25 Sep What does your brand colour say about your business
A great website design is not just about delivering content and making it look good but the website needs to produce a set of feelings about your business. Whether these feelings are positive or negative is in your hands. When designing a website you have control over what feelings it can evoke. Some studies have shown that people decide whether or not they like a product in 90 seconds or less and that 90% of that decision is based solely on colour. The use of Colour Psychology in website design is therefore very important.
Colour Psychology is the science of how colour affects human behaviour and feelings. Using colour can be a complex thing as you have to use it in the right way, at the right time, with the right audience and for the right purpose. For example, if you are selling children’s toys which are fun and vibrant, you do not really want to use a black website.
Each colour you use can evoke a different emotion from your audience, so you need to think carefully about the colours you use, focusing on the product or service you are providing and your target audience.
For example, if you look at many popular social networking websites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, it is not an accident that they have blue logos. However, this doesn’t mean that blue is right for your website. And even if blue IS perfect for your website, you still need to think about the other colours you should use with it
To help you decide which colour you should choose for your business, you need to first understand how colour affects people.
Here are some Colour Psychology basics:
Red is a stimulating, exciting colour that is associated with lust, power, excitement, strength and sometimes anger. It can also be associated with danger, war, fire and violence. Red should be used as an accent colour to draw attention to something or to create excitement. It should not be overused. Red can be good for fashion, entertainment, food, sports, marketing, advertising, emergency services and health care. It is generally not suitable for nature-related content, professional websites or luxury goods.
Pink is associated with youthful femininity, romance, love, sincerity and sophistication. Even though it is a tint of red it does not have the violent and angry connotations of red and can be quite gentle and soothing. Pink is ideal for a feminine audience and is great for feminine products. Light pinks can feel too sentimental or sweet for some websites and bright pink can be a bit gaudy at times. Using the correct shade of pink is vital.
Green has a balancing, harmonizing effect and is associated with feelings of calm, optimism, rejuvenation. It is also associated with growth, nature, wealth, money, health, fertility and energy. Green is one of the easiest colours for the eye to process. Darker shades are linked to money so these shades are often used on websites that want to suggest affluence, growth and stability. Lighter shades of green are more associated with spring and growth so are generally used on websites that want to reflect relaxation, honesty and fertility. Green is often associated with the environmental movement so websites that aim to broadcast ethical standards often use this colour.
Orange is more balanced and less overwhelming than red. It is an energetic and vibrant colour that is often associated with fun, warmth, ambition, happiness and enthusiasm. Orange is ideal for designs that need movement and energy. It is also great to draw attention to what you want the website user to do e.g. buy, subscribe, sign up. It is a great colour for ecommerce, technology, automotive, entertainment, food and childcare. Like red, it should not be overused.
Yellow is the brightest colour and is often considered the most energising colour. It is associated with happiness, optimism, warmth and youth. Yellow should be used sparingly to energize people or create a sense of happiness. Bright yellow is perfect for sites designed for children whereas lighter shades are perfect for a calmer, happier feeling. Yellow can become overpowering very quickly so needs to be used sparingly. Too much yellow or the wrong hue can feel cheap.
Blue is associated with competence, dependability, trustworthiness, quality, calmness and security. Bright blues can also be refreshing and energizing. Dark blue is often used by large corporations because it is non-invasive and is associated with dependability. It is good for health care, high-tech, dental, science, government, medical and utility websites. Light blues are used for open, friendly websites like social media sites. You should be careful using blue for food-related websites as blue can curb appetite.
Darker shades of purple are associated with royalty, wealth and luxury. Whereas lighter shades are associated with romance and spring. Websites that want to look mysterious yet elegant opt for darker shades of purple. But websites designed for people looking for romantic ideas and items opt for lighter shades of purple. Purple can be great for beauty products, astrology, massage, spirituality, healing, yoga and content related to adolescent girls and feminine products. Purple can be quite soothing so is a poor choice if you want to grab people’s attention.
Brown is a warm, natural colour that is often associated with earth, reliability, stability, nature and friendship. They are often used as textured backgrounds and backgrounds that mimic paper, fabric or stone. Brown gives a sense of wholesomeness and cosiness to websites and can also be used to stimulate appetite. Therefore, it is an ideal choice for websites with food-related content. Brown is also a good colour to use for animal, veterinary and finance websites. Brown can appear to be a bit boring or overly conservative so is not ideal for grabbing people’s attention.
Grey is associated with formality, professionalism, tradition, sombreness, timelessness and calmness. It is a neutral colour and is great for professional websites, luxury goods and for calming and balancing. Grey needs to be used carefully as certain shades of grey appear dull and detached. It is not the ideal colour to grab people’s attention.
Black suggests power, modernity, sophistication, elegance, authority, stability, sleekness, strength and intelligence. It can also symbolize death, evil, rebellion and mystery. The colours used with black determine the effect it has. Some colours can make black elegant and traditional while other colours can make black appear edgy or modern. Black is great for luxury goods, fashion, cosmetics and marketing. Too much black used on a website can be quite overwhelming.
White is associated with cleanliness, simplicity, innocence, purity, happiness, sincerity and virtue. It is associated with doctors, dentists and nurses and makes a great colour for websites related to the health care industry. It is also a great colour for science and high-tech websites. When white is paired with black, silver, gold or grey it can also be great for luxury goods. White can theoretically be used for any website but the colour chosen to be paired with white needs to be carefully thought about as it can change the effect white has.
Once you understand the psychology behind different colours, you are equipped to choose the right colour for your business. Do you want to grab people’s attention? Do you want to create a feeling of calmness? Or do you want to energise people? Whatever feeling you want to evoke, the choice is yours.