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There are many decisions you have to take when designing your website. You choose the layout, the font, page size, graphics, and much more. However, among the most important decisions for your website design are the colours that you select to use on your website.
Use of colour indicates to your potential customers which parts of the website are important. Colour can draw the eye to specific areas of the site, it can encourage people to read through each page by making it look more welcoming, colour can also tie in offline and online marketing adding to your overall branding and can even affect our emotions with sub-conscious cues.
Colour branding is the association of a specific combination of colours with your business. If you always use the same colour scheme on online and offline marketing and on every page of your website then the customer knows that they are dealing with your company and the colours will stay in their mind.
There has been a great deal of research into the psychology of colour and the associations that people have with certain colours. Although every rule can be broken if done in the right way, here is a general guideline as to the emotions and effects associated with each colour.
Yellow – cheerful and eye-catching
Purple – royalty, mystery and spirituality
Pink – feminine
Black – can be heavy, depressing or “alternative”
Blue – relaxation, peace, neutrality
Red – danger, alertness, awareness
Green – calming and easy on your eyes
The single most important consideration when looking at text and background colours is to have text that is easy to read. A white background with black text is traditionally used, mainly because it is the easiest combination to read, if you are having an “alternative” or non-corporate site designed then white text on a black background can also be effective. Some sites use dark coloured text against a pale pastel background but the most important aspect is contrast to aid reading and comprehension. You should also have a solid background to read text against as a patterned background is difficult to read over.
Most products look better when presented against a white background; this gives the products clean, sleek lines and doesn’t detract from the overall appearance.
There are many books and articles on colour psychology available on the market to help you with the connotations and meanings of specific colours. Often you will have specific ideas, perhaps influenced by standards within your industry, but whatever you choose, make sure you understand the rules and try using focus groups to ask their opinion on your colour branding.
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