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  • Writer's pictureMart-Marie Ferreira

Colour psychology and your website


 

Colour is a powerful tool, and you need to know how to use it to benefit your brand.


The psychology of color is to understand the effects it has on our behaviors and decision-making. Each color has a quality that can affect how we feel, like blues and greens tend to have a calming impact, whereas yellow and oranges bring happiness. You may wonder what this has to do with your website… actually a lot!


Colour is powerful!


Colour can affect how customers respond to your brand's messages based on the color of the call-to-action (CTA) buttons, the copy of your product page, how it creates visual hierarchy, and establish trust. Colour can influence your website conversions by leading your customer from the landing page to close the sale. Using color to create a visual hierarchy in your copy and CTA can guide customers through the purchase journey and subliminally encourage them to click on the "Buy Now" or "Subscribe Now" buttons.


It doesn't mean that there are specific colors that everyone must use and that everyone responds the same way to particular colors. However, the use of color should reflect in your brand's storytelling and focus on how it resonates with your customer as it becomes part of your brand ethos.



Colour can make you stand out!


Like a physical store where lighting and color schemes are used to create an ambiance, the same should be done for your website with color.


Colour has the power to evoke a mood and elevate your brand. Consumers are visual, and the first few milliseconds are crucial about how they perceive your website and brand. Specific colors are synonymous with brands like red with Coca-Cola, Blue with Facebook, yellow with McDonald's, green with WhatsApp, and orange with Amazon.


Colour is not a one-size-fits-all; it is nuanced!


Once you understand how color can affect consumers, you can use it to work for you rather than against you. Plenty of consumer research is done on the psychology of color and its impact on consumer buying decisions. The study was done by Insights in Marketing, "How Does Colour Affect Consumer Behaviour," summed it up perfectly that people respond to color from a place that is both psychological and deeply personal.


Colour can affect the customer from a transactional perspective and on a marketing level where you can have the opportunity to make deeper emotional connections.


There are a couple of factors to consider of your target market and how they will respond to color:

  • Consumers' age group

  • The industry you are selling in

  • The culture and people's personal beliefs

  • Different gender and their individual preferences

  • The purpose of your marketing material


The best way is first to start understanding what color, in general, means to the average person. Then you can test and mix color choices in different shades to determine what will work for your specific website.


The meaning of colors




RED


Red is an iconic color synonymous with some of the most influential brands such as Youtube, Coco-Cola, and Netflix. Red is a standout color that evokes strong emotions. It is associated with excitement, danger, love, passion, and energy. Red makes you stand out, which is why some brands use it for their CTA buttons to draw the user's eye. Only use it if it provides an excellent contrast to your website's color scheme and uses it sparingly to encourage your user to do a specific action.



ORANGE


Orange is associated with creativity, balance, adventure, success, and enthusiasm. A splash of orange can brighten up your marketing material and add a fun element to it. The usage of orange on your website is more dependent on the hue of the color. Bright orange can draw the user's eye by using it for CTAs. In comparison, toned-down oranges can be used throughout your website with complementary colors.



YELLOW


Yellow is a fun and exciting color. It is associated with optimism, happiness, positivity, warmth, and summer. When you are using it on your website, it can make visitors associate positive feelings with your brand. Remember that sometimes yellow on screens can be harsh and challenging to read. The brightness of yellow can create a visual hierarchy when used strategically throughout your website for that pop of color. Ensure that the correct hue and contrast background color are used to make headings legible.



PINK


Pink is primarily used to target a female audience, and it is associated with femininity, playfulness, sincerity, sophistication, and love. Even though pink is a tint of red, it has different associations and is more soothing and gentle than red. Use pink when you are targeting women and younger girls. Pinks used with black and white can elevate and create a beautiful visual hierarchy.



GREEN


Green is associated with nature, growth, serenity, and money. Different hues of green have different meanings, such as dark greens are more associated with money, wealth, and affluence, whereas lighter greens relate more with growth, freshness, and youth. For some brands, green is part of their corporate identities, such as Nedbank and John Deere. You can also test if green CTA buttons work more effectively because the green CTA subliminally tells the user to proceed with the next step.



BLUE


Blue is a calming color and is mainly associated with harmony, peace, stability, quality, strength, and trust. Different shades of blue also evoke other emotions like bright blues are refreshing and energizing, and darker blue are more associated with coldness and uncaring. Some of the most well-known brands that use blue in their websites or applications are Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Walmart. The trust factor will increase for the user when you use blues for the guarantee, trust certification, and free shipping icons if this fits your brand image and complements the other colors used on your website.



PURPLE


Purple is a strong color that is associated with royalty. Purple communicates power, wealth, prosperity, authority, sophistication, and respect. It is also a soothing color and should be avoided for CTA's as it generally doesn't grab people's attention. You can use purple in the background of your hero banner and create a visual hierarchy with your headings.






WHITE


White has different meanings in different cultures, and it is essential to consider this concerning which market you are targeting. In Western cultures, white is associated with innocence, humility, goodness, and simplicity. Whereas, in Eastern and Asian countries, it is associated with death and mourning.


Some would argue that white is not a color but the absence of color. Thus, using white spaces to create room for breathing is vital in your website's design. White provides an excellent backbone for other colors to shine and to create visual hierarchy. In eCommerce stores, it is the most widely used color for product images to pop and attract the user's eye. Some brands use a white background for the product photos, or others might use a light grey background for another tone in the color palette.



GREY


Grey is mainly associated with neutrality and balance as it is between black and white. It is quite a dull color and should be used for broad information in areas such as the font color of body text and in headers and a neutral background for graphics to balance the pop of colors that are being used on your website. Different shades of grey balance out different colors depending on the undertone of the colors in your color palette. Be careful of using too light grey for body text as it will impact the readability of the text.



BLACK


In color psychology, the symbolism of black is mystery, power, and sophistication. Black is an intense color and should be balanced with other colors not to be too domineering and overpowering. Black text on a white background is easy to read where there is loads of information being conveyed. In contrast, white text on a black background should be used to communicate snippets of information for readability, especially on smaller screens. Many fashion e-tailers use black for their CTA against a white background for visual emphasis.



BROWN


Brown is an earthy color that naturally relates to comfort, security, and down-to-earth nature. It contrasts nicely against a white background. One of the most notable companies using brown is UPS. They take excellent advantage of the color in their branding by contrasting it beautifully with yellow, blue, and splashes of green. This color palette effectively communicates that their reliable service and around the globe reach.



 

Conclusion


Colour conveys subliminal messaging and understanding how people might interpret color can give you an idea of how your message might be received. By using the overarching color's meaning, go and find unique hues and color combinations that fit in with your website's image. Each color combination can be unique, but this depends on how you use it for your brand and make you stand out from your competition.

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