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CSS Design

What types of colours are good for different sites?

05 Jan 2011

Image of splash of colour for your site

Starting the year in a colourful mood, we decided to celebrate this by answering a common question asked by our clients… “Which colours should I use for my site?”

As we know colour is crucial in helping to entice a visitor to your site and help make your site stand out amongst the crowd, but applying the right colour can be tricky and can if not done correctly drive the potential visitor, customer or information seeker away. Colour will not only communicate the mood of a site or landing page but also influence the viewer’s actions, leading to a bounce or a conversion!

So here is a quick list of some general colours and their associations…

NOTE! The descriptions and associations featured below are generalisations and this guide should not be used as a cut and dry colour usage guide. The usage of colours and their application as always varies on a per site or application basis. We cannot and do not state that i.e.:  To communicate your brand to the youth market you must create a yellow site.

YELLOW

  • Optimistic, zesty and youthful
  • This colour is often used to attract and grab the viewer’s attention


RED

  • Energetic, lucky, powerful and hot
  • Has a tendency to increase the heart rate and create a sense of urgency
  • Often used in stores for sales, references to food
  • In eastern cultures represents good luck and is often used in association with money


BLUE

  • Creates a sensation of trust and security
  • Often used by banks and businesses
  • Lately also associated with travel companies seeking to generate the same sense of trust in their client base


GREEN

  • Associated with wealth (mainly in America), ecology or eco friendliness
  • The easiest colour for the eye to process
  • Used with finance or entertainment websites
  • Due to its natural ties with nature it is a colour that can quite literally be associated with ecology


ORANGE

  • Aggressiveness
  • Used generally as a call-to-action button or to grab the viewer’s attention


PINK

  • Romantic and feminine
  • Used to market products and services for woman and young girls


PURPLE

  • Soothing and calm
  • Often relates to beauty or anti-aging products and services


BLACK

  • Powerful and sleek
  • Seen as luxurious and sophisticated
  • Often associated with professional photographers and designers showcasing their portfolio’s


WHITE

  • Clean
  • Most commonly used background colour offering the highest contrast for black text legibility


GREY

  • Professional
  • Is often associated with large business and legal firms

Download

Even though Pantone colour charts are used for printing we use them to help our clients sometimes make colour decisions’ for their sites. It is very hard for someone not accustomed to the hexadecimal colour system to understand a colour type (for i.e.: WHITE = #FFFFFF) but using this type of tool your client can make a more informed colour decision.

Pantone Colors – RGBUncoated Colour Chart

Credits:

We would like to thank Ryan Taylor for the photograph used in this article. To see more of his work please feel free to visit his site found at http://ryantaylorphoto.zenfolio.com


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