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Website Design: Choosing the Right Colors for Your Site

Website Design: Choosing the Right Colors for Your Site

Did you know that colors are proven to leave a lasting first impression and can subliminally affect your customers' impression of your business? It's true! Picture this:

… A vibrant, green forest. … A pure, white, picturesque snow scene. … A bright red sunset. … A clear blue sky.

When thinking of these colorful scenes what emotions did you feel? Calmness? Intensity? Joy? Relaxation? How would you feel if these scenes were presented in a different color? Or in black and white? Just as colors in nature can evoke emotional responses, so can the colors of your website design.

This invites the question: Is your website design sending the right message? What are you trying to convey? Loyalty? Reliability? Perhaps your company is environmentally friendly and you'd like to spread that message. Or maybe all of the above apply to your company.

To help you decide whether your website is relaying the right message, let's first take a look at some of the most popular colors used in marketing, their meaning and what messages they are traditionally known to relay. Keep in mind, it is important to have the right balance and combination of colors in your website design in order to deliver an accurate message and elicit the intended response.

Red – The color red is very easily detected by the human eye. It represents action, determination and strength. It demands attention and stimulates buying.

If used in excess, red can be very overpowering to a page. It will provoke a sense of fear and give the user a feeling of anxiety.

Blue – Blue is a color favorite and, because it represents loyalty, dependability and stability, is one of the most popular colors used in marketing. It also gives the viewer a calm feeling and stimulates productivity.

In excess, blue can cause feelings of depression and gloom or loss of appetite.

Yellow – Yellow is very vibrant, easily seen by the eye and contributions attention. It symbolizes wealth, happiness and energy. It mentally stimulates customers, spurs attention and encourages communication.

In excess or coupled with black, yellow poses danger and leave users feeling alarmed.

White – White is an expression of purity, simplicity and cleanliness. A good balance of white space will promote mental clarity leading the eye around the page and giving the mind a place to rest.

Too much white can leave a page looking vacant and boring and cause visitors to quickly lose interest in the page.

Green – The color green provides a strong representation of nature, durability and reliability. It gives visitors a feeling of relaxation and alleviates anxiety.

Choosing the wrong shade or using green in excess could implict wealth in a negative or pretentious manner.

Orange – Orange is another vibrant color. It conveys a feeling of energy, creativity and cheer. It stimulates activity and is known to remain in one's long-term memory.

In excess, orange could make products seem inexpensive, which, depending on your intentions, could be a positive or negative. Shades of orange should be chosen carefully because they often clash with other colors.

Brown – Like green, brown symbolizes nature. It assumes that a company is genuine and reliable and increases customer confidence.

Light shades of brown in excess could cause feelings of depression or sadness.

Gray – Shades of gray give the impression that your company is conservative, traditional and serious.

Having too much gray can leave a page looking flat and uninteresting and could decrease buying or customer interaction.

Black – Black is a color of sophistication, power and mystery.

In excess, black could mean evil, despair and symbolizes death. Used as a background, it's also often hard on the eyes.

Now that you know what each color symbolizes, it's time consider what message your website design's colors are referring to your visitors. Is it accurate or is it time for a new website design?

Remember: Successful color schemes play a large role in how your customers perceive your business identity and will create an overall positive experience for your customers. Colors can help to strengthen your brand, establish tone and create a positive impact that will inevitably lead to more business.

A good website designer will consider your overall image and help you select the right colors to convey your company's message.

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