Colour is important. Although it may seem a merely aesthetic detail, colour is a communicating axis capable of generating reactions. Neuromarketing is proof of this, as is the commercial experience of many companies and brands. On a website or online shop this is no exception: colour theory can help you to achieve a more attractive aesthetic, but also to sell more if they are well managed. Neil Patel, digital marketing expert, states that “colour is 85% of why you bought a specific product”. Impressive, isn’t it?
In this post we explain how colours influence, a basic but essential concept in psychology, design and marketing.
Colour and brand
Colour is one of the many expressive elements that every company should consider. Through colour, your communication is transmitting a message that goes directly to the subconscious of the viewer/consumer, so you should make sure that it is directly related to what you want to transmit.
We humans learn this colour-reaction association emotionally, often unconsciously, from a very early age. In some cases, this relationship may vary according to area, age, country or cultural habits. For this reason, here is a basic but generally accepted interpretation.
The important thing is to keep in mind who your audience or buyer persona is and what feelings you want to convey through the colour of your brand, your products or your online shop. Whether you are a large multinational company or a recent freelancer, it is important to know and plan the message you are going to convey to your customers.
Colour guide (and your emotional reaction)
Linked to blood, fire and sex.
What emotions does it generate? Passion, love, warmth, power, but it is also related to fight, war, aggressiveness and immediate consumption.
Design advantages: it is the most dominant colour and suggests action (e.g. clicking on a button or a link), which is why it is also the most used.
Recommended for mass consumption products, commercial offers, sports, textile, fast-food and real estate markets.
Linked to water and air.
What emotions does it generate? Calmness, peace, intelligence, apathy, coldness.
Design advantages: calm, confidence and loyalty. In dark tones, close to black, it conveys elegance, while in light tones (cyan) it conveys youthfulness.
Recommended for cleaning, financial services, industrial and sanitary products.
Linked to light and the sun.
What emotions does it generate? optimism, joy, idealism, caution.
Design advantages: it is the first colour to be perceived by the human eye, it is bright but also the most tiring for the eye.
Recommended for food, furniture and decoration, energy and leisure/entertainment.
Linked to light and purity.
What emotions does it generate? Perfection, cleanliness, innocence, lightness and simplicity.
Design advantages: neutral and balanced colour, increased sense of space.
Recommended for healthcare, jewellery, architecture and minimalist design.
Linked to autumn (together with brown) and citrus fruits.
What emotions does it communicate? vitality, energy, creativity and intensity.
Design advantages: like red, it stands out visually and conveys optimism and self-confidence.
Recommended for web action buttons (CTAs) and purchase incentives, advertising, technology and energy drinks.
Linked to royalty and spirituality.
What does it suggest? Luxury, imagination, wisdom, status, mysticism, but also excess and cruelty. Also linked to femininity.
Advantages in terms of design: it is a colour halfway between warm and cold tones, not very present in nature and therefore ideal for exclusive ranges.
Recommended for food, luxury, technology, health or fantasy products.
Linked to plants and nature.
Youth, growth and nature.
Design advantages: pleasing to the eye, soothing and pleasant colour.
Recommended for ecological products, environmental care, home, garden and children’s products.
Linked to night, mystery and death.
What emotions does it generate: authority, elegance, formality, mystery and fear.
Design advantages: it enhances the intensity of the other colours, creating stronger contrasts. It can therefore be combined with practically all colours.
Recommended for fashion, business, luxury and exclusive products.
As you can see, the relationship between colour and emotion may seem very basic or elementary (and in some cases you probably don’t quite agree). Be that as it may, the statistics point to the fact that this colour theory often works.
And you, how do you take advantage of colour theory in your products, your designs or your website? We’d love to read your opinion, so don’t forget to leave us a comment 😉
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