Color Choices Count, Even on the Internet


Color choices count-in everything, it seems, including website designs. A quick survey of popular sites including personal profile designs is divided between executive blue and red, the two most popular advertising color choices in America. Blue has been a traditional business favorite globally because it connotes trustworthiness, loyalty and sincerity-all qualities that are valued in the business world. Blue is always a safe choice, especially when operating internationally where certain colors have very different associations in foreign countries than they do here. IBM's blue home page represents stability and conservatism, values it supports. Facebook's blue home page is purportedly more a reflection of owner Mark Zuckerberg's colorblindness than anything else-a fortuitous coincidence.

Color in advertising becomes the "silent salesperson," communicating subliminal messages that can affect everything from appetite and blood pressure to mood and attitude. As such, when chosen carefully, the right color can attract and hold the viewer's attention, communicate what the business is really about, cement the brand identity and ultimately, make the sale. That's a lot of responsibility, and companies spend considerable time and energy choosing the right color for their website presence.

In fact, the wrong color choice can be a real deal-breaker. Consider Heinz's green ketchup. However, used correctly color can encourage consumer spending. Fast food restaurants are frequently orange or red in color because those shades stimulate both the senses and the appetite. How many restaurants decorated in blue have you visited?-probably not many because blue has the opposite effect.

In addition to making items more appealing, a good color choice is apt to cause a more immediate response and may become memorable because of its uniqueness. Since different colors have different connotations to various age groups, genders, cultures, and nationalities, an Internet start-up site will want to have a clearly identified target group in mind. For example, 75% of all children list purple as their favorite color. However, it also reflects spirituality, power, fantasy, wisdom, nobility and celebration. It might also be an excellent choice for a website that offers "premium service."

Start-up groups basically have two choices when picking their colors: imitate someone else who is successful in the same field or strike out on an original course. chose an orange background for its social networking site, which works because orange is a playful, fun and energetic color. DailyBooth, however, also a social network chose black with purple undertones, a variation that could attract youth because it suggests a secret, somewhat more fanciful orientation.

The 2011 trends seem to favor harmonious color schemes that are easy on the eyes and make visitors want to linger. Blue/green combinations are popular because they communicate both calm and refreshing feeling. Naturally occurring color combinations such as beiges/blues/greens are soft backgrounds that do not compete with content. The warmer colors are inviting and less distracting. Grey/black/white is a simple, clean design. Monochromatic color schemes such as that used by are also popping up frequently. Basically, a quiet backdrop for an honest message is becoming the most effective choice. Sticking with 2-3 colors and working within the variety of their shades is always safe.

Choosing the right color scheme for your Internet presence is an important decision. Strategizing to attract your audience to your product or service from that very first glance can be done through thoughtful and effective color placement.




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