Using too many colors or the wrong combination of colors could alienate or turn off customers completely. Out of any form of non-verbal communication, color is the quickest way to communicate a message and meaning. Many studies have been done on the psychology of color and the subconscious emotions that they create. Studies have shown that color can help improve recall, comprehension, and understanding by 75%. In fact, color accelerates the ability to learn by 20% by keeping readers focused and improving retention.
Choose Colors with Care.
Marketers spend oodles of time and money determining the colors to best market their product: the colors that will prove the highest amount of return on investment. You may want to hire a professional web designer to help you. Make sure the web designer you hire is not just a programmer, but also a graphic designer and/or marketer. After all, the reason why 99% of all websites fail is because it was created by a technician, rather than a marketing expert.
So, What Colors are Best for Your Website?
That is hard to say. Again, you may want to hire a professional to help you. However, the following tips will help you understand the underlying meaning behind color so you may be guided to make the right choice. Keep in mind that depending on its value or intensity, one color can give very different emotions.
Red– Stimulating. Exciting. Energizing. Appetizing. When you eye sees red, chemical responses in your body cause your blood pressure, pulse rate, and adrenaline to increase. Fire engine red is more energetic than a more traditional burgundy.
Pink– Happy. Romantic. Spirited. Youthful. Best used for less expensive and trendy products. Vibrant pinks are common in the cosmetic industry. Bubble gum pink can be considered immature, but fuchsia or magenta are considered more sophisticated.
Orange– Friendly. Adventurous. Energizing. Inviting. Of all the colors, orange is the hottest. Similar to reds arousing effect, orange is often associated with bright sunsets or fall foliage. Orange contains the drama of red with the cheeriness of yellow. Neon orange tends to be load and is the most disliked color, but a more tempered vivid orange is highly effective for point-of-purchase graphics and specials.
Yellow– Warm. Sunny. Cheerful. Vibrant. Yellow is equivalent to enlightenment and imagination. This color is especially effective for food service industries because of the -association to bananas, custards and lemons. Pale yellow is an excellent choice for point-of-purchase materials (materials at the cash register or reception area) because the eye sees the highly reflective yellow before it notices any other color.
Brown– Rich. Sheltering. Durable. Sensible. Brown is an earth tone and is related to the earths nurturing qualities and stability. Generally speaking, brown provokes a positive response, but the wrong shade could lead to customers relating it to dirty, which could be detrimental for a product in the fashion industry, for example. Brown works well with food products since customers also relate it to root beer, coffee and chocolate.
Blue– Cool. Trusting. Serene. Consistent. Similar to the earthy color brown, blue is related to the sky and water, both dependable constants in our lives. Blue is an ideal color for websites, especially e-commerce websites. Many banks and financial institutions use blue in their marketing because it makes customers feel more trusting. Blue also can generate a cold, distant, corporate feeling, the opposite of generating a personal relationship with the customer.
Green– Refreshing. Healing. Fresh. Soothing. Green offers the most variety of choices out of all the colors of the rainbow. Green works well for personal hygiene or beauty products because of its soothing and flattering tones. Most people link green to nature; they think of foliage or grass. Mint green is seen as fresh while bright greens are associated with grass. Emerald greens are elegant and deep greens are linked to money and prestige. Green is also combined nicely with many other colors and can also work as a neutral.
Purple– Elegant. Sensual. Regal. Mysterious. Purple is seen as sensual and spiritual as it combines the sexuality of red and the sereneness of blue. It is best used with creative products, new products, or cutting edge products. Deep purple is associated with regal sophistication and lavender has a more subtle nostalgic appeal.
Neutrals– Classic. Quality. Natural. Timeless. The neutral tones of beige, gray and taupe emulate the psychological message of dependability and timelessness. They are regarded as safe and non-offensive and will not go out-of-date as they are always in style.
White– Pure. Bright. Pristine. Simple. While white can signify clean elegance, it can also be considered generic and stark, unless you have stylish graphics to compliment the white.
Black Strong. Classic. Mysterious. Powerful. Black is most closely associated with the night. Black is seen as powerful, dramatic, elegant and expensive. In food packaging, a customer will actually pay more for a gourmet image. Although black is associated with mourning, its positive associations far outweigh its negative. Warning: too much black can be overkill.