Posted on 2013-09-24 10:54:48
Key points to keep in mind when designing in colour:
The psychology of colour as it relates to persuasion can be one of the more controversial aspects of modern-day marketing. Most of us don't even realize how much it really affects us. Those in the advertising and marketing industry have spent a gargantuan amount of money in persuading us into buying and using their products and services. Although there will always be skeptics out there, and this isn't an exact science, however countless studies have proven colour does have a profound affect on moods and human behaviour.
It is fascinating to think that by simply changing a colour one can also change the meaning of something. If the Heineken® logo were suddenly now red and CocaCola™ logo green, it would completely alter how we think of these products. A company must know its target audience well and give some thoughts to the psychology of the recipient. The main point is that when designing a marketing campaign, a brand or identity, think about what kind of emotion you want your customers to feel, not only on first glance but when they use and interact with your product or service. Colours can be a powerful tool to entice and engage your target market, so if properly used it can be extremely beneficial to your overall marketing success.
This article leans to generalization, so readers who aren't trained designers shouldn't expect to walk away thinking that they will know everything about colour theory. In reality there are just far too many other factors in the various complexity of hues not to mention other associated non-verbal cues which can also affect how a brand is perceived. At Canada Coaster we design coasters. We're the largest manufacturer in North America of the highest quality pulpboard coasters available. Think about this, whatever can be printed, can be printed on a coaster. It's a mini-billboard with a multitude of practical uses. The wide array of customers from the smallest to some of the biggest brands on the planet use our products and services for their marketing campaigns. We hope this information will be useful regardless what type of business you operate. So let's get to the basics...
The visual aspects of your advertising and marketing campaigns are essential to getting positive results. Standing out from your competitors is particularly important in a competitive marketplace. The understanding of basic colour theory can help you create attention-grabbing marketing materials that stimulate interest in what you have to say.
Designers understand the principles of the colour wheel, and it really isn't rocket science. Essentially there are three levels – primary, secondary and tertiary consisting of three primary colours red, yellow and blue. The next level on the colour wheel keeps these three and adds the the results of mixing the possible combinations to create orange, greeen and purple. The third level on the colour wheel includes additional mixing of primary and secondary such as yellow-orange and blue-green.
Designers use the colour wheel as pictured above to choose their colour scheme in the following ways:
COMPLEMENTARY – use of two colours from opposite ends of the colour wheel can be pleasing to the eye and most common in print media. Used together, this combination of warm and cool colours can create excitement and energy.
SPLIT COMPLEMENTARY colour schemes combine the two colours on either side of a colour’s complement. This combination of colour adds variety to a brand in a pleasant but active way.
TRIADIC – Use three colour equally spaced on the colour wheel. This tends to give a harmonious effect and used for bolder effects.
Choose colours that represent and speak to the marketing message you want to communicate, and then build the scheme around them.
Red – a power colour; increases passion and intensity
Yellow – promotes curiosity; stimulates the mental process
Blue – associated with peace, serenity, water and sky
Orange – creates a call to action, excitement and enthusiasm
Green – associated with health, tranquility and nature
Purple – associated with royalty, wisdom and respect
Black – often associated with authority, power, intelligence, stability and strength
White – in advertising white is usually associated with feelings of purity, cleanliness and safety
Choosing Contrast – Contrast reduces eye strain and focuses attention onto a specific item
Shades and Hues – Colour schemes can be used in multiple ways to achieve different effects
Monocromatic – tend to be easy on the eye. Good for websites.
Grey – symbolizes feeling of practicality, timelessness and solidarity in life
"It is important not to confuse colour psychology with colour symbolism. For example, symbolically, red may be used to denote danger, largely due to the fact that reds have the illusion of appearing nearer than other colours and, therefore have greater impact. In colour psychology, on the other hand the colours of danger are yellow and black. In colour symbolism, green denotes envy in many cultures, while in colour psychology, it is associated with balance." Originally posted by wiki article.
A couple of useful colour tools available online:
Mudcube Colour Sphere: This colour resource for designers not only provides the hex numbers for each colour; it also helps you to build up a colour scheme from one chosen shade. If you're unsure what colour scheme you should be going for, Mudcube provides a selection of themes from a drop-down menu.
Kuler: Perhaps known as one of the best online colour theme tools, Adobe Kuler has graduated from a simple web-based colour tool to a fully fledged theme generation and sharing resource. Plugins are available for all the main Adobe tools including Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, making it a great integrated tool for regular Creative Suite for designers.
For those into a more therapeutic and holistic approach to colour will surely find this blog article with its ancient historical references quite fascinating: http://health.iafrica.com/holistic/897008.htm
In the world of branded beverage coasters, you're not just restricted to a bland, printed rectangle or round shape. The options are bountiful, for example, custom die-cutting lets you completely alter the shape of your media so you can create almost any uniquely shaped coasters to suit your presentation. Changing the shape of your media makes it easier to remember and harder to part with since it looks and feels different from the standard template.
blog posts by Alex Zafer