September 27, 2013
When designing your website and other online marketing materials, there are many factors that must be considered. Along with content and layout, the colors you choose to incorporate into your site and social media profile images can impact visitors' perception of your brand, lead users into taking a certain action, and even establish what they'll remember most.
Of course, your online color scheme should match your brand; making your logo fit naturally into the design is key to branding. But in addition, the colors you use to accent your site -- think headlines, buttons, image captions -- should be chosen carefully and meaningfully.
Cool colors, like blues, purples and certain shades of green, are often seen as calming and friendly. Brighter shades, including red, orange and yellow, are energizing and attention-getting. And then there are those colors which are frequently used to convey professionalism and polish: steel grey, black, and "business" blue.
Let's explore some common color associations and see how they can be used in your online marketing endeavors.
Red: The emotions conveyed by red run the gamut from love and passion to urgency and danger. It can trigger memories of love in some people, yet cause anxiety (and a slightly elevated heart rate) in others. How can you make something so versatile work for you? Well, there's a reason that stop signs are red; it's a color that commands attention. Red can be used to highlight the most important items on a webpage, and the negative associations can be avoided by using it sparingly.
Orange: This one is very popular in online marketing, especially when it comes to buttons or other areas that lead to conversions. In fact, you'll even see it here on our site! And there's a reason -- orange is a color often associated with change and action. Use it to mark your calls to action or when you're looking for softer alternative to red.
Yellow: Another attention-grabbing color, yellow evokes feelings of sunshine, happiness and energy. However, it's sometimes difficult to read on computer screens. For this reason, I recommend sticking to shades in the gold or mustard family.
Green: Like red, green is a color with many interpretations. It can symbolize money and wealth or nature/the environment and renewal. Brighter shades are great for evoking feelings of monetary success and achievement, the lighter hues are calming, and the more "natural" greens are perfect for triggering associations with the environment and/or the outdoors. It's a great choice for banks, eco-friendly companies and camping equipment vendors alike.
Blue: Professionalism, amicability, trust and security are often associated with the color blue. The lighter shades are friendly and inviting (Facebook blue, anyone?) while darker blues (police uniforms, for example) are more strongly related to security. While unlikely to draw attention like the warmer colors, blue is always a solid choice for websites or social media profiles when you want to establish your company as reliable and trustworthy.
Purple: The most popular association for purple is royalty or regality. It's suitable for companies who want to convey an image of dignity or refinement.
Gold & Silver: Elegance and prestige are immediately brought to mind by these colors. Certifications and award emblems are often colored in gold or silver, ensuring that viewers will pick them out right away, even if they are just skimming a webpage. In large volumes, gold will take on the same associations as yellow, while silver conveys a more scientific feel.
While the above list is intended to help get you started thinking about colors and their associations, a qualified designer or online marketer can be a great resource in guiding you towards the most effective color combinations for your brand. Call us today at 401-828-6611 for more information.