The practical guide to using the 6 most common colours.
Why colours are important for your brand?
Among the first questions we ask customers is: what colour do you want to use for your site?
The answer to this question is an integral part of our research when creating a site and developing marketing campaigns. Colour becomes a guide and source of inspiration in our creative process, in the choice of graphics, photographic content and typography.
Psychologists believe that colour is linked to emotions and can define particular sensations and actions. It is therefore important for a brand to hold onto these emotional hooks and use them in harmony with their marketing.
The choice of colour in branding has a big impact on how your brand is perceived. Whether you want to educate, inform or create excitement, choosing the right colour can evoke the emotions needed to make your message resonate in the hearts of your audience.
Use of colours on your site
As one of the most powerful forms of non-verbal communication, designers use colour to convey an instant message that needs to be apparent throughout the branding, not just the logo. For example, the use of a colour on a site must be suitable for a good reading, with a lively contrast and which helps to underline important messages and offers, making the visitor feel comfortable and encouraged to interact.
The visitor's online experience must be intuitive! Use easy-to-read typography. Black text on a light background is the most used and readable contrast… we don't reinvent the wheel!
Colours and persuasion
Colour theory is a complex subject. While there are many ideas about what each colour can mean, research shows that personal preferences, cultural differences, context, and previous experiences influence how everyone perceives colours. When trying to influence the audience to think the same with the use of a specific colour it can become a minefield, there is too much to consider.
The key to using a colour online is to make it 'practical'. Use colour in a playful way and wink at the different perceptions that the Theory of Colours suggests.
Appropriateness of colour
The appropriateness of a colour is another consideration… for example, we can't imagine Harley Davidson using a candy pink in their marketing… definitely inappropriate in relation to the tough, masculine image it has built.
In general certain colours are synonymous with particular emotions and, if used correctly, can create a very strong emotional content.
According to a study by the Institute for Colour Research, people make a judgment on your content in 90 seconds or less. 90% of that judgment in that very short moment is determined solely by the colours used. In fact, colour helps people recognize a brand in 80% of the cases studied. Choose a colour… and don't change it!
- Pros: Trust, Calm, Loyalty, Dependability, Logic, Security
- Cons: Coldness, Emotionless, Unfriendliness Unappetising
- Induces calm
- Cools the minds
- Increases productivity
- Financial institutions
- Corporations & businesses
Blue is commonly associated with trust, calm & loyalty. Blue is responsible and mentally relaxing.
Blue lends itself to generating a more mental than physical reaction that allows a feeling of tranquility.
Warning: Unfortunately it is one of the less visible colours and can be perceived as distant, cold and sterile if used too much. Blue is a very popular colour that brings a sense of calm and confidence when looking to strengthen human relationships, especially in marketing
- Pros: Peace, Health, Hope, Nature, Growth, Freshness, Prosperity
- Cons: Envy, Boredom, Blandness, Stagnation, Debilitating
- Relaxes mind and nerves
- Helps relieve depression and anxiety
- Regenerates feeling of self-control
- Natural products
Green recalls nature and is a balancing colour that helps to establish a feeling of well-being.
Warning: Use the appropriate shade of green for the message, the different shades can change the perception. Green can be associated with money, and green can be a feeling of sickness ... too. Green can induce a feeling of nausea.
- Pros: Optimism, Warmth, Happiness, Creativity, Playfulness, Intellect
- Cons: Caution, Anxiety, Fear, Irrationality
- Stimulates mental processes
- Stimulates the nervous system
- Activates memory
- Encourages communication
- In shop windows
Anything that is happy is almost always yellow. The wavelength of yellow is particularly long, giving it one of the strongest psychological effects and making it the easiest colour to see.
Whenever you want to reserve someone's spirit, improve their self-esteem, or offer inspiration, use yellow.
Warning: Avoid using too much yellow, it can cause feelings of anxiety and insecurity.
- Pros: Confidence, Warmth, Innovation, Friendliness, Energy, Bravery
- Cons: Frustration, Ignorance, Immaturity
- Stimulates appetite
- Stimulates activity
- Encourages socialization & familiarity
- Food & Beverages
Orange has a very interesting psychological interpretation as it combines the strength and energy of red and the cheerfulness and fun of yellow.
A good representation of physical comfort, family warmth, food and shelter.
Orange is a motivating colour and directs us towards a positive attitude and enthusiasm. Overall orange is a good colour to bring comfort in hard times and create a feeling of freedom and playfulness in your content.
Warning: Orange is a colour which subject to the trends and fashion of the times. Integrate it in a sensitive and balanced way into your design!
- Pros: Power, Excitement, Strength, Love, Passion, Energy, Youth, Confidence
- Cons: Anger, Danger, Warning, Aggression, Defiance, Pain
- Increases enthusiasm
- Stimulates energy
- Increases heart rate
- Encourages action
- Sales and balances
- Fast food
Red is an extremely strong and dynamic colour that reflects our primal needs ... whether you want to show affection or love, or to portray terror, fear and survival.
Warning: Red is an energizing colour that can evoke friendship and strength, but can stimulate aggression. If you're looking to create a strong presence or grab attention quickly, red is the colour for you!
- Pros: Wisdom, Luxury, Wealth, Spirituality, Sophistication, Royalty, Imaginative
- Cons: Introversion, Decadence, Moodiness, Excess, Reflection
- Relieves calm mind and nerves
- Offers a sense of spirituality
- Encourages creativity
- Beauty products
Purple is commonly associated with imagination and spirituality. It hides the energy and strength of red combined with the stability and serenity of blue, making it a perfect balance between material and spiritual.
An intriguing motorcycle colour that reassures, but leaves room for mystery and new ideas. This is why creativity is often associated with the colour purple.
Warning: Avoid using it too frequently as it can stimulate too much introspection and distraction.
In summary, these are the fruits of our research, aware that the Psychology associated with colors is an extremely complex and varied field. The perception of colors is subjective and can stimulate both positive and negative associations, but we hope this will help guide you in deciding how you want your brand to be perceived.
How we utilise colours can be important in helping a brand or campaign engage with the right audience and help evoke certain emotions.