28 Nov Bespoke web design – part 3
Choosing colours and shapes that reflect your brand
In this final part of the bespoke web design series I’m going to round things off and talk about the psychological meaning of colours and how to start thinking about choosing colours and shapes to compliment your brands message.
To illustrate exactly what I mean; here’s a logo that you may know, do you recognise it?
It’s the logo for the Red Cross; it’s a powerful image and shape using a powerful colour to reinforce its message of protection. This is a great example of a brand communicating its message through shape and colour.
So let’s take a look at what effect the main colours have on our subconscious and some of the meanings that those colours represent.
RED – A very powerful, strong colour. It’s a colour that stands out over most other colours and can be used to affect us positively and negatively. It is a hot colour that stirs our emotions. On the one hand it subconsciously suggests love, lust, passion, energy and protection and on the other it suggests a warning or stop, war or blood, which makes us feel cautious.
It’s a youthful, daring colour often used on sports company logos and on fast cars like Ferrari and Porsche.
Orange – Is a warm colour, it represents fun, warm climates, the sun and youth. Similar to red in as much that it is a colour commonly used by young people. Orange is a very mentally stimulating colour and promotes feelings of excitement as well as hunger, so it is often associated with health foods.
In darker shades orange is also used to represent autumn colours. Orange as a colour is particularly difficult to print, so just be careful when choosing your shade if print work is needed.
Yellow – Another colour that is used to suggest fun and youth. It also represents happiness, energy and sunshine. You’ll need to be fairly careful how much and how you use yellow, as its one of the brightest colours, which can be hard on the eyes. It’s a colour that attracts children so you’ll see it used a lot at funfairs, in play grounds and on children’s clothes.
Yellow will jump off the page if used with a dark background, so use it sparingly for maximum effect. However, yellow text on a white background can soon get lost and often goes un-noticed if you do use it in this manner.
Green – Is natures colour, it represents health, fertility, growth and healing. Most shades of Green are very easy on the eye and usually relaxing to look at. As a colour for the web green is becoming increasingly popular because of what it represents, so you’ll often see it used on websites that promote health or natural products. In its darker shades it’s popular with financial institutions to help suggest financial growth.
Blue – Represents the colour of the sea and the sky, psychologically it suggests intelligence and creativity. It is often used when you want to communicate a message of trust, loyalty and strength.
Blue is a calming colour and looks good in virtually any shade, in its lighter shades it is a cooling colour so it’s extremely versatile and widely used.
Purple – The colour of royalty. Purple represents leadership, prestige, luxury and power. As it’s formed by mixing red and blue together it has the energy and strength of red and the creative intelligence of blue. It is also a colour that represents the clergy and the supernatural, so you could say it has a split personality! In lighter shades it is feminine and popular with young women.
For the final two, you could argue that black and white aren’t colours at all, but represent the absence of colour. The jury is out on that one, although I would be interested in your thoughts. But for now let’s keep the discussion focussed on their use in bespoke web design.
White – The colour of peace and serenity, it represents purity, freshness and cleanliness. White often denotes perfection, simplicity, faith and sterility and is often associated with charities, doctors and hospitals as well high tech organisations.
It suggests positivity and goodness, after all – the good guys always wear white – don’t they?
Black – is the opposite of white (possibly?) often used to represent evil, death and most things negative. On the other hand it can be classy, think about the little black dress, a formal black tie event or a power suit for business – it can be used positively or negatively.
In bespoke web design black provides contrast and strength, it is also used to make other colours stand out more and of course is often the main colour for text.
So what does all this mean to you?
The easiest way to start is to choose a colour that represents the feeling you’re trying to create. Then choose a basic shape that reinforces that feeling.
At that point you can start to move the contours of the shape around until it evolves into an image that represents more of your message. For example stars, hearts and crosses have all evolved from the basic geometric shapes. Your message is communicated by the imagery you use all at once and you’ll only get one chance to get it right, so your choice needs to reflect your business’s ideals perfectly to succeed.
When you’re thinking about your logo and your websites design ask yourself what you want it to say and what emotions you want it to stir in the people landing on your pages.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with the colours and shapes that promote those feelings, combine them together and you’ll have the basis of a good bespoke web design that a professional web designer can turn into something very special.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]