According to statistics, it only takes 1/10th of a second for us to form a first impression about a person; and websites and blogs are no different.
Colour usually depends on our personal experiences and preferences but there are also some universal signals. Choosing the right colour can be a very challenging task. A fundamental grasp of colour perception and psychology in graphic and web designs is therefore critical in order to create palettes that evoke the appropriate audience reactions. Colours evoke emotions, moods, and feelings. Whether you are a designer or a consumer, knowing the power of colour psychology can help you make better decisions. An interesting observation that supports this fact is that colour affects not only mood but also people’s buying habits and preferences.
Modern colour theory is heavily based on Isaac Newton’s colour wheel, which displays three categories of colours: primary colours (red, blue, yellow), secondary colours (created by mixing two primary colours), and intermediate or tertiary ones (created by mixing primary and secondary colours).
Colour temperature is another vital consideration in design – by distinguishing between warm, cool, and neutral colours, we apparently have the power to evoke emotional responses in people. Warm colours are those with shades of yellow and red; cool colours have a blue, green, or purple tint; neutral colours include brown, grey, black, and white.
There are eight main colours, of course in combination or with a variation in gradient, the number of colours grows exponentially. The main colours to consider are white and black, yellow, orange and red, purple, blue and green. The meaning of each colour is defined below.
- The use of white colour meaning in business is cleanliness and hygiene. It indicates calm, simplicity and organisation. On the negative side, some of its meanings include coldness, detachment, sterility and disinterest. Most businesses use white as background for their websites and blogs.
- Psychologically, black means authority, power and control. In many situations, it can be intimidating, unfriendly and unapproachable. Alternatively, it can be seen as sophisticated, dignified and serious.
- Yellow is the colour most associated with happiness and optimism, as well as creativity. It is definitely not the calming colour that blue is, but it still has the ability to make people happier because it is also associated with warmth – because of the sun mostly. Yellow is unique in that there are no “dark yellows”. While other colours can have muted tones, yellow is bright no matter what.
- Using orange in business suggests adventure, fun and travel. It is a beneficial colour for hotels travel companies and resorts and can stimulate social communication. Orange is friendlier, approachable and less aggressive than red. Its negative colour meanings in business include loud, raucous and frivolous.
- Red is a physical colour which calls for action to be taken. Its high energy and strength draw attention to itself and demands to be noticed.
- Purple is a colour favoured by creative types. With its blend of passionate red and tranquil blue, it evokes mystery, sophistication, spirituality and royalty. Lavender evokes nostalgia and sentimentality.
- In colour psychology, blue’s colour meaning ties closely to the sea and the sky. Stability, harmony, peace, calm and trust are just some of the feelings your customer may feel about your brand when you integrate the colour blue into your branding.
- Green, the colour of life, renewal, nature, and energy, is associated with meanings of growth, harmony, freshness, safety, fertility, and environment. Green is soothing, relaxing, and youthful. Green is a colour that helps alleviate anxiety, depression, and nervousness. Green also brings with it a sense of hope, health, adventure, and renewal, as well as self-control, compassion, and harmony.
Thanks to the emotional value and symbolism pertained to different colours, they can be used to drive impressions and communicate your brand message.