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A Colorful Impact

by | Jun 18, 2017

In my last article, I talked about different color schemes one can use while creating an online, or even offline presence. But among the different shades talked about in that article, which one should you use? Choosing a color scheme to represent your brand can sometimes be really simple. But on the other hand, the decision can be really hard and thought-provoking.

The final decision, however, is as simple as answering the question,

“Does this color represents what my brand stands for?”

But to get an answer to that question we’ll need to know what the different colors represent and what impact they have on human psychology and thought process. Following is a small list of what different shades of the spectrum indicate and stand for.

Red

Warmth, Power, Love.

Often used as an accent color, this shade is quite effective in attracting the viewer’s attention to any specific part of a website. The color red adds gravity and heightened awareness. Red can take on a variety of meanings, associated with both love and war, but the unifying factor in all meanings is a sense of importance.

Red is a color best used cautiously. Its knack for attracting attention makes it a priceless tool for designers, but excessively it will inhibit relaxation. Lighter shades emphasize the energetic aspects of red while darker shades emphasize on power and even durability.

The landing page for the game design company Playtika has an aggressive but potent flair. Playful and stimulating, the red suits the cheetah logo, a powerful icon itself.

Zomato uses Red as the primary color for their logo and as an accent to emphasize their CTAs and other important features.

Orange

Playful, Energetic

Sharing red’s energizing aspects, but to a safer degree, orange is a good way to add excitement to a site without severity. It is generally playful, and some claim it creates haste and plays on impulse. It can even signify health, suggesting vitality and vibrancy.

Orange goes well with shades of Green and Blue according to complementary and split-complementary color schemes of the color wheel.

However, the color if intensively used can cause the design to look cluttered and unleasent to the human eye and thus should be used just as a secondary color, with certain exceptions ofcourse.

Yellow

Happy, Friendly, Warning

Yellow is a strange color: it is often associated with happiness, but also activates the anxiety center of the brain. Like red and orange, it’s able to stimulate and vitalize – it’s the color of warning signs and taxis – but use bright yellow sparingly because of the potential negative connotations. Lighter shades play on the happiness aspects, reminding users of summer and the sun. Darker shades, including gold, add more weight and give a sense of antiquity.

Green

Natural, Stable, Prosperous

Green mostly represents the environment and outdoors, for obvious reasons, making it the clear choice to suggest nature and an organic quality. The color works perfectly when used in headers, buttons or mostly anything which does not occupy the majority of the design. The color stands out of its surroundings but more softly than the brighter colors.

Udemy uses green as an accent color in their logo and website. The color creates a user-friendly environment and facilitates trust and a better learning experience.

Blue

Serene, Trustworthy, Inviting

One of the most popularly used colors in an app or web design, Blue creates an atmosphere of trust and security. Social media apps such as Facebook and Twitter adopted this color to be their primary because its calming effects make it a friendly and inviting color.

Blue is also known to be quite versatile. It can be used as an accent as well as primary color. Certain monochrome websites make use of the different shades of blue for different parts of their design. From overlays to buttons and from a light, soothing background to a bright, attractive CTA, the color blue has extensively proven its value to design.

Twitter’s logo, website and app are based on a light shade of blue therefore creating a friendly platform trusted my millions around the globe. The color here conveys the emotions of safety, lightness and security.

Similarly, the ShareIt app uses a little darker shade of the color which also signifies trust and security.

 

Purple

Luxurious, Mysterious, Romantic

The color purple is generally associated with luxury or prosperity. Using a purple dominantly is a quick way to create a sense of elegance or high-end appeal. Darker shades of purple add more mystery, and can even symbolize creativity.
TechVista’16 is a great example of a purple-themed design. The color is used to convey mysteriousness and importance. Being the brand of an IT Fest, the project needed an extravagent design theme. The shade helped achieving that state with its qualities of richness and luxury.
This concept of a Jewelry website showcases purple (inlined towards a pinkish shade) in a unique way so as to emphasize on Luxury and prosperity.

Pink

Feminine, Cheerful, Attractive

Pink can be a pretty versatile color if used efficiently. From overlays to buttons, it can be used in a variety of contexts. Being on of the most popular color in the Google Material design language, it has recently risen to its full potential. However, it has been found that pink works for a specific part of the audience. Because most people interpret the color as feminine, it is quite popular for targeting female users. However, don’t overdo the pink-femininity connection, or else you’re walking a fine line between appealing to users and pandering to traditional gender roles. (and being a little sexist)

When perfectly used, it becomes a tool for attracting attention to the most important parts of your design.

Google uses the color pink to its full potential and in a playful and inviting way. The color serves as fab-button backgrounds, accent color and much more in this design language. As evident from the above example, different shades of the color are used to create a sense of division between different sections of the design.

Black

Powerful, Sophisticated, Edgy

Gray

Between Black and White (duh!)

White

Clean, Peaceful, Empty

As the strongest of all colors, black is often used only sparingly – such as for text – but it works quite well as a primary color element (like for backgrounds). Much like purple, it adds an air of sophistication and elegance, and also mystery, though with much bolder confidence.

Literally the opposite of black, white pairs well with just about anything, making it ideal as a background color. It portrays a peaceful nature and lays emphasis on the important parts of the design (which are generally colored bright)

Pure white, however, doesn’t always do the trick. This is where gray comes in. As the intermediary between black and white it can be a powerful tool when used correctly. By varying the vibrancy, gray takes on the properties of either black or white – attention grabbing or repelling – to specific degrees. That means if black is too powerful for your design, try dark gray. If white is too bland, try light gray.

The Google Developers API platform is the perfect example for this situation. The shades of white and black create differnt sections of the page, thus grouping relevant things together. More importantly, the design focusus all its attention to the blue “Continue” button or the “Sign In” link.

Conclusion

To conclude, I’d like to state that (obviously) I cannot cover all the major colors that make up a good design. What I hope this article accomplishes is, that it gives you an understanding about the nature of certain shades and the emotions they convey, that you no longer decide a color by the way it looks but understand why your brain chooses that color in the scenario and that you keep your eyes open for this colorful world we live in, embracing every aspect of every shade that exists.

Next time you get in a position to decide a color, whether it is for a brand or just the paint on your walls, I hope you make a well thought out, researched and educated decision.

This is Veer Singh presenting the Basics of Design. Go create something awesome!