Whilst in the throes of choosing colours for use in your brand design (and by default, your web design), you might feel tempted to choose your favourite colours – just because they’re pleasing to your eye.
Before you proceed, How to Build a Brand would like to stress the importance of colour choice in brand design. The messages you send with colour can be intense; therefore, the correct colours equal the correct message. And the wrong colours…well, you can imagine where that’s going.
Brand Design, Colour, and What they Say
Sometimes, the meanings of colours can vary, depending on the viewer’s life experiences and culture. Also, individual messages sent by a single colour can seem contradictory. In these cases, it’s important to understand that the context in which the colour is used can affect its ultimate significance. For instance, if used on a tuxedo rental web design, black can signify elegance and sophistication; however, if that same black is used in a funeral parlour web design, it will portray death, depression, and darkness. Darkness and death may be what you’re going for – but the use of it in the wrong application can be detrimental.
When choosing colours as part of your brand design and website strategy, you must, of course, include those that are already in your logo and other branding materials. This will marry your web design to your brand design – and further it.
Keep your target audience in mind. Younger, more energetic types like brilliant and primary colours. Older people, or those seeking relaxation or security, will appreciate earth tones and muted shades.
Whilst choosing colour for your brand design and web design, keep your industry in mind. Pink may not complement a men’s body-building website, nor work well for a high-end accounting firm. On the other hand, green is a good choice for an organic vegetable gardening website or a wilderness escape website.
Now, for the part you’ve been waiting for – the messages conveyed by common colours:
- Red: passion, love, heat, power, danger, activity, stimulation, enthusiasm
- Blue: freshness, fluidity, calm, trustworthiness, cleanliness, water
- Yellow: cheer, curiosity, caution, playfulness, youth
- Green: nature, health, growth, peace, life, prosperity
- Orange: imagination, warning, youth, economy, amusement
- Purple: royalty, extravagance, conviction, fairness, whim
- Pink: innocence, sweetness, love, gentleness, femininity
- White: wholesomeness, neutrality, purity, emptiness, simplicity
- Black: intensity, power, elegance, intellect, maturity, mystery, bereavement, privacy
If your web design includes elements that are intended to encourage sales, it can help to consider your audience’s general temperament. If you’re targeting snap-decision-makers, red-orange, blue, or black will tend to further spur action from impulse buyers. Frugal spenders are likely to trust colours like pale blue and light pink – making them more likely to take the plunge if these colours are present in your web design and in your general brand design. In the middle, buyers who establish budgets and tend to stick to them will respond nicely to light and dark blue, medium pink, and teal.
When choosing colours to use together, in colour schemes, you might wonder, should I use complementary colours, contrasting colours, or colours that match? One approach is to choose three colours that are in the same colour family – that don’t contrast much with one another. Then, pick two more that contrast against the original three, to use for accenting. Surely, you’ll change hues and saturations until you get something you like, but if you need help you can consult with any number of internet colour scheme generators and galleries.
With colour in your web design and brand design, you can unleash your creativity while sending messages that may go consciously undetected – but not forgotten. A consultation with a brand design expert may be in order, even if it’s only to ensure that your own colour biases aren’t “colouring” your opinions and clouding communications.
The brand design experts at How to Build a Brand are always here to answer any questions you may have. Simply call +44 (0) 208 123 6776.