WEB DESIGN, MARKETING AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF COLOURS
Obstinate Orange. Likeable Sand. Shades of blue named after the weather. If anyonebelieves in the power of colour to convey a message, it’s the paint manufacturer Benjamin Moore.
The notion of colour psychology – the study of colours as a potential determinant of human behaviour – has been a powerful marketing tool for interior design professionals. They promise clients not only aesthetic transformations, but also the possibility of moulding their moods, through clever partnering of hues designed to ‘energise’ or impart ‘calmness’.
Despite everything you’ve heard from that can of Whispering Peach, researchers have discovered colour psychology has little basis in reality.
The variation in cultural connotations and personal experiences is simply too great for this idea to hold true. Where the blushing bride dons white in Western culture, the same colour symbolises death in China.
Furthermore, languages categorise the spectrum into different sections: reportedly, the Inuit are able to discern between 17 different shades within the range we perceive as ‘white’.
Colour is still a powerful tool for marketing, particularly in web design – but it’s more about the effects of context and contrast than ascribing an inalienable set of psychological properties to each hue.
Academics have found that colours affect how a brand’s personality is perceived: for example, a company pitching itself as rugged and masculine would appear inauthentic if the designers adopted a signature shade of baby pink.
Clever use of contrast can draw the customer’s eye to click-through conversion targets. Using an accent colour for the ‘button’ on a webpage is a proven method of substantially increasing conversions.
Let’s take a look at three examples of eye-popping design:
Monzo’s hot coral debit card aligns perfectly with their status as a bold challenger brand, pulling banking from our high streets and into the digital age. The card image pops on an otherwise sombre, business-like palette of navy and white. An azure ‘sign up’ button draws the viewer’s attention without overpowering the product itself.
(RED) is a world-leading charity fighting the battle against AIDS. Thanks to a series of high profile corporate partnerships including Apple, Beats, Coca Cola and the Bank of America, their eponymous shade is recognisable across the world. The (RED) website pairs a bold ruby against an otherwise neutral series of whites, beiges and greys. It’s an intelligent marketing choice for a charity whose main fundraising strategy involves the sale of coveted high-end accessories. ‘(RED)’ red suits every skin tone, all genders and most neutral wardrobe staples, in harmony with their image of bravery, desirability and virtue.
Here, the colour palette is wholly appropriate to the product and its target audience. Grassy green aligns well with the company’s low-cost and environmentally-friendly innovation: an online platform where homeowners advertise their unused driveways for motorists to pre-book, saving time and reducing congestion. Bright maize-yellow ‘Book Now’ buttons offer clear instruction to drivers. This colour is also matched in the star review rating, which is crucial customer information for a business whose success is grounded in reciprocal trust between owners of cars and homes.
By Lydia Woodward | Digital Marketing Executive | YourParkingSpace.co.uk
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