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Why Color in Design Works

The question was recently asked: Would McDonald’s be so successful if their logo was blue? It’s an interesting question, and it reflects the importance of color in branding and marketing. The colors you choose matter. Are you choosing the right ones?

The importance of color was highlighted in a study by Kissmetrics, which found that 85% of people cite color as the primary reason they buy a particular product. Kissmetrics also found that ads produced in color are 42% more likely to be read than identical ads printed in black-and-white.

The brain loves color! Why?

  • Color grabs attention.

  • Color helps us organize, prioritize, and process information.

  • Color helps us make decisions.

Different colors also carry certain meanings, so don’t just throw them around. Think about the message you are trying to convey and use color appropriately.

Here are some common examples:

Red: Associated with love, but also aggression and danger. Studies have shown that looking at something red can actually increase your heart rate and blood pressure. Believe it or not, red can also make you hungry! That’s why the backgrounds of many food advertisements are red.

Yellow: Conveys a sense of playfulness and optimism. It is also eye-catching. Hence why yellow is often used for Post-It notes and caution tape.

Blue: Creates a sense of stability and responsibility as well as trust, calm, and honesty. This is why we often see blue used by financial companies.

Orange: Like yellow, orange can create a sense of playfulness and youth. It is often used for impulse purchases and discounts (many e-commerce companies use it for their “click to buy” buttons). Avoid using it for the high-end market.

Purple: This color is associated with creativity and luxury. Many people associate it with wealth and even decadence. Purple can also create a feeling of mystery and romance.

Black: Also associated with luxury and high-end products. When we see black, we think sophistication.

White: White is associated with cleanliness and purity, as well as minimalism. Currently, minimalism is a hot design trend in graphic design, as well as in home décor and fashion.

Not all colors are perceived by people the same way, however, so make sure to test them.

Talk to our designers to come up with a color strategy, then try different colors in your images, as accents in your design, or for your calls to action. Then test, test, test!

Which colors work best for you? Let’s find out!

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