web design

Design and colors : a great duo ⚡️

Both in design, marketing and web design, colors have an important place. In our daily lives, they affect our perception of things. Knowing the meaning of colors allows us to better deliver a message and to deliver it to the right target.

Anne-Laure CompainAnne-Laure Compain

Anne-Laure Compain

Graphic designer at Snoweb
Published on 25 August 2021 (Updated on 25 February 2022)


1. What influences do colors have on design?

A color has many uses: it conveys a message and provides different feelings. It can also help convert prospects by attracting their attention and triggering a click, a purchase or a membership!

"Consumers decide in 90 seconds whether they like a product or not. Ninety percent of that decision is based on color alone."

This is how the color will attract us to an object or a piece of clothing for example or on the contrary repel us! And all this unconsciously. There is a psychology around colors and it is called the language of colors.

Mastering this language, especially in design and marketing, is the key to convey the right emotions and guide the choice of the customer or user.

For the most curious, I let you watch the conference of Jean-Gabriel Causse, writer and French designer specialist in the color:


2. Meaning of colors in design


Purple

  • Elegance
  • Luxury
  • Wealth
  • Power
  • Royalty
  • Uniqueness
  • Mystery

In design and advertising, purple is often used for a target "children and adolescents". Very uncommon in nature, purple is associated with artificial and chemical elements. It also recalls a universe of science fiction, mystery and magic.

Violet color signification


Blue

One of the most popular colors in commerce, blue represents :

  • Reliability
  • Freshness
  • Productivity
  • Peace
  • Trust
  • Purity
  • Knowledge

In web design and marketing, blue is used to promote health companies (medication, laboratories), cleanliness (cleaning products), financial transactions (banks, finance: example PayPal), transportation and travel (airlines, airport, wind power) or any activity that requires reliability and security (example Facebook or Linkedin). Blue represents knowledge and is also used to highlight high tech products.

⚠️Be careful, you must avoid using blue for food products. Unlike yellow or red, it does not give a feeling of appetite.

Blue color signification


Green

  • Freshness
  • Nature
  • Environmentalism
  • Relaxation
  • Rest
  • Richness
  • Growth

In marketing and design, green will show the growth and stability of a company or a product. But this color is mostly used to reflect environmentalism, bio and energy. Wellness, relaxation, freshness and rest are also symbolized by green..

⚠️Please note: A light and medium green will represent environmentalism, freshness and nature but a dark green will symbolize the world of money and finance (link to dollar bills) 💵.

Green color signification
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Yellow

Let's bring some joy and warmth to our design with yellow! ☀️

  • Heat
  • Energy
  • Joy
  • Education
  • Curiosity
  • Danger
  • Attractiveness

Inspiring joy and leisure, yellow is often used to promote children's products and leisure activities. The eye is very attracted to yellow, so this color is very effective in attracting attention and highlighting elements. Combined with black, yellow can represent danger and warning.

⚠️Be careful, since yellow is associated with joy and education, it should not be used for luxury products, masculine products or products representing stability or security.

Yellow color signification


Orange

A "positive" color, orange represents :

  • Energy
  • Communication
  • Heat
  • Emergency
  • Ambition
  • Confidence
  • Pride
  • Creativity
  • Success
  • Sport

In the area of food, orange will stimulate the appetite and is associated with a healthy diet. Softer than red, it is a good choice to stimulate the eye.

The sports world uses a lot of orange to show dynamism and energy! Orange is effective for highlighting food products and toys because it is popular with young people. However, it is not the favorite color of adults. Therefore, it should not be used for products such as cars or electronic devices.

In web design, orange can be used in small touches to highlight important features or action buttons.

Orange color signification


Red

Stimulating, intense and powerful, red represents :

  • Passion
  • Love
  • Power
  • Anger
  • Danger
  • Blood
  • Battle
  • Violence
  • Fire

Strongly attracting the eye, red increases the respiratory rate and blood pressure. That's why it is used on traffic signs, but also during promotional moments to mark a sense of urgency.

In web design, red is used for calls to action. It will allow a quicker decision making. It is used on impulse buying websites or energy products.

One of the main uses of red in advertising is for seduction, feminine or Valentine's Day related products.

red color signification


White

White represents :

  • Cold
  • Snow
  • Purity
  • Freshness
  • Faith
  • Light
  • Wedding

In design, leaving white around your creations allows to air them and to bring a feeling of freedom. White is also the symbol of the health fields.

In advertising and in the world of weddings, white is king!


Black

I know, black is not a color! Don't panic 😎

  • Elegance
  • Luxury
  • Timelessness
  • Authority
  • Power
  • Darkness
  • Mystery

In design and advertising, black is mainly used in the world of luxury and elegance. It blends well with all other colors and is a "classic" color. The automotive, high-end and technology worlds use this color heavily on their websites.

⚠️Be careful not to use black for "call to action" buttons on your designs. They will go unnoticed.

✨A little tip: in printing, we add 30% cyan or 30% magenta to a black background. It will give it depth and change the perception of the image!


3. 2 tools to create your color palettes in design

Adobe Color CC


This tool allows you to create a color palette from scratch, use an image to bring out the colors, or choose from the Adobe community palettes.

Once you have your palette, you can use the tools or manually edit your palette to find the tones you want.

More info here: Adobe Color

Coolors


Coolors allows you to quickly create a color palette, save it and share it in one click. Thanks to an Adobe module, find all your color palettes on your Photoshop and Illustrator software! Coolors is also available in IOS and Android application 😃 here

4. Conclusion

Let's end with the beautiful words of Pierre Dac:

"If grey matter were rosier, the world would have fewer dark ideas."
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