Colour Psychology

Posted by Matthew Foster in Hints, Tips & Guides on 07 Jul 2014 at 13:58

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The colours used on a website form an integral part of the website design. However there is more to it than just making the website look pretty. Believe it or not there has been a lot of research done on how colour affects how people perceive things, including websites. Not just the “feel” of the colours used, but the effect on different cultures. A little research may yield better client loyalty, higher sales and a better customer perception. Different colours have different psychological characteristics associated with them. Think about what statement of intent you are looking for. Colour is a form of non verbal communication and as such can be as powerful as the words used. However colours can have positive and negative connotations, so a careful balance must be struck to ensure you get the effect you want. 

Here is a summary of the general current thinking on the meaning of colours: 

  • Red for taking action and being passionate about something. It is a colour that has to be used carefully as it also has connotations with anger.
  • Orange is the colour of social communication and optimism. However, it can be associated with pessimism and superficiality. 
  • Yellow is the colour of the mind and the intellect. It is optimistic and cheerful. However it can also suggest impatience, criticism and cowardice. 
  • Green is the colour of growth and harmony. It indicates self-reliance. 
  • Blue is the colour of trust and peace. It suggests loyalty and integrity but can be seen as cold and unfeeling. 
  • Indigo is the colour of idealism and intuition. It can indicate structure. 
  • Purple is seen as creative and individual. It is the colour of Kings. 
  • Turquoise shows clarity of mind and good communication. It has tendencies to showing idealism. 
  • Pink is loving and nurturing but can be seen as immature, silly and infantile. 
  • Magenta is the colour of universal harmony and emotional balance. It encourages common sense and a balanced outlook on life.
  • Grey is the colour of compromise - being neither black nor white. This is a commonly chosen colour for “smartness” but actually can show hesitancy about commitment. 
  • Gold the colour of success, achievement and triumph. It is associated with prosperity, luxury and quality, prestige and sophistication, value and elegance. 
  • Black creates an air of mystery. It is the colour of the hidden and the unknown.

Research has been done on the effect of colour on website loyalty and the effect of colour across cultures. When you think about your website remember that colours are not just fillers; they are, in fact, feelings of the mind. However you choose to proceed with your website, ensure that you work closely with your web design company to get the result you want.


Matthew Foster

Matthew Foster is Managing Director at Digivo Ltd. Prior to this he worked in several different jobs, ranging from Operations Director at a London advertising agency to Head Doorman of a nightclub. He is a firm believer that good business delivers repeat business, ensuring Digivo delivers exactly what our customer's need, when they need it. He also believes that in order to be great, a business has to listen to its customers and consistently give them what they want. Away from work he is an avid petrol head and in his spare time enjoys cars, motorbikes, boxing and playing guitar.

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