Blue? Red? Maybe pink? What does it all mean?
Color is a very emotive subject. We often fail to realize how influential it can be on our mood and opinions. This is particularly significant to consider when commissioning a new website or app, since the color palette will often be the first thing we notice – and first impressions count.
The Whole Rainbow
Our eyes can process ten million colors, though we subconsciously divide these into primary color blocks. Crimson, scarlet and fuchsia will all be lumped together as red in our minds, despite the obvious shading variations. And each main color has its own unique connotations. Consider the different messages you can convey by wearing a little red dress or a little black dress, for instance.
These are some of the key associations commonly made when we see colors, and ways in which they can be used to distinguish or differentiate a new website:
The color of danger, but also an eye-catching shade that connotes dynamism and excitement. Think of Ferraris and film premieres, and you’ll see why a red logo can stand out in an app store compared to less assertive or aggressive colors. However, use it judiciously as it can also mean danger, stop or emergency.
Often associated with stability and intelligence, blue is a good choice for brands with a diverse presence. Many high street retailers use blue to infer consistency across their different outlets, and it’s a color highly admired among male audiences. You often see tech sites using blue and that might not be the vibe you are looking for.
Described as combining blue’s stability and red’s energy, purple is an opulent color that inspires thoughts of luxury. It’s reported to be the favorite choice among pre-teens, so it’s ideal for any sites or apps targeting a particularly young audience. Once upon a time only the church and royalty could wear purple as it was so expensive to produce. So maybe there’s a touch of exclusivity remaining in this choice of color
This is a very on-trend color among forward-thinking web designers, and splashes of yellow on a relatively sober website can be really arresting. Indeed, the color of sunshine has been scientifically proven to be the most eye-catching of all. It can be quite hard to read however and also difficult to match with other colors at times. But it does give the wow factor
We’ve reached a point where the word ‘green’ has become shorthand for ‘ecological’. Implying self-reliance and growth, green combines the attributes of blue and yellow. Bright shades can stand out online, though they might be overwhelming.
Although we live in a world where gender stereotyping feels clichéd, it can’t be denied that girls (and many women) love pink. An optimistic and loving color, it’s a great choice for websites and apps promoting health issues or charitable causes.
The color of purity, from wedding dresses to fresh snow. These positive connotations mean white is the most commonly seen color on websites, if mainly as a background tone. Most app store logos will incorporate white to some degree. It gives freshness and a sense of clean design. Make sure your website doesn’t look unfinished or boring.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, black is chiefly used for lettering and navigation menus – or as a backdrop for brighter colors. Black is a sober choice popular with market-leading brands, suggesting expertise and knowledge.
Over and above specific shades, it’s also important to consider the wider impact of your color choice. Dark tones are traditional and authoritative, whereas lighter ones can suggest youthfulness and enthusiasm. Text should be either black or white to contrast strongly against the chosen backdrop, while red is another font color that works well against a wide spread of background shades. Some colors can be mistaken for one another, like black and dark brown, so try not to stray too far towards the edge of a particular paint palette.
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