Horizon Featured Article

Picking the Right Colors for Your Brand & Website

Northsail Understands the Importance of Building an Emotional Connection with Clients

Achieving long-lasting customer loyalty is no small feat for many businesses.

Our clients are loyal to us because of our reliability and quality, since we always deliver our projects on-time, on-spec, and on-budget. This allows us to build an emotional connection with our clients, which in turn, gives us strong, long-lasting working relationships.

For many businesses that are just starting out, or those who are struggling to help their brand cut through all the noise, finding innovative ways to build emotional connections with your customer base is crucial.

We've got a suggestion that could help. It may sound simplistic, but it's actually quite complex - re-evaluate your brand color choices.

You might be scratching your head wondering what color psychology is or how it works. Let's start there.

What is Color Theory?

Color theory is actually an incredibly broad-spanning topic. It has become increasingly valuable in recent years, as the principles of color theory have become more heavily applied to business marketing strategies.

In a nutshell, color theory can be broken down into three basic groups:

The Color Wheel

The color wheel was first developed by Sir Isaac Newton, and it's a traditional part of the art field. Obviously, this has changed a lot since its creation, but the color wheel can further be broken into three categories:

Newton also talked a lot about 'complementary colors', which are colors on the light spectrum, which cancel out the hues of colors on the opposite side of the wheel.

For instance, the primary color red will cancel out the secondary color green, because they're exactly opposite each other on the color wheel. Purple/yellow or orange/blue are other examples of complementary colors.

Color Harmony

Harmony is something that's often used to express other areas of emotional engagement, such as music, poetry, and even combinations of flavors in meals.

Color harmony creates a sense of visual balance, which engages your target audience without under- or overstimulating them.

Our brains have a tendency to reject things that we don't understand, and when the color palette on a website is chaotic, our brains can't organize it. Therefore, we reject it. Alternatively, too little stimulation feels bland and boring. It simply won't engage your audience.

You need to find a complementary color scheme, which will both engage your customers and create the right kind of emotional response.

Color Context

This refers to how colors relate to one another, as well as the shapes that you use in the designs alongside each color.

Some colors will dull one another when used in tandem, while others have the opposite effect, strengthening how vibrant and lively each color appears.

Shapes used on the page need to not only fit with the color combination that you've chosen, but need to look clean, organized, and uniform throughout your site.

Jarring changes, or combinations of shapes that don't fit well together, can actually encourage site visitors to click away. That’s the last thing you want.

The Psychology of Color

Warm Colors vs Cool Colors

If you're looking to utilize emotional triggers to create better, more long-lasting engagement with your customers, it's important to understand the psychology of colors.

Colors are typically divided into two categories:

Warm Colors

Typically, the individual colors of red, orange, and yellow, as well as the various combinations and hues that exist between these three colors are considered warm.

These colors inspire feelings of energy, happiness, and positivity in people.

Cool Colors

Alternatively, the color blue, green, or purple (and their various shades) tend to be considered cool colors. These colors are believed to encourage calmness, relaxation, and contentment.

This is not a hard rule, though. Light shades of these three colors are sometimes considered warm, while darker shades of red, orange, and yellow could be considered cool in some cases.

Neutral Colors

Unlike warm and cool colors, a true neutral color would be either black, white, or gray. These are often used as accent colors to reduce/increase the intensity of certain other colors.

Similar to these, near neutral colors (i.e., browns, tans, pastels, etc.) help balance sharp colors, and they can be used to play tricks on the human eye. For example, a gray wall next to a bright red building will appear as though the gray is tinted with green.

Many businesses use a neutral color as the background color for their website, so that their additional colors (as well as infographics and images utilizing a matching dominant color) stand out and aren't overrun by adjacent colors.

Using a Monochromatic Color Scheme

It's not easy to pull off, but some businesses actually use a monochromatic color scheme, which only uses a single color in their site and marketing materials.

In some cases, the overwhelming amount of a single shade can be too much, so complementary schemes are used to balance color pairings of various hues (from the same color) against negative space on each page.

Colors & Our Emotions

Your brand's choice in colors can have a huge impact on how people react to the same type of content.

A brand that's focused on building high-energy, converting landing pages may want to focus on warm, bold colors, while a brand that's built around education or self-care may want to focus on darker colors to relax readers.

Your choices of color need to be made carefully, even for small website features like button colors. The way they relate to the dominant color on each page could have an impact on whether or not visitors choose to click-through on your call-to-action buttons.

5 Tips for Maximizing the Effectiveness of Your Brand Colors

1.) Pick Colors That Speak to Your Brand's Personality

The personality of your brand is really important to develop and maintain, because without it you won't be able to establish long-lasting brand affinity with your customers.

It’s a good idea to spend some time thinking about what your brand's core values are, before you even sit down to start. Successful brand colors stem from choosing a palette that fits perfectly with the values your brand is trying to represent, alongside the content that you’re presenting to your customers.

Whether you're trying to create energy with lighter shades or relax your readers with a dark color, your selections should naturally support the atmosphere you're trying to build for visitors when they arrive on your site.

2.) Always Ensure You Have a Complementary Color Scheme

When you're deciding on the palette for your brand, and by association your website, try to keep Newton's thoughts on complementary colors in mind.

Unlike light, complementary colors don't cancel each other out in these situations, but they can soften and support one another, allowing you to create a complementary color scheme that functions well in tandem.

Even if you've already chosen the basic primary/secondary colors that you want to use, be sure to spend some time looking at different hues of those choices.

This way, you can find the best combination to represent the energy and tone of your brand.

3.) Don't Go Overboard on Variety

It's really easy to go a bit overboard when it comes to picking the colors for your website. An easy rule to follow is that you should usually try to stick to a single primary brand color. At most, try not to have more than two.

That doesn't mean you can't use others in the site, but if you include too many, you'll begin to muddle the personality of your brand, as well as overwhelm your audience.

Try to keep the total number of colors on your site to 3 or less. You can use multiple shades or hues of the same colors, but try not to focus on more than 3 base primary or secondary choices. This will prevent your site from becoming too overwhelming for visitors.

4.) Don't Be Boring

Boring site designs don't engage the audience, and using a selection of boring colors on your site is only going to make matters worse.

Even with exciting, valuable content, potential customers won't have the desire to stick around and find out everything that your site can offer them, if it doesn't grab them in that crucial window of engagement time.

Depending on who you ask, you could have anywhere from 8-15 seconds from the time that a customer visits your site, until they’ll click away. That is not very much time.

Without an appealing, welcoming site design that immediately grabs your visitors’ attention, you could end up losing out on crucial conversions and lead generation opportunities.

5.) Hire a Design & Color Expert to Help

There's nothing wrong with asking for a bit of help, especially if you're having trouble deciding on the right selection of colors for your brand and website design.

With a bit of research, you should be able to find a marketing agency that specializes in creating the right groupings of colors for new brands and rebranding campaigns. They may also be able to help you design the right kind of brand logo, using the colors that you agree upon.

You may not have the expertise to make the perfect choices yourself, but there are people out there who can help you make the right choices for your business.

The most successful business owners know that sometimes you need to lean on the expertise of others, so that your business can reap the best benefits.

Northsail Appreciates the Importance of Brand Colors

Quickly & Easily Adjust Website Colors Using 'Horizon'

If you haven't had a chance yet to check out our newest service 'Horizon', now is the best time to get in on the free trial while you still can.

Quickly and easily build high-performance landing pages, and build in useful customer data forms that you can use to immediately begin collecting valuable data.

You can even set brand colors for each page, use or create templates that can all be adjusted with a single click. This way, adjusting your chosen colors takes minutes, instead of hours.

All we ask is that once you have a chance to try out Horizon, you let us know what you think about it. That's it. There's no obligation, so what are you waiting for?

Sign up for early access to Horizon!

We’ll send you important updates about the early access program and your free invite when we are ready.

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