Colors express mood and personality. Colors reflect your site’s brand and express your it’s values, goals, and personality.

Colors and Your Brand Identity

Use your agency logo as a starting point for selecting your color palette. The color scheme should complement and support each other visually. This will help support your brand identity.

Colors in Context of our Emotional and Cultural Realities

Websites built for a global audience must choose colors based on awareness of cultural and emotional significance. Website designers should treat the symbolism of color seriously. For example, red is the color of fire and blood and cannot be associated with tranquility or peace. A green hat in China signals that a man’s wife is cheating on him, but in many other countries like India, the color green is associated with money, prosperity and well being. So be aware of color and cultural significance when appropriate.

Color and Gender

Depending on the audience or the target group of the website the colors should be chosen. There are some interesting theories derived from academic studies about color and gender, such as:

  • Men prefer blue to red, while women red to blue.
  • In other cases, men prefer orange to yellow, where women prefer yellow to orange.
  • Like wise websites designed for younger audience should use bright colors compared to those for elders/adults, which should have more sober and restrained colors.

The Meanings of Color

Choosing the right color should mean something to your agency. A common trend in government website is the use blue – it alludes power and trust. The key is to use a simple, limited color palette that reflects the goals of the site and has enough variation that contrast issues won’t be a problem.

Common color meanings:

  • Red is associated with blood, and with feelings that are energetic, exciting, passionate or erotic. Most colors carry both positive and negative implications. The downside of red evokes aggressive feelings, suggesting anger or violence.
  • Orange is the color of flesh, or the friendly warmth of the hearth fire. The positive implications of this color suggest approachability, informality. The negative side might imply accessibility to the point of suggesting that anyone can approach–a lack of discrimination or quality.
  • Yellow is the color of sunshine. This color is optimistic, upbeat, modern. The energy of yellow can become overwhelming. Therefore yellow is not a color that tends to dominate fashion for long periods of time.
  • Green in its positive mode, green suggests nature (plant life, forests), life, stability, restfulness, naturalness. On the other hand, green in some tones or certain contexts (such as green skin) might instead suggest decay (fungus, mold), toxicity, artificiality.
  • Blue suggests coolness, distance, power, or perhaps reserved elegance. Some shade of blue is flattering to almost anyone. In its negative mode, we can think of the “blues”-the implication being one of sadness, passivity, alienation, or depression.
  • Violet is the color of fantasy, playfulness, impulsiveness, and dream states. In its negative mode, it can suggest nightmares, or madness.

Appropriate Use of White Space

Embrace white space. By providing appropriate white space, you give the viewers eye a place to rest. White space will balance off of other color elements. It is heavily documented that reading on the web is difficult and tiring to the eyes, by using white space effectively, it makes the screen easier to read.

When Less Is More

Limit your color palette to 2 or 3 major colors (with shade variations) and a small accent of color here and there. Limited colors on web and of color palette of graphics means smaller file sizes, faster loading and most importantly, more readable and inviting sites.

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