How Color Schemes Affect Your Website & Visitors

Color choice is an important factor when it comes to brand development and marketing collateral. Color choice greatly affects the success or failure of any advertising campaign.

When choosing a color scheme for a website, brand development, marketing collateral or any related campaign, there are two important factors to keep in mind:

  • How color choice affects a user's experience
  • How color affects the overall psychology of a campaign

Color Choice & User Experience

Bright Colors

  • Bright colors are effective when used sparingly.
  • Choosing to use bright colors over large or expansive spaces causes irritation to the viewer.

For Example:

Imagine a web page or advertisement in which the background is a pure, bright yellow. The bright yellow is extremely distracting and annoying to the eye; making it difficult to focus the eyes and read important text on a page or advertisement.

  • Bright colors should rarely be used next to each other in large doses as the effects can be disastrous.
  • If using more than one bright color, choose the colors carefully and make sure to use complimentary colors.
  • Often bright colors are best when separated and used as small accents, rather than covering large expansive areas.

Background Colors

  • Choosing background colors to cover large areas should be done carefully.
  • Often subtle, subdued colors are best for large areas (such as web page backgrounds, posters, signage, etc).
  • The goal of the background is to make the text and content of the page easy to read without distraction.
  • The background color should make the font of the page easy to focus, read, and understand; without having to strain one's eyes.
  • A background color should never be distracting, but instead transparent and complimentary.

Color & Psychology

Colors are shown to cause certain psychological reactions and emotions in people.

In general, the following are some emotions that each of the following colors are known to invoke in individuals of western civilization:

  • Pink - friendly, compassionate, faithful, security, calm, romantic, imaginative
  • Red - energy, determination, hot, love, passion, anger, intense
  • Orange - caution, fun, warm, courageous, successful
  • Yellow - optimistic, sun, enthusiasm, warm, cheerful
  • Green - growth, abundance, vitality, expensive, greed
  • Blue - tranquil, intuitive, integrity, calm, authority, good will, cool
  • Purple - spiritual, passionate, visionary, royalty, integrity
  • Brown - stability, earthy, reliable, natural, organic
  • Black - seduction, mysterious, sophisticated, tasteful, power, intellectual, impure
  • White - light, peaceful, sincere, affectionate, clean, pure
  • Gray - authority, neutrality, calm, power
  • Gold - wisdom, illumination, prestige, rich
  • Silver - cool, calm, prestigious, systematic

Summing Up Color Schemes & Marketing

Choosing the right color combinations (when developing a website, branding, marketing collateral, or ad campaign) can make the difference between a successful advertisement people enjoy viewing; versus one people cannot stand, scaring them away.

  • Be sure to test color schemes using knowledgeable individuals to make sure the colors are appropriate for the target audience.
  • The message portrayed to potential customers via the color scheme is important.

Often a site or campaign is the first contact; so make sure the color scheme is portraying the message one intends to send about the company.

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