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Website Design - Choosing Your Colors Wisely

Colors convey emotions and emotions heavily influence the decision-making process. Your choice of colors for your website should mirror the message and feeling you to hope to communicate to the viewer. Let's take a look at some colors and what they mean to you and your website.

Blue - the color of stability

Blue is a color of peace, harmony, tranquility, health, coolness, confidence, loyalty, conservatism, dependability and technology. Blue is a safe choice for most uses. It causes the brain to send off 11 chemical tranquilizers and is a wonderful calming color. It is a preferred color for corporate America, but avoid using blue when promoting food and cooking because blue suppresses appetite.


Negatives: Depression, coldness, obscenity, conservatism and winter

Red - the color of passion
Red is the color of passion, strength, energy, fire, love, excitement, speed, leadership and power. When using red in your website design it is best to us it as an accent color. This color does not usually work well with greens or purples of the same intensity, causing a vibrating effect on the eyes. It is a perfect color for 'Buy Now' or 'Click Here' buttons on Internet banners and websites as it attracts the eye.

Negatives: Danger, fire, blood, war, anger, stop, revolution, radicalism and aggression

Yellow - the color of ideas
Yellow can convey sunlight, joy, happiness, optimism, idealism, wealth (gold), summer and hope. It is the brightest color and intellectuals love yellow. It takes more chemicals in the eye to see the color yellow. Websites targeting older people should look at other colors as yellow can make them feel anxious or angry.

Negatives: Cowardice, illness, hazards, dishonesty and avarice

Green - the color of nature
A Big Oak favorite, as you can tell, green implies movement, nature, spring, fertility, youth, environment, money (US), good luck, safety and generosity. It is the most restful color for the human eye and it can improve vision. Green works well as an accent or secondary color. Use green to indicate safety when advertising products that may be considered dangerous, such as medicines. Olive green, one of the greens on our site, is the traditional color of peace.

Negatives: Inexperience, envy, misfortune, jealousy, illness and greed

Orange - the color of energy
As you can tell from our site, this is another of our favorite colors. Orange conveys creativity, confidence, balance, heat, enthusiasm, flamboyance and playfulness. Orange increases oxygen supply to the brain, producing an invigorating effect, and stimulates mental activity. It is highly accepted among young people. Orange is very effective for promoting food products and children's products such as toys.

Negatives: Warning, danger and cheapness

Purple - the color of nobility
Purple combines the stability of blue and the energy of red. Purple is associated with royalty. It symbolizes wisdom, dignity, independence, power, nobility, luxury and ambition. According to surveys, almost 75 percent of pre-adolescent children prefer purple. Purple is a very rare color in nature leading people to consider it to be artificial.

Negatives: Cruelty, arrogance, mourning, profanity, exaggeration and confusion

Beige and Gray - the color of neutrality

As neutrals, they can be used in combination with almost all colors and still work well visually. Lighter hues of each make for good readability and backgrounds, but you must use hints of bright color or else you website can lose any visual pop or visual interest. Gray works well in office environments and promotes productivity and stimulates creativity.

Negatives: Apathy, dull, drab, monotonous, somber and smoky

Brown - the color of reliability
Solid, reliable brown is the color of earth and is abundant in nature. It implies simplicity, reliability, earthiness, comfort and durability. Be careful as brown can be perceived in much the same way as beige: dull and drab. Men are more apt to say brown is one of their favorite colors. Maroons go well with this color and speak to professionalism, like rich dark leather.

Negatives: dirty, drab, sad, boring and unwanted

Black - the color of sophistication
Black speaks to power, sophistication, formality, elegance, wealth, mystery and style. Black can make color burst from the web page, especiall if it is a bright color. It is a natural classic color and never goes out of style. Too much black can darken a mood and affect emotions very easily. When designing for a gallery of art or photography, a black or gray background can be used to make the other colors stand out.

Negatives: Death, unknown, fear, dark, sad, threatening, wicked, morbid and dangerous

The color of success
We take every part of our design process seriously and few things are as important as your choice of colors for your website. Colors have a larger impact on your viewers than any other part of the design and can affect your site's success. Color is immediate, emotional and memorable. If you have a website, try this simple test. Look at it for a few moments and write down the feelings and words that come to mind. If your colors aren't telling you the same story as your content it may be time to look at changing your color scheme.

Shell Harris is the Art Director at Big Oak Website Design.

He provides proven results for Website Design & promotion.

This article may be freely reprinted as long as all links and author information remain. http://www.bigoakinc.com

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