Do you have a favorite color or colors? Most of us do. I’ll tell you mine, it’s black. Yeah, weird I know, but I used to be a musician and black is the concert dress color for orchestras (think tuxes). To me it will always represent the business of making art in whatever form it takes. As much as we enjoy our favorite colors, it isn’t necessarily a great choice for websites. Black backgrounds for websites, for example, are definitely out and have been for years. Remember when it was everywhere?
Choosing Colors – It’s Not About You, It’s About THEM
Repeat that 3 times!
Individual color preferences can get in your way. For successful design marketing, this needs to be a great marriage. You can’t pick PINK if your audience is predominantly men. You need colors (two preferably) that your audience likes or can relate to. Preferably colors shown to successfully sell in your products/services category.
Don’t Forget Your Logo
Assuming you have a logo – your color scheme may already be locked in. You don’t want to go outside the normal parameters of a color scheme at odds with your logo. It should use the same color with perhaps some complimentary or varying shades within those colors.
Most logos are 2 colors, one is dominant and the other a secondary color. Assuming your logo is a good fit for your audience, this is the basis of your website color scheme.
Don’t Listen to High Volume Marketers
Unless you are mass marketing, you are appealing to a specific target market. Following the advice of a generalized marketing guru for color choices may lead you to poor choices. They are not designers or even user experience experts. They may tell you RED TEXT is necessary to bring attention (never mind red is a terrible accessibility color) or all call to action buttons must be YELLOW.
(Yes I know, I have some red in my wallpaper, part of my market is the performing arts. It is a stylised wallpaper based on old concert halls.)
Only recently have marketing gurus stopped using auto-play videos, well after data showed people abandoned pages with them. Do you like auto-play? Yeah, me neither, and the last time I asked my audience about that – I received a lot of NOs. Talk about a hated technique yikes!
Recently, a client instructed I design with a color scheme I know they weren’t fond of. Their logo didn’t lock them in to any specific color scheme, but they knew their market well and they wanted site visitors to be able to relate and be comfortable. That was very savvy marketing on their part.
Such extremes are usually not needed, and if you are branding based partially on yourself, you will want something that is reflective of who you are. After all your audience relates to you (or you prefer people who relate to you), so the color choices are appropriate. However, if you want pink glitter and you are a medical transcriptionist, then maybe not so much!
But small businesses on up usually are not personality based, they are dependent on appealing to the target market. Your branding colors, from your logo to your website, should be something that makes sense for who you are trying to attract.
Color is marketing. When choosing – it should be based on what is appealing to your audience.
Target Audience Design Evaluation
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