How Color Theory Can Transform Your Brand
Color is an often underestimated and a strikingly powerful tool used by web design companies in Kuwait, one that attracts attention, conveys meaning, and creates desire. Smart color choices can get our messages across even without the use of words, and can ultimately drive conversions and increase customer loyalty. Institute for Color Research has revealed that a subconscious judgment about a website is made within 90 seconds of visiting it, and about 90% of that assessment is based on color.
Color psychology is a vast field backed by a ton of scientific data, and has several different components to it. But for the purposes of this article, let’s itemize why color schemes are so important in the world of website design:
- Brand Recognition: A brand is an audience’s perception about a company. Branding, specifically color branding, has the ability to influence that perception. Do you want to be perceived as trustworthy? Luxurious? The color palette you choose will spark visitors’ judgements on a subconscious level so it’s important that it matches your brand philosophy. Moreover, color enhances memory retention and recall, which means that color is key if you want your target audience to remember your product/brand.
- Emotion: Emotional marketing is based on the idea that people often make decisions that align with their feelings. Colors have the ability to evoke a multitude of emotions and can provide meaning to content and tone. Further down, we will talk in more detail about the different emotions expressed by different colors.
- Target Audience: In general, warm colors signify energy, alertness, and to a certain extent aggression, whereas cool colors diffuse peacefulness and tranquility. Using colors that speak to your specific target audience can drive traffic. For instance, while a bright and colorful website can work to attract a younger clientele, those same colors can annoy senior visitors. There seems to be some variation in the color preferences of men and women as well.
- Contrast: Using different shades and intensities of colors can actually move users down the sales funnel. For example, a subtle colorscape can dominate a website or a call-to-action page, and then a bold color within the same color scheme can be used to draw attention to something like a button, which will draw the user’s attention and prompt an action. Additionally, colors can also be a great tool to highlight certain features or create focus.
Now let’s talk a little about color theory and the color wheel. Color theory is the use of different combinations of colors to influence one’s emotions, mood, and behavior. For our purposes, it is the way in which color decisions dictate the way in which users interact with your website. To help you understand the basics of color theory, we have explained below the color wheel and the various color harmonies that emerge from it.
The color wheel is a visual representation of the relationships of colors. It consists of three color groupings:
- Primary colors are red, yellow, and blue; they are raw colors and are NOT created by mixing any colors.
- Secondary colors are created by mixing equal portions of two primary colors.
- Tertiary colors are created from mixtures of primary and secondary colors.
Undoubtedly, color combinations are pleasant to look at when they are harmonious. Here are a few techniques used by website designers in Kuwait to pick a harmonious color scheme:
- Complementary: Picking two colors that are opposite to each other. These are great for creating high levels of contrast.
- Split-complementary: Picking one base color, and two colors adjacent to each other and opposite to the base color.
- Triadic: Picking three colors evenly spaced around the color wheel.
- Tetradic: Picking four colors that form two sets of complementary colors.
- Square: Picking four colors equally spaced from each other.
- Monochromatic: Using hues or tints from a single color.
Now let’s talk about how individual colors influence our perceptions and actions:
Red: Associated with urgency, passion, courage, aggressiveness, love, and energy, red is said to increase a person’s heart rate and breathing. It’s great for drawing attention to something (buttons and other call-to-actions) and for creating excitement. It can be used in the food, fashion, entertainment, sports, and healthcare industries. However, using red incorrectly or for the wrong purposes can portray violence and anger. If you wish to use red for luxury goods and services, try using a darker tone.
E.g: Red Bull, an energy drink company, uses a significant amount of red in their logo to signal energy and action.
Blue: Blue is associated with trust, calmness, productivity, competence, and masculinity. Brighter hues can also create a sense of energy and refreshment. While red promotes urgency and action, blue makes people feel safe and serene, and lets them decide at their own leisure whether they really trust the brand. So, blue is great for financial, healthcare, high-tech, and government industries that need to gain and establish customer trust and loyalty. Moreover, blue tends to be the most popular color with both men and women. Steer away from using blue on food-based websites, since it is known to suppress appetite.
E.g: Facebook tries to win their users’ trust by using blue. The color also produces a calming effect that encourages people to keep scrolling through the feeds.
Green: Green lies at the center of the color spectrum, which makes it the color of balance and equilibrium. It represents growth, health, nature, wealth, harmony, fertility, and energy. Green is actually the easiest color for the eye to process, so it creates a calming effect. It is also a mixture of yellow and blue which makes it equally energizing and relaxing. Because the color is so versatile, it can be used in several variations in almost all industries, especially for health and wellness, eco-friendly, and tech companies.
E.g: Starbucks uses green as their dominant color to give the users a taste of the calmness and energy they will achieve by drinking their coffee.
Yellow: This is the happiest color. It creates the feelings of excitement, optimism, cheerfulness, warmth, and youth. This color is ideal for companies that wish to appear friendly and delightful, like travel agencies and party organizers. It can also label brands as creative. Yellow is best used sparingly (like for drawing attention to buttons and call-to-actions), since using an overwhelming amount can strain the eyes and make the website seem cheap or spammy.
E.g: McDonald’s uses yellow to associate itself with happiness. Also, it is the most visible color in daylight, which makes it easy to spot on a crowded road.
Purple: Purple is the color of luxury and sophistication. It is also used to communicate creativity, imagination, power, and respect. Formed from a mixture of red and blue, it perfectly combines power and serenity. Lighter shades appeal to women and work great for companies selling feminine jewelry and beauty items whereas darker shades tend to create a sense of luxury and wealth. But because purple is extremely soothing and calming, it’s not your best choice for grabbing visitors’ attention.
E.g: Yahoo chose purple as a representation of imagination and innovation.
Brown: This warm, natural color is said to elicit associations with earth, nature, stability, and reliability. This is an infamously difficult color for Kuwait web designers to pair with other colors and both men and women tend to dislike it. However, when used in the right proportions, it can be used to stimulate appetite (especially for coffee and chocolate) and works well for companies related to real estate, animals, finance, etc. It also works great as a background color. Just like purple, brown will generally fail at grabbing people’s attention (so don’t use it for buttons and call-to-actions) and using too much of it can bring about feelings of sadness and isolation.
E.g: Brown is the primary color choice for M&Ms, along with several other chocolate companies.
Black: Remember how we said purple is the way to go if you want to portray sophistication and wealth? Well, black is better. The high level of contrast that can emerge from black, helps websites make a bold statement and cater to the wealthiest clientele. It is an emblem of elegance, authority, and intelligence. It can work wonders when used for luxury goods, fashion, and cosmetics. However, an overwhelming amount of black can create a mancing and uncomfortable air.
E.g: The luxury fashion brand Chanel uses black in its logo to represent elegance and sophistication.
White: White is all things creative, classy, inviting, and friendly. When paired with strong and loud colors, it produces a minimalist, easy to read effect. “White space” is a term usually thrown around in web design companies in Kuwait. The color conveys a sense of freedom, which allows visitors a breathing room and lets them actually absorb all the information on the page. White is frequently associated with doctors, nurses, and dentists, which makes it perfect for the healthcare industry. If paired with black, gold, silver, gray, etc., white can also present itself as luxurious. Avoid pairing true black with true white, since they can sometimes be off-putting to the eye.
E.g: Apple embraces white as a core color of its brand. This allows its products to be the focus with no other distractions.
Working with colors can be a complex process since there are so many of them, and we have only attempted to list the basic few. When a solid color palette is used in conjunction with the needs of the target audience and the site’s content, it can undoubtedly elevate user experience and drive conversion rates. At Design Master, a professional website design company in Kuwait, we hire some of the best graphic designers and web creators in Kuwait, who can help you choose color schemes, branding, and strategies that will connect you with your clients.