When working on designing and creating sites for our clients we often look at how color theory plays a factor in drawing people in, bringing out emotion, and telling a story without words. As we look at color we use it as a base of all our designs. Today we will look at and see how color theory influences your marketing efforts both on and offline.
History of color theory
It is always good to start at the beginning when looking at how color theory started. This theory started 30,000 years ago, when our ancestors drew images on cave walls to tell a visual story. With these drawings, different colors were used. This could have been accidental by only having certain plants or dirt available or it was intentional. We will never truly know the reasoning for certain colors but what we do know is that is when it all started.
Psychology of color theory
As we look throughout our environment we see color all around us. For some we see shades of grey (color blindness). We are going to look specifically at those that don’t have color blindness in this and will cover color and color-blindness in future articles.
A crucial component of color theory is bringing an emotional response by the people that view it. We as humans experience color and it brings a deep psychological connection. Some colors will bring emotions of happiness, relaxation, stress, and more.
Over time we have all learned that colors will bring awareness. When we see red we think of love, passion, anger, war, intensity, danger, stop, fire, blood, attention, or danger. When we see this color we instantly prepare ourselves for this interaction.
Each of us have a set of colors that we prefer. These are the colors we have aligned our lives around. For one person, they may be inclined to use hues of blue or orange while another will use blue and green. These preferences help define how they determine what colors to use. When you are designing for others you need to disregard your personal preference and choose colors that will be accepted to the masses and who your target demographic is.
Design and color theory
When designing, you need to consider the packaging. If you use green as your primary color throughout a page and put a stop sign that is green you very well will be confusing your audience. Even if the item looks beautiful and well thought out we as people see a stop sign shape as red and are automatically confused on why green was used.
When choosing your colors one key item to remember is to choose your colors with a purpose. Be deliberate in every choice that is made when it comes to choose your colors. Warm colors will bring out happier emotions. Using cool colors will provide a more professional and clean-cut design.
Whether your work is seen on the web, television, or in printed advertising choosing the right colors has logic behind it to bring people into your company standards and culture. As you begin every project you need to look at the feelings your choices will bring and if they align with what your objectives are.
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