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Color science: This is how the colors look perfect on the website
Therefore, today we are bringing you closer to the common theory of colors. We explain colors and their effect on the human psyche and give you tools for optimal coloring. The conclusion is formed by examples of websites that have been optimally designed in this sense.
Part 1: The Color Psychology
The psychology of colors is also extremely important for a website. With the wrong colors, it can very quickly be that the desired effect - such as the conversion from viewer to buyer - is not achieved. Take a look at the following example:
You notice that the different colors also trigger different emotions in the perception. Color perception is subjective, therefore not every single individual can be taken into account in the coloring of a website, but only a certain group of people aka target group. So the first thing to do is to precisely search for and define the target group. Because only when you know who you want to reach does the chance of ultimately doing it grow.
Then you use the instruments of classical color theory and the psychology of colors. Especially with global brands, products and companies, it is important to observe the common criteria.
Some brief examples:
- Detergents are supposed to convey purity, which is why pure white is usually used to color the powder.
- Valentine's Day products are mostly red - red is the color of love.
- Insurance companies usually come in blue - blue conveys trust.
Determine target group and basic considerations
An optimal color scheme for a website can only be chosen if you know your target group exactly. In-depth research, especially on social networks, on the relevant hashtags can quickly lead to fruitful results. As soon as you know your target group, you should answer a few short questions in order to achieve really optimal results and to present companies and products optimally on the Internet.
For example, the questions could be:
- What exactly is my product or service and what does it stand for?
- What message do I want to convey?
- What exactly do I want to achieve? (e.g. leads, direct purchases, attention)
- In which market is the product or service already represented?
- Do the logo and brochures also have to be adapted?
Part 2: The colors and their meaning
Red is the most effective color for the human organism. In nature, this color usually means “attention, danger”. When you “see red”, the pulse rate increases, the blood vessels expand and the body is put on alert. Red gives wings and makes us run faster - but also run away. The color is very eye-catching. She asks us to look and see what is actually going on. For this reason, red is often used on posters. Even the “oldest trade in the world” advertises this color and not without reason. Experiments with other colors may not have the same effect 😉
Broken red or light pink tones are said to have the effect of preventing and alleviating depression, because they tend to make you happy.
Well-known brands with this color scheme: Coca Cola, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Nintendo
Blue tends to be a calming color and conveys trust. In nature, blue is already laid out as calming, as a signal that everything is in order. You can feel this effect very clearly when you look at the blue sea. Or when you've laid down on the grass and looked up at the blue sky. You can literally feel your blood pressure drop and your pulse rate drop. The organism switches completely to “rest” under the impression of blue. A light blue is often used for food that has to be refrigerated or that should convey freshness and purity.
Well-known brands with this color scheme: Deutsche Bank, Allianz, American Express, Nivea, Oral-B, Nestle
Yellow stands for the sun, the light and the warmth. In the right shade, the color also stands for liveliness, joy, optimism, pleasure, dynamism and energy. However, a positive feeling only arises in warm colors, since the color, like red, also has a signal effect that can have a stimulating effect. A good example of the signal effect is the yellow card on football or the labeling of dangerous goods. Yellow is used internationally as a warning color and, depending on the shade, can evoke different associations - in a positive as well as a negative sense. A sunny shade can brighten the mood and has a very positive effect.
Well-known brands with this color scheme: IKEA, Nikon, Shell, Schweppes
Green tends to have a calming effect, but not to the same extent as blue. Green also looks youthful, natural, fresh, light and is the color of hope. It is often used for ecological topics such as nature conservation, animal welfare and also for ecological products, which seems logical, since nature shines mainly in green. Due to its harmonious appearance, green is often used for healthy organic or natural products, or for products that are associated with the green thumb, such as garden products. In particular, green stands for nature, growth and the environment.
Well-known brands with this color scheme: Starbucks, Tropicana, Land Rover
A clear, factual and competence-conveying color like this only works if it is used correctly. Technical companies like to use this color. Gray is also popular for technical products such as cars. A metallic gray - more like silver - is one of the most popular colors in the automotive world and can upgrade a vehicle. Due to the lower contrast compared to black, it is often used as a font color for websites. This allows the typeface to appear more legible and harmonious.
Well-known brands with this color scheme: Apple, Mercedes-Benz, Wikipedia
Black is the color of death, grief, loss, loneliness, but also the color of strength, seriousness, status, elegance and functionality. Black is often used for motor vehicles, as the black color makes them look very noble and luxurious. In combination with other colors, associations with the terms “mysterious” or “sportiness” arise. If used correctly, black looks expensive and very classy with certain products; the classy fountain pens from Montblanc can serve as an example.
Well-known brands with this color scheme: Nike, Puma, Montblanc
Innocent purity, peace and perfection are suggested by this color, which is actually not at all. White also symbolizes absolute infinity. This color is often chosen for products that convey cleanliness and hygiene. Detergent, salt and sugar are white, but so are fresh foods such as milk and dairy products. Let's not forget that white is also the color of wedding and connection. According to the doctrine, Christ was risen in a white dress and in Buddhism, white is also the color of the resurrection.
Colors: perception, association, psychoenergetics (very extensive PDF)
Part 3: The color in foreign cultures
When choosing a color scheme, the impact in other cultures must also be taken into account, at least if you are planning a website that is aimed at an international audience. Colors do not have the same effect everywhere; sometimes they can lead to undesirable side effects. Therefore, here is a brief overview of how the most important colors work in other cultures.
Red is the wedding color in China. The bride is transported to the place of the wedding in a red wedding dress and a red sedan chair. This color also stands for luck in China. In Russia, however, the color stands for expensive and valuable.
In all cultures, green stands for hope. In Muslim countries, on the other hand, green is the color of religion and is only used in a religious context.
Blue was once the color of kings. Only a king was allowed to wear the color. In China, blue symbolizes the powers of heaven and immortality. In India, on the other hand, it is the color of deities and enlightenment. In oriental countries, doors and windows are painted blue to attract the attention of the good deities.
Yellow is the color of (most) religions. In Egypt, Russia, the Orient and some Balkan countries, yellow is the wedding color.
In the Netherlands it is considered the color of freedom, while in Buddhism it represents the color of enlightenment. In Ireland, orange represents Protestantism.
In most of the world's religions, white is a symbol of the home of light. In Asian cultures, on the other hand, white symbolizes old age, autumn, the West and cunning. In a creamy tone, white is the color of mourning and death. White dresses and flags are worn at Asian funerals.
The symbolism of colors
Part 4: Ways of Choosing an Effective Website Color Scheme
Triadic color scheme
A triadic color scheme consists of 3 colors from different ends of the color spectrum. There is a very easy way to create a color scheme: grab a color wheel and choose a base color. Now draw an equilateral triangle from this point. The three points of the triangle will form your triadic color scheme.
Using an equilateral triangle ensures that the colors have the same vibrancy and complement each other well.
Complementary color scheme
The complementary color scheme is based on the colors from opposite ends of the color spectrum. Two colors are chosen from the opposite end of the scale, the designer benefits from more freedom in the design process and the subsequent layout from the use of complementary colors.
Analog color scheme
An analog color scheme is based on a careful selection of colors in the same area of the color spectrum. The colors can usually be distinguished by their appearance and their contrast in comparison to one another.
Two examples of an analog color scheme are: shades of yellow and orange and monochromatic selection (shades from a primary color).
An Introduction to Color Theory for Web Designers
Part 5: Tools for Choosing the Right Color Schemes
Here are some really useful tools for choosing the right color, or the right color scheme for a website. These tools support you both in choosing perfectly matching colors and in extracting color schemes that you like from existing websites.
Adobe Color CC
Adobe Color CC was previously known as Kuler. With this tool you can easily create your own color palette or choose from the numerous user palettes. This tool is definitely a very good source of inspiration. As the name affix suggests, Color is part of the Creative Cloud. A Creative Cloud Account is required for effective use. However, a free membership is sufficient.
Link to the tool: Adobe Color CC
Color schemes can also be created with Copaso. The special thing about this solution is that the color palettes can be read from photos. This can be very practical, for example to match the rest of a website in terms of color to a large “hero” background image.
Link to the tool: Copaso
Paletton - Color Scheme Designer
Paletton is a good tool with many setting options. Experimenting with Paletton is definitely worth it. The finished color schemes can be shared on the most popular social networks. The feature that allows the chosen color scheme to be displayed as a website is excellent. So you can see at a glance whether the chosen scheme looks appealing or not.
Link to the tool: Paletton - Color Scheme Designer
Here at Dr. Web you will find here and here even more tools for developing the perfect color palette.
Part 6: websites with perfect color scheme
Source: 40 Stunning Website Designs with Great Color Schemes
Choosing the right color scheme for your website requires careful consideration; at least if you want to be internationally oriented. Nationally oriented websites have it a little easier here, as more (safe) options are available in terms of coloring. With the tools presented and the example websites, however, it should be possible to design websites with appealing colors.
But also keep in mind that there are considerations apart from the common theory of colors that are far less categorical. We have summarized these in this article.
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