Color makes an impact. It doesn’t matter if you are male or female, young or old – color creates a positive or negative emotion in people. It can provide added value to your website or it can distract the visitor and degrade the overall experience. How you present color will make an impact.
Choosing the right color for your logo or website is a very personal decision. The key is to make this decision not just based on your personality traits, but that of your visitor. Knowing what will connect with your visitor is key to providing a positive web experience.
I’m Red and I’ll Always to be Red
A few years ago I had a client who said he loved me because I was “red”. He didn’t mean our company logo, instead he was referring to my personality. Kevin is an organizational coach and he uses personality tests within his consulting practice. My red personality showed him I was confident, focused, and a go-getter. During our yearlong relationship, Kevin would refer to me as “Red” in email and never once called me Rebecca.
When I looked up red personalities I realized he was spot on. The website I located listed a number of characteristics that defined a red personality type. I was all but one. That day I realized Kevin wasn’t just a super nice guy, he was excellent at evaluating people and using this information to help them succeed.
So What is a Red Personality Type?
Collette Morris lists the following characteristics for red type people: strong leaders, fast paced thinkers, risk takers, purposeful, drivers, strong-willed, less patient, obvious energy, formal overtly competitive, rational. Honestly I am all of these with the exclusion of overtly competitive. I used to be competitive, but over the years my children have mellowed me.
According to Collette, red personalities like me don’t like to waffle and they like to get to the point quickly without wasting time. My girlfriend Maria said the same thing about me, but she called me a square (not a circle like her who likes to chit chat). Maria was right. I am red and I am a square. I am direct, honest to the core, and I value efficiency, rational thinking, and the ability to take risk. It those characteristics that drove me to start our company in the heart of the recession.
Four Types of Personality Colors
- Red – We discussed this one above. Red people are leaders who take ownership. They are fast thinkers. They like direct communication and they do not react well to fluff or sales pitches.
- Yellow – Yellow people are sociable, expressive, and imaginative. They are relationship focused and they like to socialize before jumping into business. My friend Maria, the circle, is a yellow.
- Blue – Blue personalities are deep thinkers, analytical, detail focused, and systematic. They would react well to lots of detail, facts, and figures.
- Green – Green people are relaxed and informal. They are social like the yellow group.
I will never be a yellow, blue, or green and I won’t be Maria’s circle either. It just isn’t who I am. I work well with other reds and I struggle with yellows. I can blend with blues and greens, but yellows and I are not going to be best friends in our work or personal lives. Maria is a friend, but because she is yellow and I am red, we cannot be best friends. Over the years I’ve realized clients are the same. I work well with other reds, greens, or blues, but yellows tend not to like me much because I cannot circle them and make them feel warm and fuzzy before getting down to business.
How Do You Use the Colors of Web Design to Connect to Your Website Visitor?
In website design we try to cater to multiple types of personalities. This applies to both color schemes and types of content.
Colors and Emotional Response
- Red – Stimulates hunger and evokes emotion and a need to purchase
- Yellow – Cheerful, young, communication
- Blue – Calmness, focused, productivity
- Green – Health, nature, and money
Colors Usage by Big Brands
- Red – McDonalds, Wendy’s, Pizza Hut, Frito Lay, Coco Cola
- Yellow – Best Buy, Ikea, Sprint
- Blue – LinkedIn, Dell, JP Morgan, Ford
- Green – Starbucks, Land Rover, Whole Foods
Additional Articles of Reference
- The Psychology of Color and Branding (Infographic)
- Business, Sales and the World Wide Web Are In Color
- The Psychology of Color: A Color Guide For Designers
- Psychology of Color [Infographic]
- The Psychology of Color in Marketing and Branding
- The Secret to Confidence with Color Design
- The Psychology of Color in Marketing
Knowing who your target demographic is and designing a website to connect with them is vital for success. Knowing what colors they will respond to and what type of content they will like is the key to that connection.
Select the Right Color Scheme for Your Website
In web design I like to have three colors per scheme. While we use the client’s logo as a lead, we have flexibility with accent colors. Carla, our graphic designer, does a great job finding balance.
Sometimes we have clients who come to us with a logo that completely speaks to their brand and target demographic. Sometimes we receive logos that are just the opposite.
Carla does a wonderful job minimizing the logo color on the later, while accentuating the logo color when the color is perfect. If the logo color is well suited for the target market, Carla tends to use it as the dominant color. If the logo color is off, she uses it as an accent color. When I kick Carla off on a design project, I give her an overview of the client and their target demographic. This information is invaluable because it helps Carla make these types of judgement calls.
Sometimes the client agrees and sometimes not, but at least we do our part to steer them in the right direction. And Carla, bless her heart, will take the time to explain why one color is a better choice than another.
Let Us Help
If you’re planning on creating a new logo or redesigning your website, reach out to us. We are here to learn about your business and your target demographic. We will guide you through the mass of color options and help you select the right color scheme to satisfy your personality and that of your website visitor.
Herb Trevathan says
Wow, perfect timing! I have changed my website a few times to test conversion goals with different colors. I am SEO guy so this is easy for me and free.
I have found red to be my best converting color scheme : ). I assumed it was because the color is what “other people think a web developer should have”. I am calm and methodical, more so now that I am 41 and have children. I used to program racing car computers that control the engine and suspension. I was know as a fierce competitor and would do any and everything to win.
I have experienced what you are writing about but I did not understand what I was seeing until I read this article.
I feel like you have read my mind. I have been stalling on my blog to get the design right. Being a developer I can not seem to finalize a design for myself – hahaha.
So when I get a big project I am going to just buy all of your themes with the pro pack, and use your Megan theme with the red and black color scheme.
Love your themes, I have the Genesis pro pack and all of their themes but your themes are unique and different.
Maybe I need to start blogging already based on the length of this comment : )
Great Post Thank You!
Rebecca Gill says
Reading your mind is all part of the master plan!
Megan, named after my good friend who is a green, is the theme we used to use for this website. It is a good theme for marketers and SEO consultants for sure.
Cam Cecchini says
Extremely well written Red.
Always a treat hearing Designer – Dev dialogue. Thanks for sharing!
Rebecca Gill says
Thanks Cam! The Red mention cracked me up. =)
I love a blaze of color in almost everything around me.
However, whilst color, for me, is important in presenting products and services online, there are accessibility issues just waiting to trip us up.
Eyes interpret color differently from person to person and, notwithstanding uncalibrated computer screens, one in 20 people in the USA, affecting how they see that beautiful newly-created website.
Those living with Color-Vision Deficiency (color blindness) have difficulty seeing colors the way we do.
Web Designers take note 🙂
Rebecca Gill says
As yes, those people who are color blind. Forgot about them.
Last year we had a design project with a law firm and the project lead was color blind. He didn’t tell me that until round three of the home page. It was at that point I knew why the group couldn’t decide on color.
Design is an adventure. Adding old monitors or color blindness into the mix only makes it more of an adventure!
Herb Trevathan says
Good point. I worked with a client one time, as a subcontractor for his client, and they asked me to export screenshots and layout PSD’s in grayscale and make sure there was enough contrast as I was working in order to cut down on revisions.
I was younger then and thought this was insane as well as a useless step. Makes more and more sense over time.
Tom Jamieson says
Having been a psychology major in college, I completely understand and agree with the effect color has on one’s web experience. Too often webmasters, designers, and developers overlook the importance of color when creating or updating a website or blog. Thanks for sharing your insight here and have a great day!
Rebecca Gill says
Tom I majored in psychology in college too. I then realized I would have to be in school for years, so I switched to accounting and graduated with a business degree. College was self funded and I had loans to worry about.
When I graduated and reached the world of business, psychology looked much better than accounting. I’ve never done a journal entry in my life (I have a CPA) and I am happy with this fact. I believe in working hard and that means doing what you love. I still hold a love and deep appreciate for psychology and how it and sociology have a major impact in our lives.
When I wrote this post I wasn’t even thinking back to my college years, but your comment brought those classes flying back into my memory. I think my love for psychology brought me into the world of marketing and eventually web design. It keeps me happy.
Tom Jamieson says
Heh. Yeah I started out as an Accounting major and was so bored with it I had to change. So I ended up with a BA in Psychology, which turned out to be fairly useless. After getting a Master’s in a different field altogether, I am back in school again now pursuing a degree in IT with a concentration in Web Design and Development. The fun never ends! 😉
Rebecca Gill says
I’m beginning to think you are as strange as I am!
Andy Roberts says
Stumbled upon your site today and am looking to buy one of your templates for a project of mine. Found your blog interesting too, thank you.