Image by: geralt
By Dexter Lunde
When it comes to your company’s brand (how you market your company as a whole and you along with it), color is important. It helps catch the attention of your potential clients and customers. So how do you know which colors to use? Not only do you have to watch the trends in your particular market, you should also keep an eye on the latest news in color psychology.
What is color psychology?
Color psychology is the science of how color can affect a person’s behavior or thinking. It belongs in a branch of behavioral psychology (which, in and of itself, is a complicated field).
There is a lot of talk about color psychology, however the psychological data behind the theories seem to be a bit scattered. Research shows that the fluctuations between the theories lie in personal preference, various experiences, cultural differences, and difference in upbringing.
However, despite varying opinions and “facts”, a few constants still remain. In addition to this, there has been research done on how various forms, shapes, and fonts affect behavior and thoughts as well. Let’s take a look on the latest trends in color psychology, forms, shapes, and fonts.
#1) Color Psychology in Web Design
If your target market is centered on women, opt for colors like blue, purple, and green. Women are more drawn to those colors. Also, avoid gray, orange, and brown. There is something about those earthy tones that women tend to dislike.
If your target market is centered on men, opt for colors like blue, green, and black. Try to stay away from brown, orange, and purple.
Image by: Esquire
Check out the screenshot of the Esquire landing page above. The black and white logo is bold because they are contrasting colors. While their font may have rounded edges (I’ll get into that later), it is outlined in black, which makes it stand out.
In general, the color blue helps you cultivate trust. It is a calming and cool color which is appealing to both men and women. That’s probably why Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr all use the color blue in their logos and on their websites.
Image by: Facebook
#2) Forms and Shapes in Logos
Our subconscious responds differently to different shapes and lines. Let’s take a quick look at the basics:
Circles, ovals, and other round shapes bring positive emotions. Images with rings in it (like the Olympic rings or even wedding rings) symbolize stability and endurance. Not only that, but curves in general are thought to be more feminine in comparison to sharp angles and boxy images.
Image by: Nike
The Nike logo is a great example of this because of the bold, contrasting colors and the rounded edges which is both simple and appealing.
Image by: Disney
Disney is another great example of a curvy and circular-shaped logo.
Squares and triangles also suggest stability. Squares, rectangles, equilateral, and isosceles triangles imply strength, balance (probably because of the symmetry involved), and professionalism. Watch out though because when you pair it with cold or cool colors, it can appear uninviting.
Image by: Elle
Check out the logo for Elle Magazine’s website. They use sharp bold lines in their font and a boxy logo. They do the same with their headlines. So while they need a soft edge to appeal to women (that’s probably why they went with the color pink), the boxy logo and straight lines are bold and appear professional.
As far as straight lines go, vertical lines often appear to be more masculine (in juxtaposition to the curvy lines that appear more feminine), stronger, and more aggressive as well. Horizontal lines suggest a sense of community and make people feel calm and tranquil. Picture a still lake on the horizon: calm, right?
When it comes to fonts, angular typefaces and rough jagged lines appear aggressive. It also follows the implications of the shapes that I talked about in the previous sections. Straight lines are more masculine while soft, rounded letters are more feminine and youthful.
If you want to appeal to more a more masculine market, use strong, bold lettering.
Check out Seattle’s Best Coffee’s website. The font that they chose is both bold and uses both straight and soft lines. The headline, which is meant to catch your eye uses sharp, straight lines while their actual logo has rounded letters.
Image by: Seattle’s Best Coffee
#4) Where to Go for Help
If you’re turning to someone else to design your website, keep these tips in mind and consider what you want your brand to portray. Do you want to appear strong and professional? Do you want to appeal to a more creative crowd? Are you looking to attract more women or men to your store? Answer these questions first before you turn to a web designer and before you go sketching your logo.
Check out other businesses in your same field or market. What do their logos look like? Do they have the same basic shape? Do they use the same colors? Do they use the same font? What about their websites?
As a consumer, what colors, shapes, and fonts appeal to you the most? Did you go anywhere specific when you drew up your logo?