Growing up, we’ve always been reminded to look beyond the physical – it’s what’s on the inside that matters, don’t judge a book by its cover – but in reality, we’ve actually been doing the opposite all our lives (sorry mom). Most of our decisions are subconsciously based off first-impressions and quick glances – and one of the first things we react to is color! Whenever we describe an object, we often start with its color because color is integral to our visual database. Color is important because we see it in everything and use it to differentiate one thing from another.
How to make color work for you
Choosing the right color can make or break your brand and website. This color is going to affect how consumers perceive your brand and what values they associate with it. While colors can mean different things for different cultures, studies have shown there are universal meanings for each color in advertising.
Blue: Trust, Loyalty, Dependability
Examples: Facebook, IBM, Twitter
Blue is one of the most popular colors around so it’s natural our minds associate it with reliability and dependability. Banks often go with blue logos to emanate their trust and loyalty. As social media is becoming a powerful force in the world for users to unite and create social change, it’s no wonder Twitter and Facebook also opted for blue in their branding.
Red: Excitement, Energy, Urgency
Examples: Coca-Cola, Lego, Lululemon
Red is a color that evokes a passionate response, and the brands that use it are often known for being associated with energy and excitement. Who would’ve thought a soft drink, a children’s construction toy, and a yoga brand could find common ground? This really highlights how one feeling can be linked to so many different ideas and memories.
Yellow: Warmth, Happiness, Optimism
Examples: Ikea, Mcdonald’s, Cheerios
Just like the sun, yellow is associated with all things warm and happy. Combined with their slogan, “Bee Happy”, evidently Cheerios wants their audience to associate them with warm and fuzzy feelings.
Green: Nature, Health, Peace
Examples: Whole Foods, The Body Shop, Perrier
“Going Green” is a term coined to mean being environmentally friendly, but its often taken quite literally. Green is often associated with anything good for the ecosystem and/or our bodies. Think grassy meadows and green juice and you’ve got the idea.
White: Simplicity, Clarity, Balance
Examples: Apple, Wikipedia
Who doesn’t know the iconic Apple logo? White is not only the color of clarity and simplicity, its also the color of balance because it represents the presence of every color in the spectrum; it’s whole and complete. Crisp and clean, and very representative of Apple’s products which are compact and sleek.
Black: Classic, Elegance, Power
Examples: Nike, Adidas, Sony
You’ll find that black is a popular choice amongst sports and fitness brands because it’s classic and shows power in its simplicity. The intensity and focus of sports is translated into black as if to say “no distractions”.
A color can be so powerful in conjuring a brand that some companies may go as far as trademarking a certain hue (We’re looking at you, “Tiffany Blue”). Color is especially relevant when it comes to branding because it can cause immediate recognition of your brand without even a logo or a name – but whether that recognition is positive or negative depends on how people perceive the color.
Now you try
When you’re building your website, try to think about how you want visitors to feel and then choose the color that best suits that message. Next, use the color schemes in our Site Builder to see which one helps you achieve your goal. The color schemes are automatically set so you don’t need an interior design background to figure out which colors complement each other, and which colors clash. Our design team has already prepackaged the color schemes to take out all the guesswork.