Burnt orange autumn leaves. Crystal blue Caribbean waves. Rolling yellow fields of sunflowers. Much like the sense of smell, colors have the ability to evoke powerful and distinct emotional responses. Though sometimes a source of controversy, color psychology as it pertains to marketing can have a persuasive influence on the end consumer (or end user in the case of web design).
Web designers have a lot to consider when it comes to developing their masterpieces, including (but not limited to) content, navigation, accessibility, functionality, responsive adaptation, the list goes on. A website’s color scheme is more important than most probably realize, and arguably just as important as the site’s fundamental framework.
Designers use colors to conjure an ambiance, create action items, highlight importance, and ultimately enhance your site’s usability and perpetuate your brand’s effectiveness.
To ensure your color scheme aligns with the brand message you want your website to communicate, you’ll need a little background on color psychology. Luckily, Julie Neidlinger of CoSchedule has conveniently provided us with an illustrative guide to colors and emotions, as seen below.
Are you trying to convey spirituality? Use purple. Grey should be used when attempting to conjure a feeling of reliability. Is your goal to augment your brand’s voice with a friendly and earthy brown or a passionate, energetic red? Regardless of your ambitions, it’s clear that spending extra time to research color psychology will enhance your brand awareness and give your site a competitive edge.
Let's take a look at some sites and see what emotional response their color palette of choice inspires.
Evolve Wealth's use of a blue scheme invokes trust, loyalty and intelligence, all beneficial associations for financial advisors:
Notice how the designers of Lipton Iced Tea use an energetic, happy yellow combined with powerful red action items:
Uber knows something about color psychology. Their site exudes high tech, class, protection and glamour with the combination of black and grays. Blue focal points reinforce a feeling of trust amongst consumers:
I'll leave you with some great resources for web design color scheming. Colour Lovers is an interactive community used to share and discuss the latest trends in web design and color theory. If you're looking for color palette inspiration with exploration into schemes that offer analogous or complimentary qualities based on a specific color, Adobe's Kuler Color Wheel can help!