Friday, March 9, 2007

Color - The Silent Language

When designing a website, logo or other business document, so much attention is placed on the content or message you want to convey. Could you be missing one other important factor? COLOR...

Color is a powerful form of non-verbal communication. Color can motivate, create emotion, show personality, set a mood and even create negativity.

What Colors Should You Choose?

With so many colors to choose from, how do you narrow done the choices? The first step is to determine who your target market will be. Are you targeting women, men, young, old, certain cultures? Secondly, decide what mood you want to create. Are you striving for excitement, comfort, harmony, urgency?
Once you have determined those two factors, it’s time to explore what people like and what emotional and psychological responses colors create.

Women- Tend to prefer cool, soft colors as well as highlight color because it provides lots of energy, vibrancy and playfulness.

Men- Prefer brighter shades overall but blue is a very strong preference followed by greens. Men can often feel insulted when presented with “feminine colors”.

Children - Pastel blue and pink are great if the target is parents of infants. Toddlers love bright primary colors. Young girls love soft pastels while young boys will be attracted to primary shades of blue, red and green.

Cultural- If you have a global market, cultural interpretation of color is very important. Chinese culture finds yellow to be sacred and white to be the color of death. In many cultures purple is considered royal but can also mean death in So. America.

The Impression of Colors

Colors are broken into three categories; Warm, Cool and Neutral. Let’s looks at the positive meaning of some colors.


Red: The color of love, heat, excitement, urgency, passion. Red is often associated with food because it stimulates the appetite. Red also creates a faster heart beat and breathing.

Pink: All things feminine come to mind such as sweet, delicate, nice, innocent.

Yellow: Warm feelings like happiness, cheerfulness, joy, and remembrance such as the yellow ribbon for soldiers.

Orange: This is a good highlight color because it provides lots of energy, vibrancy and playfulness.


Blue: Speaks of trust, dignity, power, truth, reliability, refreshing. Most often associated with water, pools, spas, winning (blue ribbons). Blue is the most popular color in business.

Green: Do you have a green thumb or greenbacks? Think of growth, nature, money, freshness, abundance, harmony


Black: Conjures up thoughts of mystery, strength, elegance, conservative. Often masculine as in black tie, or black belt.

Silver: Sleek, glamorous, rich, are all associated with silver.

White: When thinking of purity, cleanliness, softness or innocence, think of whites like snow .

Brown is friendly, earthy, wholesome and reliable. Beige: conservative, relaxing

Color plays an important role in design since it will make an impression far quicker than the written word. Color speaks volumes without saying a word. Is your color choice speaking the right language?

Linda Chadbourne, Owner/designer of Maine-ly Web Design has been designing graphics and web sites since 1998.