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  Web Design Color Theory Colors That Sell

Colors That Sell

image 1Color is a powerful psychological trigger. It creates strong emotions which can sometimes mean the difference between loosing or making that sale, so we need to know at least the basics of color.

We can start by looking at the associations people make with certain colors.


Positive associations:
Love, warmth, excitement, passion, food

Negative association:
Danger, anger.


Positive associations:
Power, professionalism, trustworthiness, calmness

Negative associations:
Boredom, sadness


Positive associations:
Nature, life, money

Negative associations:
Decay, toxicity, illness


Positive associations:
Affordability, creativity, fun, youth

Negative association:
Lack of quality, cheap


Positive associations:
Royalty, luxurious, fantasy, dreams

Negative associations:
Nightmare, craziness

Each color has negative and positive associations with them so you should use colors in your designs in a way that is not overwhelming and steers the mind of the viewer towards the positive associations rather then the negative ones.

Naturally you don't have to use one colour only to get a certain message across, you will most likely want to use a combination of colors or a color scheme.

Picking your color scheme:

You should be aiming to create a certain mood when picking your color scheme. Much of this is achieved by the color's saturation or in other words how bright your colors are. For example the blue you are using on a site for kids may be a lot brighter then the blue used on a site wanting a professional image.

Some tips to remember:

  • Your page should have one dominant color, with other colours drawing the eyes to particular areas of the page.

  • For a harmonious feel choose colors from the same family as your dominant color. Pick 2 or 3 colors in different shades of the same color.

  • For a brighter image choose complimentary colors - colors opposite each other on the color wheel, for example blue and orange.

  • Other useful tips:

  • Know who your target audience is. For example a site aimed at bargain hunters would want to use different colors to a site aimed at a wealthy luxury seeking audience, even if the product is the same one.

  • Pay careful attention to magazines, particularly the advertisements in them. They were created by professionals and you can learn a lot from them.

  • Learn to use colors right and it may just give you the edge you need over your competition.

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    About the Author:
    Author Suzanne Roman runs Art for the web, a site helping webmasters create their pages by offering free graphics. Subscribe to Art for the web's newsletter at to receive new articles about web design and graphics.

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