Unraveling the truth behind why your colour scheme matters to your target audience.
We all have a favourite colour; whether this is to look at, to wear or just a colour that reminds us of a memory. But, what many people don’t realise is that the colour of a website can psychologically impact a user.
Think of a website that sticks in your mind; for either good or bad reasons. Now the first thing you will remember about that particular website is the probably the colour, then the lay out and finally any images that were used. Not many people will remember the text in the first paragraph, or even particularly the logo, but the colour scheme is an obvious element to focus on.
So, with the connotations of certain colours already etched on our brains, what would you expect to associate with a certain feeling, emotion or memory?
Red: Lust, romance, heat
Yellow: Happy, joyful, remembrance
Green: Growth, environment, health
Blue: Strong, intelligent
Of course, these can’t really be contained within a website, so from a commercial point of view, you need to make sure that your website reflects the colours that other businesses and users associate with commercial connotations.
For example, a prestige site which wants to attract high flying customer, offers a unique product or service and perhaps has been established for a number of years may choose black, silver or gold.
The reason for this is that it highlights wealth, sophistication and glamour, which is why you’ll often see many famous branded websites such as Debenhams, Harvey Nichols and Jaguar all take this approach; their uses expect to spend money.
Of course, the majority of the web is made up of small to medium sized businesses that want to attract their customers, so for these businesses there are various ways to enhance the appearance of their website, using colours that match their service, product or industry.
Baby blues, pinks, greens and purples, are perfect for websites which are promoting services aimed at families or medical sectors. The pastel colours provide softness to website that is soothing and calm, making them perfect for use when promoting anything that is delicate, such as post natal services or medical procedures.
Again these colours are ideal for businesses that aim their services at children such as nurseries or theme parks, or for fast paced industries that provide activity days or travel services. Also, many companies in the construction trade tend to go for vibrant yellows and blues which can often be associated with competitive prices, to target a wider audience.
With such competition in these types of industries businesses have to stand out, which is why they make their websites loud and noticeable. Vibrant colours also work when promoting a certain aspect of a website; since when have you ever seen a dull ‘Sale’ sign?
Green and Brown:
Kind of an obvious one, but these colourings are suitable for environmental websites that offer natural or handmade products or services. Of course, the options are endless and can range from naturally made kitchen cupboards to tree surgery services.
Browns can also be used in conjunction with other colours and can be transformed from an earthy colour, to a warming and stable colour depending on how and where it is used within a website.
Blue and Purple:
Often not used together, these cool colours can be regal and rich if deeper shades are used. Purple can often spin ideas of creativity and therefore makes the ideal colouring for websites that are promoting weddings or events as well health and beauty.
Of course there are various shades of blues which is why navy and royal blue can often be associated with those more prestigious companies similarly to how black and grey are used. This is the opposite from pastel shades and sky blues, these are often more suited to those companies that deal with air and water such as air conditioning companies or plumbers.
Red and Pink :
Warmer colours are suited to industries that either want to be seen as less corporate or are trying to strike an important message with their audience.
Websites that primarily contain red, tend to be very keen to make an impression on a user supported by the fact this is the colour most often used to highlight call to actions. Of course, red can be associated with affection so websites that focus on products or services geared towards couples such as restaurants or gift services use red frequently.
Of course pink, especially pastel shades tend to be very female focused and similarly to purple, can often be seen to promote beauty, birth and infants. However, deeper pinks are often used within the fashion industry to grab a user’s attention and draw their eye above the fold.
With all the different colour combinations, a website really can come into its own and there are those that turn these examples into complete disarray.
However, it’s the most important aspect to consider and although many companies choose to go from the colours of their logo, often when speaking to a designer, they will be able to open your eyes as to what your audience sees and associates your company with, just by flicking their eyes over the colourings of your website.
Whether your website follows conventional colourings or not, remember that you can put elements of all colour schemes in your website; as long as they are relevant and done subtly.
Author: Jenny Pilley is the Senior Content Writer at Creare; specialists in SEO, web design, ecommerce, internet marketing, email marketing and video production.