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April 22, 2022

Do you know how to use the right colors?

Colors are critical in the way we see the world. They work on a subconscious level so even if you don’t always acknowledge it, they might have an effect on your decision making. The best designers are well aware of their psychological effect and are able to choose the right ones to provoke a certain emotion. There is even a scientific study of color called colorogy.

Everybody has a favorite color that is related to positive associations the person has made with it. However, there was an interesting study done by Neil Patel that found there are some common favorite colors of both women and men. Women love blue, purple and green and men love blue, green and black. On the other hand, you won’t impress most women with orange and most men with brown. 

Let’s mention another study from the marketing world. It says it takes approximately 90 seconds to make an opinion about a product. The funny part? 62–90 % of that interaction is determined by the color of the product alone. 

What are the right colors for your next design project?

That is an excellent question. Finding the answer to it might take some testing to do. When designing your project, you can choose more color schemes and then test each one of those with your target audience. There are some factors that you should keep in mind, like:

  • Culture – knowing the culture of your target customer will narrow down suitable colors to use. Each continent associates colors with something else. For example, while red means good luck and long life in Asia, in Europe, people might associate it with danger.
  • Gender – take inspiration from the study I mentioned. You can never go wrong with blue, but if your target customers are primarily women, you might use purple or even pink as the main color.

When working on your design, also keep in mind that there are a lot of people who are color blind. Color blindness affects 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women around the globe. That makes up for approximately 300 million people globally which is a number that you shouldn’t neglect. On the internet, there are a lot of tools that will show you how a color blind person would see the design. 

Knowing the emotions you want to stimulate

Choosing the primary colors for your next design is the first decision you’re going to have to make. However, don’t think about specific colors, but rather the emotions you want to stimulate. Let’s talk about basic colors and what they represent.

Yellow – optimism and hope

Yellow is associated with the sun and usually very bright. If you want a lively design, choosing yellow as the primary color will be the best choice. Keep in mind that you could easily overdo it and the whole concept might get too overwhelming.

Purple – royalty and wealth

This color has a feminine vibe to it. If you’re designing a website that is focused on fashion, makeup or luxury, you can’t go wrong with it.

Blue – trust and intelligence

The most favorite color for both men and women is associated with calmness and wisdom. A lot of companies rely on it, because it promotes trust. Blue is a color that works across various projects.

Grey, white and black

These are known to be bland, but under certain conditions, they can have a classy look. White is a color of purity, grey is very neutral and black is commonly associated with elegance and power.

Green – growth, nature, health

Green is associated with the environment and usually used by companies that sell healthy and fresh products. You can also see them in the fitness niche. Go for this color if you need your design to have a natural feel.

Think about the contrast

An interface design consists of many colors and the key to creating harmony is to know which ones work together. The contrast between them is another aspect that you have to perfect in order to maximize customer engagement. 

If you’re working in Webflow like I do, it has an in-built color contrast analyzer, so you can always check whether the foreground and background are easily visible. Even for those with vision impairments or different types of color blindness. 

Making the design as user-friendly as possible should be your ultimate goal and the knowledge of colors will get you one step ahead. When they are used in the right way, they can motivate the customers to immerse in the brand and ultimately show interest in the products that it sells.

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