Company News / Industry Tips
The power of color psychology in web design.
Colors influence our mood, state of mind and perception which most of us don't know why. We can obviously feel our mood changing in certain situations, for example imagine yourself in a dark red room or in a room with bright colors. Learn how color perception and color psychology in website design are used, the way company’s use colors and what their message is.
The colors are divided into two basic groups – colors in the red area of the color spectrum known as warm colors (red, orange and yellow) and colors in the blue area known as cool colors (blue, purple and green). The warm colors evoke emotions ranging from feelings of warmth, comfort and coziness (the fire burning in the rainy cold evening) to anger and aggression. Cool colors, as a rule, are described as calm and tranquil, but can also be associated with sadness (feeling blue) or indifference.
Effective marketing campaigns are partly based on the way we perceive colors and what makes people buy. Below are the primary colors and the emotions/feelings that they are widely associated with.
Symbol of menace or evil, popular as an indicator of power. Associated with death and mourning, unhappiness, sexuality, formality, and sophistication.
Purity or innocence. Cold, bland, and sterile.
Evokes strong emotions, associated with love, warmth, and comfort. Still considered an intense and angry color that creates feelings of excitement, intensity, sexuality.
A favorite color for many people and the color most preferred by men. Gives the feelings of calmness or serenity. Described as peaceful, tranquil, secure, and orderly.
Symbolizes nature and the natural world. Represents tranquility, good luck, health, and jealousy. Symbol of fertility, has a calming effect and relieves stress.
Cheery and warm, but can also create feelings of frustration and anger. Most fatiguing to the eye (that’s why you’ll rarely see a bright yellow website or a room painted with yellow with the exception of playrooms for kids) yet most attention-getting color (so great color for important details or calls to action- remember the yellow stop/caution color).
Royalty and wealth, wisdom and spirituality, sex and relationships, exotic and special.
Natural color that evokes a sense of strength and reliability, warmth, comfort, and security.
Blatant and vulgar color, makes you feel excitement, enthusiasm, and warmth. As a combination of red and yellow it’s often used to draw attention.
Associated with love, romance, youth, freshness and may have a calming effect. Pink effect depends on the type of pink (strong, light, deep etc).
Now that we know what colors mean and what feelings they evoke, let’s try to make a simple analysis of the color schemes used by some household name brands on their corporate websites.
Though the McDonalds restaurant colors we are used to are yellow and red (to cause children excitement, a bit of irritation and craziness), the website looks pretty formal in black and white. And no wonder, being visited by parents who would like to know what their kids eat and how fat is that, black and white is the perfect solution to make the website look strict, formal, informative, clean and somewhat sterile. Now imagine it would be mainly in yellow and red (causing excitement and the most fatiguing to the eye)- that would make parents mad. Frustrated parents = Less money
The header of the website is designed in bright colors- yellow, yellowish-green and sky-buy – which makes your feel somewhat excited (and willing to buy something?). The photos used in flash animation are bright as well which makes you even more excited. The website body is pretty simple- black and blue text on a white background to give you full access to the information. The special offers page has a huge red banner on top and you can’t keep your eyes from it! That same moment your brain keeps reading “special offers” over and over again … and Ikea has you.
Red, white and blue- the colors of world-famous 3-colored toothpaste and the only colors used on the website (even mother and kid on the photo in the header area are dressed in red and white on the blue sky background!). Red for energy and happiness, white for shine and sterility, blue for cold freshness of stream water and confidence. Though I like the toothpaste, the website color scheme is not pleasant to my eyes. The abundance of bright red makes me feel uncomfortable and makes it almost not possible for me to focus on the texts and information.