Color (or even lack of it) is one of the most important elements of design. The right color can do many things, including create a mood, convey a message, draw associations, and encourage particular actions. So it’s essential to give it the careful consideration it deserves.
Color psychology is an expanding field, and countless studies have delved into the effect that color has on human behavior. The findings are being utilized by big businesses, helping them convince their customers to get out their wallets.
But what’s in a color? Which one will help your clients gain their customers’ trust? Which will excite them into action?
To help you reap the benefits of color psychology, we’ve put together some tips, examples and tools that will make your website’s color scheme stand out in the crowd for all the right reasons.
Color Theory Tips
With a rainbow of color to choose from, not to mention tones, tints and shades, it can be difficult to judge what’s right for your site.
Red is a hot, fiery color. It has associations with anger and violence, but also has strong links to love and importance (think red carpet events). Whatever red conjures up for you, one thing’s for sure, it’s a color of passion. Red can actually have a physical effect on people, raising blood pressure and respiration rates.
Coca Cola and red go hand in hand. Its use grabs attention and stimulates the appetite. Perfect for the world’s most recognizable brand.
Orange, another warm color, is vibrant and exciting. It commands attention without being as aggressive and overpowering as red. In nature, orange is often associated with autumn and the changing seasons, and its obvious connection to the fruit of the same name makes us think of good health and vitality. It’s a great color for calls to action as it affects impulse shoppers considerably.
Nickelodeon‘s use of orange depicts cheerfulness, youthfulness, activity and energy.
Bright and energizing yellow is often considered the happiest of the colors. Associated with sunshine and daffodils it’s clear to see why this link is made. However, don’t forget that in nature, yellow can signify danger, and when used with black it often signifies a warning. Don’t let this put you off, though, as used well, yellow can be youthful and optimistic.
Simplisafe’s digital security guide uses yellow’s association with danger to emphasize the importance of their message.
Green means abundance. Seen absolutely everywhere in nature, it’s good for the eco-conscious and those that want to promote relaxation, harmony and balance. The other side of its abundant association is wealth: the color of money, the color of envy, the color of luck. If you’re looking to send any of these messages, green is the color for you.
BP ups their environmental kudos by choosing an eco-friendly green for their logo.
Feeling blue can mean feeling under the weather, but regardless of this, blue is an extremely powerful color. It represents responsibility, strength and reliability, great if your client needs their customers to enter personal details. It’s cool, calm and refreshing, so if it’s trust you’re aiming for, use blue to achieve it.
Facebook has access to incredible amounts of personal data – it’s a good job this blue encourages our trust. Purple is the color found least in nature, and for that reason historically has been associated with royalty. Its rarity signifies wealth, quality and luxury, so it is a good choice for high-end sites and those selling cosmetics. It is also the color of imagination and creativity, and almost supernatural in its connotations. It divides opinion, though, so use it with caution.
Yahoo‘s use of purple accentuates the importance of the information they provide, communicating the value of their service.
Whatever message you’re hoping to convey, make sure your color scheme looks great by experimenting with one of these great tools.
Shutterstock Spectrum is an image discovery tool that lets you search images by color instead of keyword, perfect for when you need a little inspiration.
ColoRotate brings color palettes to life in 3D and allows you to adjust the hue, tint and blend of your palette easily. The website also has a ‘learn about color’ section that’s great for first-timers.
Colour Lovers is a creative community where you can get feedback on your palettes and find fabulous schemes created by others.
Don’t forget, color is a powerful marketing tool, use it wisely to start reaping its benefits.