Color theory: the use of color palettes and color schemes in marketing and graphic design.
Nothing is more important than the absolute basics of branding when creating artwork, be it a website or a logo or an advertisement. The right design with eye catching, emotion driving, warm and engaging content is the goal. Presenting this work on the best pallet, based on color theory (proven data), can make the diﬀerence between a design that pleases the eye and truly engages visitors - or one that… well, just doesn't work and doesn't keep visitors on site. It needs to be fixed.
How It Works and the Effect of Your Choice
Color theory essentially (think color wheel) can be used to identify which colors will work well together and which won't.
Choices that are very diﬀerent will often look pleasing on the eye, colors that are overly similar are difficult to see and actually cause discomfort and eye strain.
When you use colors that are only slightly diﬀerent it may actually result in a slightly unsettling feeling that upsets the 'harmony' of your design, from the visitor's point of view, this is based on actual data.
It's always easiest to take things to the basics rather than over-complicate with technical speak. so here is a try:
Your objective is to pick colors and simply reference a color wheel by following this high-level overview.
See options for diﬀerent types of color scheme:
- Complimentary Color : These are color schemes that use two opposite colors on the color wheel. An example is purple and yellow, or red and green.
- Triad Color : This is a color palette that is formed of three equidistant colors on the color wheel. This gives you a few more options while ensuring they will be suitably contrasting.
- Analogous Color : This color palate uses two or three neighboring colors.
- Monochrome tic Color : Finally, this type of color palette uses just one color but in diﬀerent brightnesses, shades and depths.
When it comes down to choosing you color palette, once you have the color theory basics down, your imagination will be your best guide.
A great place to start is with naturally occurring combinations. Natural/nature determined and existing colors and combinations is likely where we get our innate sense of color harmony from it. Naturally, it makes sense to start there for inspiration.
Colors can have diﬀerent impacts on the emotional state and psychology of visitors, keep this in mind as it helps make clear the importance in design decisions.
Just to touch on a few:
- Green, for instance is relaxing and has been shown to aid creativity.
- Blue, sharing some qualities with Green but drawing out others is often used help reduce the website's bounce rate.
- Red, on the other hand is effective in driving decisions, encouraging actions and/or "buy it now" type messaging. It increases the viewers heart-rate and anxiety that plays on impassivity.
It's really a very interesting and exciting process and getting a better understanding of the interplay between the color and engagement is invaluable. We are always available to help and have an amazing design team. Contact us with any questions
Thought this may be helpful to those looking to dig a bitter deeper right away.
If you need a reference, these are good options to check out, they are cheep, and offer a surprising amount of insight into color theory principles: