Whether it’s painting your house, buying a car, or designing your website, color plays an essential factor. We all have favorite colors, but have you ever wondered why?
In addition to looking a certain way, colors make us feel a certain way. This is important when designing marketing materials for your business. How your customers feel will impact their behavior, buying habits, and impression of your brand.
So, what colors should you choose when marketing your business? Continue reading to discover how color psychology can impact the success of your marketing and, thus, the success of your business.
The Theory Behind Color Psychology
We all know red and green make us think of Christmas, but do you know why?
When trying to understand how color impacts your marketing materials’ delivery, the first concept to grasp is primary colors vs. secondary colors vs. tertiary colors:
- The primary colors are red, blue, and yellow.
- Secondary colors are the colors derived from mixing primary colors. Anybody who’s ever used a “yellow and blue make green” knows that.
- Tertiary colors are a hyphenate created by combining a primary color and a secondary color. For instance, red-orange or yellow-green.
Within all colors, there are tints, shades, tones, and contrast. The color wheel below demonstrates what we mean.
So, now that we’re familiar with these terms, what colors should you use when designing your next marketing campaign?
Knowing What Creates Contrast
Contrast isn’t just a difference in color; it is also a difference in tone. In fashion, you’d never wear a brown belt with black shoes because, while different, these colors have little contrast with each other.
By mixing colors and contrast, you can create content that is visually appealing and easy to read. The goal is to attract potential customers and deliver your message.
You can deliver effective marketing by choosing two or three simple color combinations that offer a mix of high and low contrasting tones. The color wheel above can help you choose those colors.
Color Opposites Attract
Blue and orange, yellow and purple, and the aforementioned red and green are opposites. When it comes to readability, the importance of color pairing should be considered in the product itself.
For instance, many watch companies use blue and orange when designing their timepieces because blue and orange are opposites. A blue face with orange hands creates an attractive design and easy readability, so the wearer doesn’t have to struggle to tell the time.
But is there balance?
In the case of the watch, we can picture a blue circle with two little orange lines. Blue is the dominant color, while the orange gives us a visual break. Our eyes naturally look for a second color. As marketers, you get to decide what you want that secondary color to tell the viewer.
What Do All the Colors Mean
Now that you know how to pick opposite colors and use contrast to your advantage, let’s take a look at how our brains interpret specific colors. The question we’re asking here is, why is Valentine’s Day red?
Red is a powerful color that conveys many emotions. From Valentine’s Day to horror movies, red quickly gets attention because it elicits powerful reactions of love and fear. Use this powerful color strategically and sparingly.
While red is powerful and yellow is friendly, orange is a warm mix. Orange is a very soothing color with effective usage energy drinks on the sporting event sidelines, vitamin bottles, and board games.
Green often connects us to nature, an overall sense of wellness, and makes us think of growth in both plants and wealth. Blue evokes a feeling of trust and dependability. Blue is often found in hospitals, spas, and fitness studios because of its soothing nature.
The color blue is also used on the Facebook website and marketing materials because the founder of the social media juggernaut, Mark Zuckerberg, is red-green colorblind (colorblindness is yet another important factor to consider when designing an effective marketing campaign based around color).
Brown is comforting and used in home furnishings. Gold is the color of luxury. Black is for professional attire and limos. White can represent purity and cleanliness.
Every color has a connotation, whether we’re consciously aware or not.
Using Word and Color Combinations To Convey Your Message
Are you trying to convey trust or speed? Courage or reliability? After you decide what your company stands for, you can choose the colors that deliver that message the best. From there, implement the strategies outlined above when drafting some snappy headlines for your campaign.
The chart below shows how all these ideas come together to help you convey the message you want to deliver.
Know Your Demo
Men and women are different and experience colors differently. By knowing the demographics who shop your brand, you can deliver effective color-based marketing content.
Men typically like blue, green, and red, while women usually like blue, green, and purple. If women are the biggest consumer of your product, you could be better off using a little more purple and a little less red.
Women also see a greater spectrum of differentiation in a single color than men do. This point was hit home by Meryl Streep’s character in “The Devil Wears Prada,” when she lectured Anne Hathaway’s character about the color cerulean. Where women might see cerulean, turquoise, or teal, men generally see blue… Just blue.
To summarize, we all have preconceived notions of what colors mean and how they affect us. Couches are most often brown for a reason. Firetrucks are red so they can stand out. By thinking of how color connects to emotion, we can direct the consumer to our brand by delivering the most effective message possible.
If you’d like further assistance with your website UX and layout strategy, contact the fusionZONE team.