arrow. Subconsciously, it alludes to speed. Who doesn’t like Baskin Robbins ice cream? Look at the logo. The right side of the “B” and the left side of the “R” are pink. Better yet, it looks like “31”. Ah, yes, 31 flavors. The list goes on and on. Suffice it to say that a lot of time and money have gone into these designs. If they didn’t work, the effort would stop.

Whether we like to admit it or not, we are all influenced by all these factors. Hospital rooms are light green, because research has shown that light green has a soothing, calming effect. Valentine’s things are red because red evokes strong emotions like passion and excitement. Add to that a font that is scripted rather than blocked. It makes it more romantic.

So, it turns out there is color psychology, font psychology, shape psychology, and probably many other areas as the digital world expands. If you want to better influence people, if you’re serious about growing your business, you should become more familiar with all of these.

Let’s be real. All of us try to subtly influence others. If you’re going out on a first date, why do you select a certain piece of clothing, a certain color, a certain look? You are trying to influence the other person. Advertisers have just taken it to a whole other level! We buy because most of the time we’ve been influenced to buy. Hey, I think I’ll create a job called – influencer. Oh, wait. It already exists.

Tikkun Olam- heal the world. Leave it a better place when you leave.


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