Color psychology is a fascinating and complex topic. It’s influence on how we perceive the environment can be subtle or overpowering. Overall, blue is the most universally liked color. Red is the most persuasive, for better or worse. Having a display of orange or brown is least likely to help your brand succeed.
Whether it’s building a new website or a mobile app, color can have a big effect on your brand. Some of the top app makers allow you to build apps without being a coder or designer. This gives you the freedom to create your own designs, but you will need to know how to use these colors correctly.
Just switching from the wrong color scheme to the right one can have a dramatic effect. Your brand image matters nearly as much as the quality of your products and services. The color you choose to present that branding in is as influential as any other element. What colors you use can influence how a given color feels about your brand and whether or not they choose to do business with you. This guide will help you choose the right colors and steer you away from the wrong ones.
Need to make something immediately more appealing? Add something red. It may not be everyone’s favorite color, but it does produce a powerful psychological reaction. Red is the color of important things, and it has been since before the invention of the wheel.
The power of red has only been enhanced as it is now the universal color of items on sale, markdown prices, and countdown timers. This is also why making any giveaway or download buttons red is an accepted best practice. To negate the “discount” impression red might give off, you may want to pair it with a sharp image or shape.
Here are some great looking red websites: https://code.tutsplus.com/articles/color-inspiration-awesome-red-websites–net-11288
White, as well as pastel tints, can be more than just a background color. It’s the color of justice, cleanliness, and new beginnings. It can even evoke slightly different feelings depending on its tint. “Warm” whites with undertones of red are suggested to have a comfortable feel, evoking feelings of trust. “Clean” or “Bright” white with blue undertones suggests a more formal or clinical tone.
White is used, to some extent, on nearly every web page or print design. How you use it, rather than whether you do, is the important part.
Here is some white website inspiration for you: https://www.intechnic.com/blog/10-black-white-website-design-inspirations/
From “Millenial Pink” to pink awareness ribbons, pink is a powerful, attractive color. Typically it’s used by brands that appeal to women, even though color surveys show that women have no particular fondness for the color. In fact, as recently as 1927, there was no marked gender association with pink at all.
In any case, pink is still seen by many in the same way as red. In this way, it makes a strong accent color and an over-the-top primary color. It can be used to draw attention, though not quite as powerfully.
Bright shades may increase blood pressure while calming pastels may lower it. It adds a touch of fantasy and appeals the those that use shopping as an exercise in escapism or entertainment.
Some pink websites you might like: http://www.vandelaydesign.com/pink-websites/
Blue is the most-liked color. In this instance, the kind of blue we’re referring to is on the ” Navy” side of the spectrum. This blue evokes feelings of trust and reliability. If you work in a field where these things are necessary, chances are you have seen a lot of this color. However, if you work in the restaurant industry, you will have seen very little of it. Why? Blue is unappetizing. When was the last time you ate something blue (that wasn’t artificially colored?)
When choosing colors, context is just as important as a color itself. Think of a few brands that use blue in their logo – Samsung, JetBlue, IBM – what if all those logos were changed to red? How would that make you feel about their brands? Chances are, you would feel a little less confident in them.
Blue is also a popular color on the internet. Think of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. These are all very powerful brands that people trust to use on a daily basis. When designing a website or trying to build an app, you should consider the trustworthy color blue.
Here are some blue websites you might like: http://www.vandelaydesign.com/blue-websites/
Green is a color that leaves people with a positive, relaxed feeling. Overall it gives the impression of a brand with a friendly attitude. Darker shades lead to a more relaxed mood while brighter shades imply vibrancy and healthy energy. It’s a good secondary color and pairs well with white.
Be mindful not to use green too heavily. While it does appeal to conscientious shoppers, too much green can, as a primary theme color, dampen feelings of urgency.
Here are some really great green websites you might like: http://www.vandelaydesign.com/green-websites/
Teal has staying power. It evokes images of new things like spring days and blue skies. It also gives off “classic” vibes in the form of Tiffany Blue and the most popular color of mid-century modern kitchen appliances.
Teal is an attractive color. It’s one of the few on this list that doesn’t show up on your fundamental color wheel because of that fact. It has a similar power to blue, evoking a trustworthy image, but in a fresh, less formal way.
Yellow is tricky. According to the APA, using it as a nursery or playroom color can increase moodiness in babies and young children, causing further outbursts. However, in Social Media Marketing, yellow is noted as a happy color. A better way to put it would be that yellow is an “intense” color.
There’s a reason highlighters and no 2 pencils are yellow – it can stimulate the brain to remember more information. It follows that, as a highlight or accent color, yellow can do the same thing for your customers. It’s also important to note that too much yellow, or yellow used as a primary color, can lead to confusion and visual fatigue – it causes too much energy to be spent all at once.
Check out these yellow sites to brighten up your day: http://www.vandelaydesign.com/yellow-websites/
Orange is the most conflicted color you will ever find. You can, however, use that to your advantage. Certain brands use orange to become outliers – to say in a strong way that they are different and worth a look. It’s a rebellious kind of color and challenges a customer to decide whether or not they identify with a given brand. In this way, it has been shown to be off-putting to grounded and traditional budget buyers but performs well with impulse shoppers.
Just in case you’re looking here’s a collection of orange websites: http://www.vandelaydesign.com/orange-websites/
Want your brand to stand out? Consider using more purple. It isn’t particularly stimulating or calming. Because of its unique vibrancy combined with neutral psychology, purple has long been associated with opulence, achievement and creativity.
Looking for purple website inspiration? http://www.vandelaydesign.com/purple-websites/
Black is a color most often used to point out authority or intelligence. It’s a bold choice that lends itself to equally bold branding. It should be employed sparingly, too much black can overwhelm and cause eye strain.
When used sparingly, black can have a dramatic impact. It should, however, never be used as a highlight color – it simply won’t work. Black is an expected color, a strong one, but not visually stimulating. It can be used to establish a robust identity, but it doesn’t grab a viewer’s attention.
Some black & white website inspiration for you: https://www.intechnic.com/blog/10-black-white-website-design-inspirations/
Though colors have the same general meanings across an array of cultures and regions, remember to take context into consideration. What does a particular color mean for other brands in your space? What does it imply in the region you’re from? Choosing a color scheme for a new business can be a daunting task. Making a change in an existing business is harder still.
If you do decide to switch from one color scheme to another, try to make the change gradual. An abrupt change with no warning can be disastrous. Consider what happened when Apple decided to change the popular iTunes logo from its original blue to a jarring shade of red. As the update hit, tens of thousands of desktop logos switched to red and many of those users thought something had gone wrong.
Red can be a great color, and a change of image may be necessary from time to time. If, however, you have an established image and a loyal user base, get their input before the change if you can. This can help keep your current and future customers happy even with widespread or drastic changes.
Andrew Gazdecki is the founder and CEO of Bizness Apps — making mobile apps affordable and simple for small businesses. We’re a do-it-yourself iPhone, iPad, Android & HTML5 app platform that allows any small business to simultaneously create, edit, and manage mobile apps without any programming knowledge needed. Think of us as “WordPress for mobile app creation.” Many of our customers are mobile app resellers — marketing or design agencies that use our platform to cost effectively build mobile apps for small business clients.
Think of a color, any color, perhaps it’s your absolute favorite color, and according to statistics, and especially from a psychological standpoint, your choice is most likely blue. Although it’s favored more by men, rather than women, it’s still the most popular color found throughout the world. Now imagine a brand name, especially a tremendously successful and powerful online force, that’s associated with this particular hue.
Is it Facebook that immediately comes to mind? Perhaps it’s Skype that pops into our brains, even Twitter shares this popular hue that is instantly recognizable by this popular color. Be it iconic and weirdly ironic, all of these worldwide, mobile conglomerates are using this instantly recognizable color in association with their powerful brands.
While it’s easily imaginable as a happy accident, merely a coincidence or simply choosing a color that’s universally appealing to almost everyone, especially on a global level … but isn’t there something more to this puzzling, picture puzzle when it comes to marketing and branding?
There must be more than meets the eye (pardon the pun), when it comes to these color choices. Can connecting these colored dots with today’s consumers, especially on an emotional and cultural level, bring us more success in branding?
Most of us associate the color of blue with masculinity and the birth of baby boys, while little girls and women are commonly branded and targeted with the frilly shade of pink. But when it comes to reaching all of our audiences today, regardless of their gender, branding goes far beyond these traditional, stereotypical labels and choices when it comes to using different tints and hues in order to connect more successfully with today’s online crowd.
For the sake of argument, let’s imagine another, more gender neutral-color, like green for instance. Do more men trend towards thoughts of money, wealth and power when compared to women, who may drift towards loftier ideas of Christmas, green grass and the environment? It all depends upon some unique circumstances, the individuals involved and many other variables.
Traditionally speaking, these outdated, antiquated perceptions and concepts may ring true in some cases, but instead, let’s examine them from a deeper and much broader perspective.
Now let’s take a look at one of the strongest, most powerful and often used of our primary colors .. RED. What’s the first thing you think of … a stop sign, anger, blood, rage, passion, love or something entirely different. Although the color red may have a negative connotation attached to it, (Natzi Germany and the communist reguime may come to mind), in many cultures it’s seen as a symbol that’s completely the opposite of our past (or current), reactions, views, opinions and concepts.
In many Asian communities, brides often wear this seemingly unorthodox color on their wedding day as a celebratory shade, which is conjoined with happiness, joy and hope for the future. In this instance, think of going to your favorite Chinese restaurant, isn’t the decor usually drenched in red and gold? In their culture, both of these shades are synonymous with prosperity, wealth and positive thoughts towards a successful future.
Most of us western folk see the color yellow as a positive, happy-go-lucky, especially bright tint that is tied to smiley faces, butterflies and rainbows and is especially connective with children, youth and energy. If you think of both red and yellow tied together, the fast-food chain McDonald’s may come to mind, as they’ve been successfully using these two primary colors to attract children (and their parents) to their restaurants for generations.
But did you know that in the Middle East, especially Egypt and some Latin American cultures, the color yellow is reserved for death and mourning. Well, so much for that sunshiney feeling of joy and youth. But conversely, yellow, or more precisely gold, can often be seen as a sign of royalty, wealth, everlasting life and prosperity. Ironic, isn’t it?
So there’s obviously much more to consider when it comes to color choices, psychology, branding and crossing cultural differences when it comes to connecting with both our global and local audiences. Taking everything into consideration, when it comes to this important choice involving branding and marketing, a simple palette of color choices can often make a huge difference in questioning consumer’s responses and acceptance of our all-important image.
When you think about it, internet giant Google chose every color in the rainbow to represent their brand and reigns supreme online to this day. Did they hit a home run by picking all the primary and secondary choices available and appeal to audiences everywhere? Kinda looks that way, doesn’t it? But that won’t work in every circumstance.
Nick Rojas is a business consultant and writer who lives in Los Angeles and Chicago. He has consulted small and medium-sized enterprises for over twenty years. He has contributed articles to Visual.ly, Entrepreneur, and TechCrunch. You can follow him on Twitter @NickARojas,. or you can reach him at NickAndrewRojas@gmail.com.