Colors aren’t as clear-cut as words, but there is a loose meaning for most. And while color usage isn’t an exact science, color definitely can influence the outcome of how people are attracted to a product, webpage, etc.
So when choosing, be conscious of the message you want to convey and how you want customers to perceive your products.
Red is the color of fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, want, and love. Blue-based reds (such as raspberry red) are associated with more expensive products. But yellow-based reds (like tomato red, which is imagined as less expensive) if you’re looking to downplay a high price.
Red brings text and images to the foreground. Use it as an accent color to stimulate people to make quick decisions; it is a perfect color for ‘Buy Now‘ or ‘Click Here‘ buttons on Internet banners and websites. In advertising, red is often used to evoke erotic feelings (red lips, red nails, red-light districts, ‘Lady in Red’, etc). Red is widely used to show danger (high voltage signs, traffic lights). This color is also commonly associated with energy, so you can use it when promoting energy drinks, games, cars, items related to sports and high physical activity.
Light red represents joy, sexuality, passion, sensitivity, and love.
Pink signifies romance, love, and friendship. It denotes feminine qualities and passiveness.
Dark red is associated with vigor, willpower, rage, anger, leadership, courage, longing, malice, and wrath.
Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. Use it to play up the affordability of a product. It’s associated with joy, sunshine. Orange represents enthusiasm, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation.
It’s highly accepted among children. As a citrus color, orange is associated with healthy food and stimulates appetite. Orange is the color of fall and harvest.
Orange has a very high visibility, so you can use it to catch people’s attention and highlight the most important elements of your website.
Dark orange can mean deceit and distrust.
Red-orange corresponds to want, sexual passion, pleasure, domination, aggression, and thirst for action.
Yellow is the first color the eye sees, and when used with dark colors for high contrast (eg. black type on a yellow background), it becomes more powerful and more easily read.
Yellow is often associated with food. Bright, pure yellow is an attention getter, which is the reason taxicabs are painted this color. When overused, yellow may have a disturbing effect; it is known that babies cry more in yellow rooms.
Use yellow to evoke pleasant, cheerful feelings. You can choose yellow to promote children’s products and items related to leisure. Yellow is very effective for attracting attention, so use it to highlight the most important elements of your design. Men usually perceive yellow as a very lighthearted, ‘childish’ color, so it is not recommended to use yellow when selling prestigious, expensive products to men. Yellow is an unstable and spontaneous color, so avoid using yellow if you want to suggest stability and safety. Light yellow tends to disappear into white, so it usually needs a dark color to highlight it.
Light yellow is associated with intellect, freshness, and joy.
Dull (dirty) yellow represents caution, decay, sickness, and jealousy.
Green is the color which conveys possibility and hope. It symbolizes growth, harmony, freshness, and fertility. Green has strong emotional correspondence with safety. Dark green is commonly associated with money.
Use green to indicate safety when advertising drugs and medical products. Green is directly related to nature, so you can use it to promote ‘green’ products. Dull, darker green is commonly associated with money, the financial world, banking, and Wall Street.
Dark green is associated with ambition, greed, and jealousy.
Aqua is associated with emotional healing and protection.
Yellow-green can indicate sickness, discord, and jealousy.
Olive green is the traditional color of peace.
Blue connotes confidence and safety, making it a great choice for financial and medical websites. It is often associated with stability. It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence and truth.
You can use blue to promote products and services related to cleanliness (water purification filters, cleaning liquids, vodka), air and sky (airlines, airports, air conditioners), water and sea (sea voyages, mineral water). As opposed to emotionally warm colors like red, orange, and yellow; blue is linked to consciousness and intellect. Use blue to suggest precision when promoting high-tech products.
Blue is a masculine color; according to studies, it is highly accepted among men. Dark blue is associated with depth, ability, and stability; it is a preferred color for corporate America.
Avoid using blue when promoting food and cooking, because blue suppresses appetite. When used together with warm colors like yellow or red, blue can create high-impact, vibrant website designs.
Dark blue represents knowledge, power, integrity, and seriousness.
Light blue is associated with health, healing, tranquility, understanding, and softness.
Purple is especially hot now, but it’s typically used with high fashion, sports teams or sweet treats (e.g., chocolates or perfume) rather that direct marketing. Purple is associated with royalty. It symbolizes power, nobility, luxury. It conveys wealth and extravagance. Purple is associated with wisdom, independence, creativity, mystery, and magic.
According to surveys, almost 75 percent of pre-adolescent children prefer purple to all other colors.
Light purple is a good choice for a feminine design. You can use bright purple when promoting children’s products.
Dark purple evokes gloom and sad feelings. It can cause frustration.
Light purple evokes romantic and nostalgic feelings.
Black conveys a strong sense of power, promise and the ability for high contrasts. Add sheen or matte to black, and it becomes more powerful.
Black is a mysterious color associated with fear and the unknown (black holes). It usually has a negative connotation (blacklist, black death).
Black gives the feeling of perspective and depth, but a black background diminishes readability. A black suit or dress can make you look thinner. When designing for a gallery of art or photography, you can use a black or gray background to make the other colors stand out. Black contrasts well with bright colors. Combined with red or orange – other very powerful colors – black gives a very aggressive color scheme.
White especially when presented tone on tone, implies sophistication and formality – but also a high-end price point.
White means safety, perfection, purity, and cleanliness. As opposed to black, white usually has a positive connotation.
In advertising, white is associated with coolness and cleanliness because it’s the color of snow. You can use white to suggest simplicity in high-tech products. White is an appropriate color for charitable organizations; angels are usually imagined wearing white clothes. White is associated with hospitals, doctors, and sterility, so you can use white to suggest safety when promoting medical products. White is often associated with low weight, low-fat food, and dairy products.
So, the next time you sit down to create a new website, or ad campaign, use a little color to set the tone.
Until next time,