Color is a vital part of our lives. Whether they’re warning us of danger, telling us what looks delicious or attracting our eyes to something we’ve not noticed yet, colors significantly affect our behavior in interesting, sometimes counterintuitive ways.
As a B2B design agency, we know that this concept translates to our online behaviors too! When you choose the colors for your website or your brand, you’re making unconscious decisions that will influence how users perceive and navigate your content. Instead of just picking these hues at random, arm yourself with the basic aspects of color theory and make informed design decisions that benefit your brand. Don’t know where to start? Keep reading to learn more about colors and how you can best use them to optimize your website.
What Is Color Theory?
“Color theory is the collection of rules and guidelines which designers use to communicate with users through appealing color schemes in visual interfaces.”
Basically, color theory helps creatives and business owners speak across industries and specialties with a common language, much like math does with scientists and engineers around the world. With that common language, we can all get our thoughts and actions (and B2B websites) on the same page.
Knowing which colors go well together and which don’t, how certain shades clash with text, or which fonts to select—these are all things that a professional designer is trained to do with precision and efficiency. It’s always recommended to consult with a graphic designer when choosing colors for your website or brand. Schedule a call with one of our B2B design experts to discuss your company’s color needs or request an audit of your website!
Color Affects Us All Differently
Did you know:
- Colors are proven to affect behavior1, mood, and stress levels, on sight.
- 35% of women and 57% of men say that BLUE is their favorite color.
- GREEN & BLUE are often associated with the environment and trust.
- ORANGE is associated with affordability—reliability, toughness, and safety.
- BLACK & WHITE are often associated with higher-end products—elegance, formality, and luxury.
It’s important to remember that this is color theory, not color law. While these studies on color are thorough and true, in general, your users/customers might react differently based on your content and their own personal preferences. Remain flexible and try different combinations to find the right colors and style for your website.
Most of the data above does involve simple reactions and as many B2B owners know, customer journeys can be anything but simple. With this in mind, instead of relying on simple color swaps to up your conversion or increase your signups, focus on creating a compatible and comfortable “vibe” with your color palette. In order to succeed, your brand and your user experience should be cohesive, regardless of your choices in color.
Attention & Buying Patterns
Using advanced techniques like eye tracking and heat maps, brands can now accurately gauge how their color selections affect the customer journey, from initial impression to final purchase. Whether you’re designing buttons, text containers, sale announcements—the colors used on each of these elements will either enhance or detract from the desired performance.
While moods and emotions are a significant part of decision-making, the hard data on colors suggest more interesting statistics about preferences like:
- Color affects 85% of buying decisions.
- Vibrant colors attract impulse purchases, while muted colors soothe careful buyers.
- According to color scientist, June McLeod, YELLOW is the most eye-catching color.2
- ORANGE & BROWN are the least-favorite colors among men & women.
- 93% of customers consider visual appearance first before buying.
- Logo colors are closely tied to perceived traits like trust and accountability.
Accents & Highlights
Last but not least, one of the most useful properties of color is emphasis. While underlining and bolding can do some of the heavy lifting here, separating an important fact, takeaway, or data point with a unique color (also known as an accent or highlight) can be an extremely effective way to help a user retain information.
To quickly review how to effectively use color for B2B design:
- Pick colors for your website and online content that match your product/service and industry, and complement your customer journey.
- Make sure that your brand colors match or enhance the above.
- Use soothing colors to pass along product/service information and helpful data.
- Use intense, vibrant colors to evoke strong emotions or to warn customers of danger/stress.
- Emphasize important information with emphatic colors like YELLOW, ORANGE, or PINK.
Want to learn more? Need further assistance with your team’s website and the colors you’re selecting? Click the BLUE link right here to schedule a call with one of our B2B graphic design professionals and get started building your perfect palette.