The Science of Color and Design

Syreeta Lockett - April 2, 2018

The colors selected for your brand identity, website, and custom images have an impact on the way your current and potential customers perceive your brand. The science and psychology behind colors is important to consider when creating a brand’s identity or working with existing color palettes while creating websites. You want to be sure the overall color scheme provokes the proper response from your prospective web visitors. Below is the science behind color from the U.S. cultural perspective.

Red – Hunger, Urgency, Danger, Love

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Red is typically assigned to food brands however the use of red on a website can be placed on calls-to-action or alerts to grab the users’ attention and inspire them to ‘act now’. Brands that contain red as their logo color should consider using white and/or blue in conjunction as those colors work to calm the overall sense of urgency.

Black – Power, Precision, Sophistication, Stability

Although you may not opt for a full black site, placing black in key areas may add to the overall appeal of your website. Because it’s used for power, precision and sophistication, higher-end tech brands may opt for the additional use of the color to convey the capabilities of their products.

Brown – Conservative, Historical, Ruggedness

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Although not a go-to color for most, the use of browns have a very high appeal when promoting products that are more ‘rugged’ or those that have a more conservative appeal. A museum may opt for brown accents on a website or logo, as well as a shave-club appealing to men.

Violet – Royalty, Magical, Imaginative

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More creative brands may opt for the use of purple to portray new product launches and ideas. Consider the use of purple when unveiling an imaginative product as the color immerses site visitors into an imaginative experience.

Green – Education, Health, Nature

It’s very straightforward to add green to an organic or educational site. However if your site is not an educational or nature site, you can use green to outline elements of the overall site that are more instructional. For example, your ‘white papers’ could be denoted with an icon that encompasses green.

Orange – Creativity, Expressive

Orange is known as the color that ‘pops’. Consider using for calls to action or to highlight components of a webpages you would like to bring attention to.

Blue – Credibility, Trust, Calmness

The color blue puts people at ease. It creates a level of trust and calms peoples. This color is good for websites that share information from an expert-level, as it works to engage the user without overwhelming them.

White – Cleanliness, Simple, Easy

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The use of “whitespace” on websites is very popular term. Like the color itself, “whitespace” is used to provide an ease of display that assists in navigating the users’ focus throughout the site. To benefit the most from the use of the color, pair it with softer colors so that the overall appeal is clean. When pairing the color white with stronger colors such as oranges or purples, the users’ perception will adapt to that of the more dominant color.

When designing a new website or creating brand identity, it is important to consider the psychology behind colors.

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