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The Colours of the Web

I think it’s fair to say that colours are fascinating. Colours can change how we think, how we feel, how we interact with others. They can be described as light or dark, busy or calming. On the mention of a colour, it will strike a feeling and thought for you. Red!….you’re thinking about a stop sign yea? Or perhaps the feeling of caution, yea?

I don’t know much about colours really. I mean, if you were to show me a design, I can tell you if it looks good or not. I can tell you how it makes me feel or what emotions it would cause me to feel. I wouldn’t be able to tell you what colours could potentially match together though, or what colours would fit to a certain industry.

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about the use of colour online. For instance, have you ever thought about how some of the most dominant leaders in a market have an associated blue colour branding. For social media, it’s Facebook and Twitter. For blogging platforms, it’s WordPress and Tumblr. For communication, it’s Sykpe. For search, it’s Google (blue appears in two letters). For financial services, it’s PayPal.

(Take offline markets too like the airline industry and we take note of the leaders such as American Airlines and Ryanair. I’m actually sitting on an American Airlines flight to Chicago as I write this and the staff are dressed in blue, the seats, walls, floors…it’s all blue.)

Something has to be said to the use of certain colours, and in particular the colour blue for successful companies.

Did you know that Google invested in the research of A/B testing the most effective use of their colour blue? It’s clear that Google value their brand and they looked for the right tone quality, border shading width etc that would support their brand and one that was going to appeal to everyone all over the world.

If you’re starting a company and you’re beginning to think about the design of your logo and how your company looks to your audience, have a think about these things:

  • What is the colour of your industry?
  • What emotions do you want your audience to feel?
  • What colours are used in your competitors branding, and do you think it works?
  • Do you personally like the colours?

Then once you’ve answered these, talk to a designer about it. Designers will know exactly what works and…be prepared to listen.

What do you think of the colour blue? Are successful companies blue orientated?

UPDATE: just spotted this read and infographic http://www.colourlovers.com/business/blog/2010/09/15/the-most-powerful-colors-in-the-world, probably where Google found me the image!