Giving Color a Context

Jun 4, 2014

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How Different Colors Make Us Feel and Why We Use Them in Design

Welcome to Web Wednesdays! To start off the series, let’s take a look at one of the most crucial and noticeable aspects of web design: color. In any kind of design, color plays an enormous role in setting a mood and conveying a message. Different colors call up different emotional responses and can be very powerful in getting your audience to feel something when they see your site.

Studies have found that there are both cultural and psychological reasons for the way that different colors affect us. For example, red in the U.S. might be associated with danger or the need to stop (like a stop light) but in India it signifies purity and is used for wedding outfits–a cultural difference. Yet readability is a universal principle of great importance when choosing which color combination will be used for foreground and background on a page.

Strategy

Finding a color scheme that is simply legible isn’t enough, though. Web designers have to be very strategic with color choice to create very specific moods. Warm color schemes create energy and are attention-grabbing. Cool palettes are more soothing. The right combination of warm and cool colors can catch your audience’s focus without scaring them off, and make them feel comfortable without lulling them to sleep.

A fantastic infographic from The Logo Company (displayed below) shows examples of various companies who have used strategic color choice for their logos and reaped the benefits. For example: red, which conveys boldness and excitement, was used by Target, Canon and Coca-Cola. Blue, which is associated with dependability and trust, has been used by Lowe’s, Oral-B, and numerous security and insurance companies. Can you see why these color choices make sense for these companies?

Getting a Reaction

Once you start combining colors you can get an even more specific reaction. Ever wonder why so many food companies use the combination of red and yellow? Experts say that this combination makes people feel hungry. How about the blue and white or blue and green combinations used on so many dental products? It makes you feel refreshed, doesn’t it?

Color is such an important part of design! Here at Innovation Simple we make a point to look at all of the influencing factors behind a marketing strategy. Contact us to get information on how we can make your company stand out and convey the message that you want to get out there!

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