Psychology of Colours

How do different colours evoke certain emotions and psychological effects? Why is colour important in website design? Find out the importance of psychology of colours.

We all have our favourite colours and for different reasons. We know that some colours evoke happy and calming emotions while others leave us feeling uncomfortable and a little overwhelmed. Some colours are just too much in different settings, while others are perfect for the environment and purpose. This is also true when designing a website, the colours you choose need to be appropriate and compliment the message and purpose of your website. An example includes not using fire engine red or bright orange on a website about meditation and restoration of the mind. Here is a list of how different colours affect the mind, mood and atmosphere.

How Different Colours Affect People

  • Red Colour

Passion, enthusiasm and excitement are all evoked through this emotional vigorous colour. Bright shades of red are excellent when trying to draw the user’s attention to important action buttons like “Click Here” and “Contact Us”. Little bits of bright red can be used to catch the visitor’s attention. However, never design the entire site a bright red colour as it can be over-powering and loud. Red should only be used to attract the viewers to certain elements in the website. Red is considered to be a strong masculine colour; this colour can also be used to make objects appear larger.

  • Blue Colour

Blue is a very calming, cool and serene colour. Subtle blues are often used to indicate professionalism, credibility and trustworthiness. Light tones are a great option for a calm background. Blue it is known to calm the metabolic rate and bring about relaxation. A blue and white combination gives the illusion of space and visitors are more likely to browse with ease and explore further. Blue also offers and creates feelings of trust. However, too bight and bold blues can appear as too much and can unfortunately end up looking amateurish. Too much blue can also cause things to feel cold.

  • Yellow Colour

Yellow is an uplifting colour that will leave your viewers feeling lighter and happier. Seeing yellow elevates moods and refreshes brain cells. This energetic colour is thought to emit warmth and nourishment. Yellow and red are the perfect combination if you wish to grab the viewer’s attention. Yellow is said to stimulate mental activity, muscular energy and attracts attention. Yellow is also a great colour to use for website backgrounds. However, too much yellow can put strain on the eyes and bring about anxiety.

  • Green Colour

Green is an earthy tone that will leave your viewers feeling regenerated and it has physical healing properties. Green is also believed to lower blood pressure, calm the mind and stimulate creativity. The colour green is also commonly associated with money and wealth. Using too dark a shade of green can leave your website looking and feeling cramped.

  • Orange Colour

Orange is a warm and balanced colour. It makes those who see it feel enthusiastic, flamboyant and excited. Orange is said to increase the supply of oxygen to the brain, stimulating mental activities. Orange should be used sparingly to highlight important elements and promote goods. This colour is best suited when targeting the youth.

Less Common Colours and Their Meanings

  1. Pink indicates romance, love and friendship. This is considered a feminine colour that eludes truth, passivity and good will. It also has a calming, affectionate and nurturing effect.
  2. Purple is a very influential and spiritual colour. It oozes royalty, dignity, energy, extravagence and high aspirations.
  3. Grey presents an air of intelligence, seriousness and professionalism.
  4. Brown is enduring, relaxing, confident, reassuring and earthy.
  5. Using black on a website is elegant, sophisticated, formal and strong. However, a black background is very difficult to read with white writing.
  6. White on your website gives the impression of purity, cleanliness, newness, peace and simplicity.
  7. Turquoise is a calming, emotional, protective and refreshing colour. It is perfect in website design.

Why Is Colour so Important For Website Design?

The colours you use when designing a website, are necessary to create the mood and tone of a website. The colours you use, can give the visitors a clear indication of the nature of your website, they can determine whether it is a corporate, children’s or personal website by the predominate colours used in the website. The colours also have a physiological reaction on the viewer, which gets them to react in a specific way.

Colour is responsible for a number of different emotions; some of these include pleasure, disapproval, hot, cold, attraction and repulsion. We can become or feel stimulated and suppressed depending on the colours we see.

Tips for Using Colour in Website Design

  • Limit the amount of colours to no more than 3 colours. This will reduce visual clutter.
  • Use colours that will suit your website, its function and message.
  • Avoid harsh colours by adding texture and natural tones.
  • Colours should not clash, instead they should complement and make the important information stand out.
  • Coloured text needs to be legible on a contrasting colourful background.
  • Avoid bold, busy and colourful backgrounds.
  • Be careful when using light text on a darker background.
  • Avoid neon and fluorescent lighting.

Rainbow of Colours

Colours bring about a number of different emotions, feelings, thoughts and moods. Deciding on the perfect colour for your website is not an easy task. You need to consider what message or image you are going for. This means that you need to know your product and target audience. Some colours are more professional, while others are more fun. Bear in mind that different colours mean different things to different people and they bring about different emotions and psychological effects in internet users. Now that you have knowledge on the Psychology of colours for website design, take a look at our page on Psychology of Logo Design to further broaden your knowledge on website design.

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