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3 Ways to Perfect your Website Design Colors


Let’s face it!

 There is a lot more to colors than meets the eye. If anything, 85% of the shoppers base their product purchase decisions on product color. And, as it turns out, some of the world’s top-notch brands are very particular about their color choices, whether it’s Coca-Cola with its fiery fire-engine red or Pepsi’s with its predominant blue.

In fact, if you look at their logos, you will see that both these companies have interestingly used their choicest colors to stand out and build their brand identity.

As per a research, “Color increases brand recognition by 80 percent.”

The point is: Big companies don’t simply wing it when it comes to choosing colors for their websites or products. Conversely, they are strategically chosen because colors, powered by different attributes, attract shoppers to the product or site. Not to mention, colors alter consumer behavior well.

Now, with the internet providing a level-playing field to all, not just big brands, every small and big website are significantly focussing on getting their websites colored in a correct way.

However, here’s the rub:

There are no fewer than 10 million colors that a human eye can witnesses.  I repeat 10 million colors.

So, with a million colors swarming before the eyes, I daresay picking and choosing that one right color, to form the base of your website, is not an easy job.

And, mind you, you cannot simply wing it as there’s so much at stake...among others, your website’s bounce rate, conversions and more depend on colors.

I know what you are thinking now:

How to pick the starting color (dominant color) for your website with so many to choose from?

Here, I walk you through simple tips and tricks on choosing the starting color for your website. 

#a. First off, make the most of what you already have. That is, use the color of the existing logo as your starting color.

Never mind competitor’s colors. In fact, you need to delete competitors’ colors from all your color schemes.

#b. Look at your target audience. The website color of an IT company will be diametrically opposite to that of a real estate company.  So, it’s paramount to think about the users who will be using the site and the kind of emotions you want them to go through while browsing your site. Should they be excited, serious and so on?

#c. Think of the words you frequently use in your conversations with regards to your brand. See, if you can connect those words with any of the colors.

Finally, stay away from stereotypes. If the website is meant for bridal wear, look beyond the white and cream shades. Because it is said that clichés tend to undermine your credibility.

Some of the colors you can start experimenting with include red, green, blue, pink, yellow, and so on.  For more ideas on website design and colors, consult top web design companies.

Now, let me elaborate in detail the above-mentioned three points for selecting the starting color of your website.  

  1. Let the Starting Color Flow from your Logo

Remember: The starting color of your website will be your brand color, maybe forever. So, choose something that your brand invariably associates with. A color that your audience fancies the moment they think of you and even nudges them to check your site.

Like, I mentioned before, the moment you think of Coca-Cola, nothing but a conflagration of fiery red floods your sights. If you think about it for a moment, you will realize that Coca-Cola’s starting color (popularly referred to as the dominant color) stems from its logo.

So, if you are finding it difficult to arrive at the starting color of your website, don’t worry and do just one thing: Go by the logo color.

Again, if this seems difficult for you, you can go by the other methods as well:

  1. Go by your Website’s User Demographic

If the logo thing doesn’t help, simply take a break from your web designing activities and reflect on your brand and the kind of customers you want to linger on your site.

Should they be a really young crowd? Or should you be targeting highly sophisticated ones with huge disposal incomes? Or should they be gender-specific - geared toward male or female? Or should you focus on a specific age group?

Also, what sort of emotions you want them to experience while seeing your site?

You need to find answers to all these and more, before narrowing down the starting color of your website.

You can also take cues from other websites and see what they are doing. Most often, sites tend to play safe and go by conventions. For instance, if you check an organic product site, subtle colors like light green, light blue and occur yellow are commonplace over bold colors like red, purple and black.

In short, consider the emotions and personality of your target audience before deciding the starting color of your website.

When it comes to gender, for instance, if your website focuses only on women, might as well go by their favorite color:

As you can see from the above images, blue is liked both by men and women. So, it’s one of the safest bets as far as your website color goes.

No wonder, most-visited social media sites like Facebook and Twitter use blue prominently in their logos and campaigns. But then, there’s nothing like one-size-fits-all in terms of a website color. It chiefly depends on the feelings you want to convey to your visitors.

  1. Connect Brand Associated Words with Colors

Think of the words you frequently relate your brand with. Then connect these words with various available colors.

Check out this color emotion guide to nail down the starting color of your website.

 

Tips to use the starting color on your website

There’s a general rule of thumb to follow when it comes to using starting colors:  

Use them only in specific spaces where you want your visitors to pay attention.

# Phone numbers

# Contact forms

# Signing up of a newsletter

Basically, starting color is supposed to be used in those spaces that need to pop out.

#2.  Choose Accent (Complementary) Colors

Once you have nailed down the starting color of your website, finding complementary or accent colors will become easier. However, as the name suggests, they are complementary colors and should not to be widely used in websites. So, use them only in your call to action buttons, quotes, subtitles, information boxes and more. These colors help highlight the attention-worthy parts of your website.

However, here’s the rub: Blending various colors is not easy if you haven’t understood the color theory well. And, who knows, you may have to go through several trials and errors, before arriving at your perfect accent colors.

Thankfully, there are color matching tools that help you decide. And these tools include Adobe Color CC tool and Paletton.

Tips to use complementary colors on your website

Accent colors are primarily used for highlighting secondary information on your web pages.  The content, though not important, has to stand out. Nonetheless, there’s a limit to using accent colors, max 1 or 2. If you plan to use many accent colors, it might create several focal points which might confuse the visitors.

#3. Choose your Background Color

Your website visitors should feel at home while browsing your site. So, bold colors most likely will have an opposite effect on them. And, even blase background could prove to be a bad choice as your audience might overlook the crucial points you want them to focus on.

But then, it’s also nice to choose your colors depending on your industry you belong to. For instance, if your brand is into cosmetics, you might enjoy a free hand in terms of choosing your colors. You can either experiment with either with subtle colors or opt for alternative bold colors. Bold colors like red are known to drive visitors in colossal numbers.

Tips to use background color on your website

# If you are running a content heavy website or an eCommerce website, keep your background neutral or use shades of white. This is because the focus should be on the content of the site. And a white background might just draw more eyeballs to your content.

# For a corporate website, you can try you using less intense shades of your starting color. Bold colors might overpower the other key elements of the site. The background color should stay in the background. It shouldn’t overwhelm the visitors.

# For sites that are into fashion, beauty, restaurant, and other similar industries, you are free to experiment with most of the colors. There is no actual rule of thumb to follow as to what background image or colors are ideal for creative sites. For all I know, you can use all the colors of VIBGYOR or create magic using black and other bolder looking colors. The only point that you need to bear in mind is that your color shouldn’t overpower the text.  Content should invariably be the king of your website. To ensure balance between colors and content, speak to the top content marketing agencies, directly.

Putting it all together

By now you know that you can’t simply wing it when it comes to website colors. You need to go by your audience tastes and liking, because that’s only the way to establish connections with your audience. More importantly, your accent colors should be carefully chosen and not randomly applied.

Follow the above 3 steps to create a beautiful color coordinated website. Also, don’t forget to use color combination tools if you are still a novice in terms of selecting complementary colors.

But then, always remember, colors shouldn’t overshadow the content. Never ever.

How do you choose the starting color of your website or product? Go ahead! Share your experiences below.

Author Bio: This is Jennifer Warren, a Content Consultant with GoodFirms, a review and research platform for eCommerce development companies, digital marketing companies among many others.  I enjoy humanizing technology through inspirational content, devouring best sellers, watching war movies, and running behind my sunshine sons.

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Ready to get Colorized?


What is fresh and crispy on the market and saves the day for every web designer ever? We are happy to present a brand new version of Colorizer - a tool developed by Paletton, a trending designers company with a set goal to make your work even more enjoyable.

 

What is Colorizer?

 

Colorizer is a widget for your webpage, ready to fancy up your site, making it super easy to combine colors and create the perfect palette for your online presentation. By knowing basics of HTML, CSS and Javascript, you can simply add the Paletton Live Colorizer code to your website, and let it generate shades of the color you choose, or custom create your palette for your web design.

 

This awesome widget is led by the idea that your website users can colorize their own table, template, flyer or graphic design, developing an interactive platform for your site visitors. The developers are encouraging you to get the version you like, and play with many features and possibilities this code is offering.

 

What Colorizer actually does for you is letting you implement the Paletton application (Color Scheme Designer) and share it with your target group. This means that everyone will be able to, very easily, create his/her own palette with the help of Paletton, and enjoy your website through exploring this feature. The users can simply preview the results and apply or cancel their design if they choose.

 

paletton

 

What Paletton also made sure of is that you are given step - by -step instructions on how to "install" this widget, or how to attach the code in your website. The knowledge of coding you need is very basic, and here you can find the guide for starting your colorized adventure, or links to try the demo versions.

 

Colorizer is currently developing its beta version, available for you to test it and play with the possibilities online. They have so far developed three versions of Live Colorizer and you can choose the one which suits your preferences, although we can say with certainty that this company won't stop surprising us with innovations and awesome ideas to develop their apps further.

 

Are you ready to begin your own Paletton road trip? Enjoy playing and exploring many options Colorizer is offering for you, and spread the joy with your readers and customers!

 

About the author:

Nina Petrov is an activist, poet, performer and mathematician. She communicates with the world mostly through words, movement and equations, but sometimes also by speaking very loudly. The only truth she could say about herself is that she keeps changing every day, never stops learning and interacting with her surroundings.

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Paletton - Color Theory Live


Remember everything you had to learn about color theory so far? Now you can finally sit back and relax, stop thinking about which shades work well together and which don't, because one app knows it all and works for you!

 

Paletton started off as Color Schemes in 2002, and it has been evolving through Color Scheme Designer, only to finally become what it is today - one app for optimizing your designer capacity by resolving all your doubts on adequate palettes. It was originally developed by Petr Staníček ("Pixy"), a Czech UI/UX designer, with the intention to be used by other designers. Petr is a designer, analyst and consultant, whose useful books on design can be found online, on his webpage.

 

The application allows you to mix and combine the shades for a perfectly packed palette from the spectrum. You can create palettes using one color (monochromatic), three colors (adjacent or triad), four colors (tetrad), or free style combination using as many colors as you desire. You can extract your palette by reading it's RGB from the website, and insert it straight into your design.

 

colorizer

 

Developed by Paletton

Even though we are super amazed by this cool software, this is far from everything that Paletton has to offer. Along with this color loving website, they have developed a widget called Colorizer - a simple peace of code you add to your website for every user to see and adapt the website palette as they find it most interesting. In the sea of tools developed every day in design world, Paletton Live Colorizer in its current beta version is a new, refreshing appearance, especially for web design. It offers a unique, interactive user experience, keeping your audience engaged and enjoying.

 

But, that's not all! Maybe you've heard of Colorpedia - a Wikipedia spin-off dedicated to all you can learn about colors, color blindness, color theory, complementary color scheme, color space and many many more. It is a developing trend, getting richer with information every day, for all of us who love exploring what we love in the color universe, learning new fun facts and useful skills.

 

Palette engine also allows you features such as presets and randomized palettes, and at this stage they also scheduled a mobile app for their users. Learning about new versions of Colorizer and Colorpedia developed by Paletton, we certainly could not keep this treasure discovery to ourselves! We can now say, without a doubt, that Paletton is something every designer will implement in its set of tools, and we are looking forward to many more features this talented team will develop! We wish you a lot of fun while playing with these fancy apps.

 

About the author:

Nina Petrov is an activist, poet, performer and mathematician. She communicates with the world mostly through words, movement and equations, but sometimes also by speaking very loudly. The only truth she could say about herself is that she keeps changing every day, never stops learning and interacting with her surroundings.

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The use of vibrant colors


Since we started hanging out on COLOURlovers, we talked about some colors more than others - the cultural identity of red, the appearance of blue in nature, an amazing combo of blue and yellow in many various examples. Today, we would like to explore our community's opinion on vibrant colors, what a vibrant color is and how to make any color look more alive. In this article, we are looking at most vibrant colors and how to make the best out of them in real life.

 

 

The first lesson we learned within this research is that the vibrancy of colors depends a lot on the type of paint/ink we use. When using ink, we can get the vibrancy of each color if we make it fluorescent. Among fluorescent colors, the color that stands out by how easy it is to recognize and spot, is most certainly orange, right next to canary yellow. The vibrancy of the colors gets increased by the UV part of the light, and in addition, you can combine it with black, or a complementary color.

On the other hand, if you take yellow or orange as a background, that would increase the vibrancy of other fluorescent colors - lime green, blue or pink. This combination of colors for increased vibrancy effects is telling us that the vibrancy isn't about the color itself, but mainly about how we perceive a certain image. An optical illusion is using this effect frequently, as the vibrancy of every color can be much higher than usual if they are at their maximum vividness (highest chroma form), combined with their complementary color.

Besides orange and yellow, a very interesting combination of colors is red with a green background. This composition creates a visual effect of the red object vibrating on a green screen, which confuses eye nerves that are reading this information.

Additional vibrancy effect can be achieved if we use the right composition of the objects in a design. If we lay red strips next to the green ones, the effect of vibrating image will be even stronger. Same goes for fluorescent color strips in between the strips of its complementary color.

Along with understanding the visual opacity and vividness of a color, to provide this striking impulse in an eye of a viewer we should also keep into consideration the right combination of colors and presence of UV / daylight in the image presentation. Even though this interesting phenomenon is often used in the optical art, it can be a valuable tool in adds (online, billboards, posters) design for attracting your audience.

What is your experience with vibrant colors? Do you have a favorite one? Tell us in the comment section below.

 

About the author:

Nina Petrov is an activist, poet, performer and mathematician. She communicates with the world mostly through words, movement and equations, but sometimes also by speaking very loudly. The only truth she could say about herself is that she keeps changing every day, never stops learning and interacting with her surroundings.

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Signomatic - Everything your design business has been missing


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Designs can enrich our lives in many ways. They can be useful, practical, interactive or beautiful. Smart designs are those that are giving us the best of these four worlds.

 

Signomatic is a UK based company specialized in sign design and production. They combine dulce cum utili  in a very contemporary and creative way - they create what everyone needs, while delivering a very enjoyable interactive experience.

 

Whether you need a roll-up banner, door sign or a name tag, you will most certainly find that their Design Page has the dreamy kind of interface where you can easily turn your vision into reality.

 

They really have thought of everything - their website gives you an incredible amount of options for a full experience and your absolute satisfaction. Starting from choice of materials (wood, plastic, aluminium), though custom size and shape of your sign, and various possibilities when it comes to fonts and colors, Signomatic team convinced us that a happy customer is their number one goal.

 

Whether you are already a design entrepreneur, or you are just starting off your career, signs with your brand will certainly boost your credibility and make you look trustworthy and professional. There is as much to a good exposure and presentation, as there is in a good handshake with a new client. Also, by investing in your own custom made signs for your office and your name tags, you are showing that you care about details, which is of huge importance in this line of work.

 

Custom made name badges - you know you want one. With over 3,5 thousand customer reviews, Signomatic five star rate proves their expertise in printing or engraving everything you can possibly think of. Their large library of sign examples helps you boost your creativity and upgrade your idea. Your signs should stand for your brand and be designed with the right style, elegance and trust.

 

On top of delivering great quality, Signomatic also cares for the environment, by offering you eco options for your sign design. Are you ready to level up your business with a sign? Why not start now? Explore Signomatic website to discover what speaks to your brand best.

 

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Self-Education: Trends in Graphic Design for 2019


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Graphic designers spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about the meaning of things. They ponder why and how this info can be used to help others in a visual manner. Indeed, the art is involved in the graphic design but not in the way most people think. They say the art tries to reveal the world of an artist, but the graphic design tries to help others.

So, here is the list of trends in in the design for the next year. You might ask how we have worked it out. The PaperCheap team did a lot of research, compared and evaluated different international companies’ logo, images, websites, animations that took over the world and sparked an interest across the whole planet.

There are more than just seven graphic design trends for 2019. But these are the main ones to look out for.

Typography

The first major design trend we are going to see in 2019 is a creative typography. It is the use of text and fonts in different compositions. It became a key trend a few years ago but we are definitely going to see more leaps and bounds in the next year. There will be more dripping text, serif typefaces that have things missing out of it.

Nowadays everything bigger and bolder is better. So, designers are going to use artistic effects and bold type for the headlines of their designs. Typography is all about the text that stands out and captures attention. It can be combined almost with every design technique you can think of or by itself and still stand out.

Double Exposure

If you think about the last few years, I can almost guarantee that the word minimalism is popping into your mind somewhere along the line. But double exposure is the exact opposite.

There is a continuing trend of it. We will continue seeing a rise in the use of double exposure more and more in 2019. Designers are not only experimenting with its effects for fun artwork. It is used in advertising and other areas of design as well. There are a lot of step-by-step guides to make you a double exposure photo or poster in Adobe Photoshop. So, try it out and be in trend.

The Particle Backgrounds

With cryptocurrencies and their blockchain exploding in 2018 we have seen a massive trend come about 80% of all cryptocurrency websites featured the particle background. Particle animation is a great alternative to the standard hero sections on a web page. This kind of elegant cosmos-inspired theme works fine in combination with solid color illustration and vector drawings, as well as with photos. The great thing is that animation varies. You can create a bunch of dots that move chaotically or a constellation where you can connect circles with thin lines.

80’s Pastel Patterns

We are sure you heard of the bright and colorful hues of the 80s and the 90s. Well, it is gaining popularity once again. As we move away from ultra-flat design, you can expect to see more geometric patterns inspired by the era of our parents. The 60s rounded serif fonts never go out of style too. There are and there will be a lot of big chunky rounded serif in graphic design. It is definitely one of those things that has a retro feel but also in a way it feels new.

Color

Pantone 18-3838 ultraviolet is the color of the future year. It is used to convey meaningful, empowering and inspiring messages to people. Also, the use of watercolors is more prominent. Watercolor adds a level of hand-done painterly, emotionally an evocative way to create images that really offset the kind of type and stripe. Watercolor creates a very fluid juxtaposition between the type and the design elements and the illustration.

Cinema Graphic

In the graphics world, everything moves towards motion and away from the static design. Cinema graphics is an image with parts of the image that are video. It can be a fresh coffee and steam coming up off it or clouds that are moving around the top of the mountain. It definitely adds a cool element to the website. Whether it is through your blog post or a page background, it will definitely be in style for 2019.

Vintage Ultra-detailed

Everything old is new again. The vintage ultra-detailed graphics is a combination of many hand-drawn fonts, curvilinear elements, and block-printed compositions. This trend has been out there for quite some time but it certainly is not going away.

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Grids & layouts


Layouts are there to keep us organized, mark where the elements should go, and bring the whole design together to a structure which looks good to the eye. Besides easing your life, layouts and grids can be used to create a unique personal design style, something that will have you stand out and become instantly recognizable.

 

When setting up the margins, integrating modules into columns and deciding on the size of the gutter, most designers use a snap-to-grid tool, which helps to see if your object is lining up with other objects in the design.

 

 

When designing a layout grid, you can either listen to symmetry, or go for asymmetric design. Symmetric design is always centered and columns are the same size, while the margins are equal to each other, so this is usually a safe way to go. If you are going for asymmetric design, then there are also some rules of balance which should be followed.

 

In developing the composition of your design, you would want to pay attention to the Golden Ratio, as it has been the alpha and omega for aesthetics since we know it. Another rule, very useful for both column layout and landscape, is dividing your design into nine equal blocks with four lines that intersect. The main object of your design should be placed at these meeting points where the lines come together.

 

If you are designing a publication, another example where layouts come very useful is to use them to adapt your pages to the bound of the book/paper, so you can make sure that by bounding the pages you don't loose any details from your design.

 

 

Why are grids essential for visual communication is best shown on Instagram nowadays. Users have been creating different layouts for their entire profile. They have been telling stories row by row, sometimes also themed by colors, creating a rainbow effect on their profile page. They've also been publishing content to create columns of photos and texts.

 

Even the margins play their role in designer's Instagram page. Content with borders makes a profile much easier to explore, so this segregation has definitely been revolutionary in social media. More complex style of a profile would be a collage - when your photos overlap, and here the margins play big roles, as what makes this profile beautiful is the composition and balance between images.

 

As we said in the first paragraph, layouts can be useful for creating your brand. If you decide to stick to your signature layout, social media is your absolute sidekick.

 

About the author:

Nina Petrov is an activist, poet, performer and mathematician. She communicates with the world mostly through words, movement and equations, but sometimes also by speaking very loudly. The only truth she could say about herself is that she keeps changing every day, never stops learning and interacting with her surroundings.

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Easy-to-do DIY techniques for decorating your phones


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Introduction:

From the advent of the 21st century, technology has been integrated into our lives. Even more so with the invention of the smartphones. Our smartphones have become an essential part of our lives. These days, they are like an extension to our hand. So, for the fashionistas, the phones should also match their style statement. Here we present some really cool and easy DIY techniques using which you can create astoundingly distinctive covers for your mobile phones.  

Embroidered Phone Case:

If you like handmade accessories then this technique is definitely for you. You can easily make an embroidered handmade phone case for your smartphone by just following these simple steps;

Materials:

  • Embroidery Floss
  • Embroidery needle (size 8)
  • Perforated phone case
  • Scissors

Steps:

Use a perforated phone case and print out a design template on it.

You can create any woven pattern you want either cross stitch or back stitch.

For cross-stitch, you can use the perforated pattern of the case to easily sew the cross stitch pattern onto the phone case.

In order, to make back stitch pattern consider 3 holes on the plastic phone cover i.e. 1, 2 &3. Now insert the needle from inwards and take it out at 1. Secondly, insert the needle at 2 and take it out at 3. Now, again Insert at 1 but this time pull it out at 3. Repeat this pattern creating equal stitches until the pattern is completed over the whole phone cover.

Decoupaging your Old Phone Case:

This one is another great technique of decorating your old phone case into a completely new and unique piece of art. All you need to do is follow these simple steps;

Materials

  • Leftover fabric
  • Decoupage finishing glue
  • Paintbrush
  • Transparent plastic phone cover
  • Crafting knife
  • Scissors

Steps:

First of all, take the fabric and place it on a flat surface.

Secondly, take the transparent phone case and brush the decoupage glue all over its outside surface of the phone case & remember to cover its sides too.

Now place the phone case onto the fabric and cover it with the fabric neatly by curving it around the edges.  

Wrap the fabric all around the phone case, pinching it until it sticks onto to the case properly. Apply more decoupage if needed.

Let it dry for several hours and after that trim off the excessive cloth using scissors.

At last, use the crafting knife to cut the holes for charger, lens, and buttons on the newly made phone case.

Pearl Case:

This one is an extremely easy yet chic piece of art for your smartphone.

Materials:

  • Transparent phone case
  • Pearls
  • Broach
  • Permanent Glue

Steps:

Apply glue onto the back of the transparent phone case.

Place the broach or any other jewelry piece at the left-sided corner near the bottom of the case.

Now add other pearls and beads onto the case in such a way that the whole case covered.

Let it dry completely for 5-6 hours.

Voila! Your stunning pearl case is ready to use.

We hope that you will be able to create some unique phone cases using these easy DIY techniques. Since you’re going to have a dandy phone now, be sure to install a phone tracker on your cell phone to keep evil hands off of it.

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The Power of Color in Branding


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Understanding the power of color in branding can be extremely beneficial to those devising marketing strategies for businesses both small and large. Color is primarily associated with aesthetics, and this on its own is already an important factor in branding. However, color impacts much more than cosmetics. It can also help brands establish their message, improve brand recognition, and even drive website conversions. In this post, we’ll focus on branding and go through some telling facts and figures related to the impact of color, its relevance regarding brand message and brand recognition.

 

Color matters and research focusing on its impact has unveiled that it actually matters quite a bit. Information compiled by Design Advisor highlights that a potential customer takes, on average, 90 seconds to assess a product; in that short time, color is said to account for between 62 and 90% of the decision to purchase or not.

 

In terms of specific products, the set of options available for purchase can heavily affect sales, as two-thirds of customers will not buy an appliance if it isn’t available in their preferred color. These figures give us an introductory picture of what’s at stake. Let’s move on to specific cases and explore different ways of using color.

Color and meaning

Color works as a metaphor and carries symbolic connotations. Think of all the times you’ve gone through color motifs in literature class or heard praise of a particular way in which a movie director constructed a color palette in their film.

 

Having said that, it’s worth noting that context matters. Different cultures think of certain colors in different ways, and individual memories and emotions also factor into interpretations. However, color psychology helps us understand the common ways in which color is interpreted and associated, as well as the type of feelings it can convey to the observer.

 

For instance, green is typically associated with nature and connotes feelings of growth and harmony. Notably, it is used by businesses that wish to establish an eco-friendly or ethical approach, and many food companies use it to help associate their product with healthy foods.

 

Black connotes elegance and authority, which is why brands such as Jaguar, Mont Blanc, and Yves Saint Laurent utilize it in their logos and general design strategies. Another common choice for businesses wishing to convey a sense of elegance and polish is white. White is more approachable, yet still associated with perfection, which helps brands such as Apple set themselves apart without alienating market segments.        

 

It’s good to keep in mind that although differences in preference between genders are not stark, men tend to prefer bolder colors and shades, while women tend to prefer soft colors and tints. Still, sky blue and green are most liked by both women and men, which makes them good options for unisex brands, in the markets where this makes sense.

 

Brand recognition and storytelling

Up until now, we discussed color and its meaning, with examples drawn mainly from logo designs. However, there is much more to it than this. As mentioned earlier, color accounts for up to 80% of a business’s brand recognition.

 

Brands rely on specific colors to establish their identity and ensure quick recognition by potential customers. For example, Facebook is blue, Netflix is red, and McDonald’s plays with a combination of red and yellow. The repeated use of certain colors in a strategic way establishes a connection between the color and a brand. Think of it this way: wouldn’t Facebook’s page look odd if its interface was a different color?

 

Many up and coming brands are testing impact and recognition factors by alternating the color they use in their ads and choosing the most effective one. Research indicates that the effectiveness of color in branding depends on how appropriate it is for the product being sold; in other words, whether the color used in the branding thematically “fits” the brand. Thus, it is key to think of a brand’s story and overall message, before choosing a color scheme to represent it. Heinz, for example, decided to change their scheme from red to green and experienced the largest sales increase in their history.

 

When utilized correctly, colors can be a powerful profit driving tool. Consumers are more likely to choose an easily recognizable brand, which means that increasing and improving a business’s presence through strategies mentioned above can lead to gaining loyal customers.

 

Final thoughts

In an increasingly competitive environment, businesses ranging from small corner shops to huge multinational corporations would be wise to dig deep into their chest of branding tools and use everything to their advantage. Color can act as one such successful tool for brands attempting to set themselves apart, increase the intensity of their brand message, or simply wishing to establish themselves as a recognized brand. Smart use of color is the way to go.

 

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How to Improve Your Small Business's Social Media Presence


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The only way to grow your business is to gain new customers. One cost-effective way to secure new leads is via social media. However, it's difficult to know where to concentrate your efforts for the best chance of success.

Social media continues to grow in numbers and frequency of use. Facebook has about 2.2 billion active users each month, and other social media sites are on an upward trend as well. However, just throwing stuff out there — whether on Facebook or another social media site — isn't the most effective use of your marketing time or dollars.

If you want to improve your social media presence, here are seven key steps you need to take as soon as possible.

1. Know Your Audience

"Know your audience" is good advice for nearly every type of marketing. It's the basis of figuring out where to have a social media presence and how to reach the specific demographic of people you most want to reach. There are many ways to improve your knowledge of your audience.

Start by studying your website analytics. Who visits your site? Where are they from, and what type of device do they use? Collect as much information as you can. Next, look at your audience on social media right now. You'll also want to study the audience of your competitors and poll your current customers. Collecting all this data and looking at it as a whole allows you to gain a pretty good picture of who your audience is.

2. Connect With Younger Generations

Once you have an idea who your typical customer is, take the time to figure out how best to connect with the younger generations. Millennials are one of the largest generations in history, starting to surpass even the baby boomers. Gen Z is right behind them and coming into buying power of their own. If you want your business to remain healthy far into the future, you must connect with those who will be customers for many years to come.

The younger generations want a clean, uncluttered look on your website. They also want to be able to connect easily with your social media channels. Include links on your page so that they can like your social media with a single click or two.

3. Stick to Your Color Scheme

It's important to choose a color scheme and stick to it across all your channels. If you use blue and white on your website, use the same blue on your social media channels. While you can change the look a bit, the page should still be immediately recognizable as your brand. Different colors evoke different emotions in people, so choose wisely based on the emotions you're trying to inspire.

 

Shopify has a green shopping bag logo, and they use this same color bag and logo across all their online presences. Note the green logo used on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and their website. The minute you land on any of these pages, you instantly recognize that logo, which is highly relevant to the shopping cart services they offer.

4. Measure Successful Campaigns

About 56 percent of businesses use social media metrics to track likes, shares and comments and figure out which campaigns work. When you see which ads perform best and which target audiences respond the most, you can use the money you spend on social media ads more effectively. The more information you have, the better. Part of this strategy goes back to point one of knowing your audience, but you also have to see the ways that audience performs on the specific social media platforms you're on.

5. Use Facebook to Reach Everyone

If you choose only one social media network on which to start, choose Facebook. The most commonly used social media platform is Facebook, boasting 79 percent of US-based people who are online. Even the rapidly growing Instagram is only a distant second place, at 32 percent of American internet users. While older generations do use Facebook more frequently than the younger generations, most individuals still maintain some presence on the social media giant to stay updated about family and friends.

6. Train Your Social Media Team in Customer Service

When consumers have a positive experience with a brand on social media, they're 71 percent more likely to recommend that brand to others. Spend time training your social media managers in your customer service philosophy, how to handle complaints and engaging with people online. The more positive the experience, the more likely people are to share information about your brand with others and expand your social media reach.

 

Adobe has a page on Twitter devoted to customer service called Adobe Care. Note how they respond to a customer complaint above. They apologize for the problem, let the customer know what's being done and offer a temporary solution. They also respond quickly rather than leaving the customer hanging.

7. Automate and Schedule Your Posts

Even the most diligent social media manager gets busy with other campaigns and misses a post here and there. Fortunately, some tools allow you to schedule ahead of time so that you never miss another timely post again. Automate posts by using apps such as Missingltr, PromoRepublic and HubSpot to automatically generate campaigns based on blog posts and fill out your calendar.

Some tools are free, and some cost a monthly fee. Use what you can afford, and as your company grows, invest in better tools that automate more of your processes.

Improve Your Social Media Presence

These seven tips generate a better social media presence for your brand. You can take several small steps on a daily basis that will improve your social media reach, such as adding vibrant photos, investing in video and finding your voice as a brand. With time, you'll gain more followers and drive more traffic to your site from your social media pages.

 

 

Lexie is a graphic designer and typography enthusiast. She spends most of her time A/B testing websites and creating style guides. Check out her blog, Design Roast, and follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

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