We are faced with a range of different colours throughout our everyday life, whether we are deciding what colour t-shirt to wear, or what colour we want to paint our walls.

Colours can have a huge impact on both human emotion and behaviour, and understanding how to use your colour schemes to the best advantage can be very powerful.

Colour-Psychology-1 How Using Colour Psychology Could Give Your Brand an Extra Boost

When our eyes look at a colour, the area in our brain known as the hypothalamus send signals to the pituitary gland, which then passes them onto the endocrine system and the thyroid glands, which in turn release the different hormones that dictate our mood.

A study from QuickSprout found that 90% of product assessments are related to their colour. It also found that both colours and visual cues can have a large impact on conversion rates.

Branding

It is important to choose colours for your branding that are appropriate for your industry, but that also reflect the personality of your brand and the emotion you want to portray.

It is a good idea to assess the branding colours of your competitors and make sure that your brand stands out from the rest and is easily recognised. Differentiation plays a vital part in brand identity and research has shown that the colour used can increase brand recognition by 80%.

You need to make sure the colour of your branding reflects your brand values, for example, Apple use white for their logo, as it echoes their clean and simple product design. McDonald’s use a golden colour as it represents warmth and is welcoming, like they want their restaurants to be.

As a guide, brands are more likely to use green on their logo if they want to be seen as earthy, eco-friendly and youthful. Red logos convey powerful and passionate companies, whereas blue tends to reflect companies that are calm and logical.

Web Design

In terms of websites, the main goal is usually to achieve a high conversion rate. Jared Christopherson suggests using a 60-30-10 rule when designing a website, a little bit like when you are designing the interior of your home. This is a great way to form a colour scheme without one colour completely dominating the rest.

The highest priority in terms of ecommerce is establishing a level of trust between your brand and your consumers, as many people are wary of sites they have never been on before and 42% of shoppers may form an opinion of your website simply based on the design.

Colour can also be perceived based on culture and context, for example, in Japan the colour yellow is associated with courage, but in terms of context, the colour yellow is used in traffic lights and can often be seen as a warning sign.

An important part of choosing the colours used on your website is to make sure that your text is still readable. Avoid using light colours on a dark background or patterns behind any chunks of text, if visitors can’t read your content then they won’t stay on your site for long.

Gender Specific

Depending on who your target audience is, you may want to choose your colour scheme to attract a certain demographic or even a particular gender. Colour Assignments by Joe Hallock found that the blue was the favourite colour of both men and women, whereas purple was popular with women but very unpopular with men.

Men also appear to prefer bright and bold colours, where as women are keener on softer, subtler colours. Men prefer shades and women prefer tints, so make sure to keep this in my when choosing the colour of your website.

If your target audience consists of a balance of both genders, then make sure you don’t choose a colour and hue that one gender particularly doesn’t like. If your consumers do tend to be one gender more than the other, then make sure you make the most of this in terms of your colour scheme.

Call to Action

When it comes to Calls to Action, there are four important factors to consider: shape and size, message, placement and of course, colour. It is important for CTAs to be user friendly and encouraging, so that visitors can find their way to the desired landing page quickly and easily.

Calls to Action could be for a range of things you want to achieve on your site, whether it’s encouraging the visitor to buy your product, sign up to your newsletter, share your content or just submit a form. It is important that your CTAs are clear.

If you want your CTA button to really stand out, then use the complementary colour to that of your site’s background, but make sure it doesn’t interfere with your overall design. The smaller the button, the more prominent the colour needs to be.

Once you have chosen a colour then try some A/B testing and find out which button colours works best in terms of clicks and conversions. Maxymiser found that by testing colour variations on the checkout area of the Laura Ashley website, they achieved an increase of 11% in clicks, so it pays to try different variations.