When designing and developing a website for your business, choosing your web site’s colors will be necessary at some point. How do you choose?  Do you just go with a pre-planned, automatic option (pre-designed web templates) that puts it together for you? Do you pick your favorite colors and hope they complement each other? The colors you choose for your business and your website are more important than you think.

Colors have subconscious meanings and messages they send to people who see them.  The study of these meanings is called color psychology. With the right color scheme, you can encourage people to browse your site, make a purchase, or pursue another action. “When a color is used correctly, it can add impact and clarity to your message and highlight important points.” Used incorrectly, colors can confuse, annoy, or even offend people.  Different colors have diverse meanings depending on the culture you are in, so just because you think yellow is a good background color because it signifies happiness in the United States doesn’t mean that your customer in France will feel that way. Yellow is associated with jealousy in France and sadness in Greece.

Understanding your target demographic and their cultural color psychology may seem like unnecessary work, but it can save you embarrassment and a lot of public relations work later. For example, Disney proposed purple in their signs for EuroDisney. However, they failed to consider that in much of historically Catholic Europe, purple is associated with Christ’s crucifixion and death in general. As a result, many Europeans considered the EuroDisney signs to be “morbid.”

Since the internet has a worldwide span, it is wise to be cautious about your color choices when considering your web design. This doesn’t mean you should stick with safe colors to avoid offending anyone, just be aware of your customers (your target audience) and what they prefer. Color emphasizes and highlights, which can be very useful since a website is not a face-to-face interaction. Trends also often change, so if possible make your color scheme something you can easily change if necessary. Generally, warm colors such as red, orange, and yellow are considered “exciting” and “eye catching” colors, while cool colors like blue and green are “calming”. Think about the subconscious messages you want to send your visitors. Are you a simple, organic company? Warm Earth tones such as Brown and green will communicate this perfectly. Loyal, proficient, and successful? Try various shades of blue. Once you crack the “secret code” of color psychology, you will discover a lucrative marketing tool you can use to your advantage in web development and design.

Do you agree or disagree?  Perhaps, I missed something?  Either way, I would just love to hear what your thoughts are on this topic… just let me know your alive!

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