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What message am I sending with the colors of my site?

Just like the colors in your home, what you choose for your website can have an impact on how a person feels. As color guru Leatrice Eisman says in her book Color – Messages & Meanings: A PANTONE Color Resource, the usage of color is “a means of instant communication.” What is the message you want to communicate to your website visitors?

Is your site about action and adventure? If so, you probably don’t want to go with pale blues and light greens. These colors usually give the sense of calmness, serenity, relaxation, and tranquility. You wouldn’t want your customers to think that you offer nap-time while driving go-karts or bulking up during a fitness bootcamp.

Inversely, you wouldn’t want to use brilliant oranges and reds for a spa resort that claims to be good for stress relief. That would be counter-productive to what you want your audience to feel when they look at your website. The emotions that a color makes a person feel need to match the content you are putting online. Otherwise, you run the risk of damaging your business’ reputation without even saying anything bad with words.

Here are some great tips from Leatrice Eisman’s book:

When using text and/or graphs:

  • Limit text to phrases-simply stated and to the point
  • Maximize white space between points to avoid cluttered look
  • Choose a basic text color that best reflects the message […]
  • Changing the color of a word or phrase within the body of the text will make the word or phrase more memorable
  • Legibility is best served by contrast-light text on darker background or dark on light
  • White against a color can provide high contrast. […We perceive] white as a brilliant color.

To get a better understanding of the fascinating world of consumer responses to color, I highly recommend this book. In addition to the meanings of color, there are many sample color palettes at the end of the book using Pantone colors. That is one of the best ways to be sure that you and your web designer and printer are using the same colors.


You can purchase the book on Amazon by clicking here.

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