Color and emotions
Color is considered emotional, because variations evoke different emotions in people. We all know that green is the color of money and of nature, but did you also know that green can symbolize greed, envy, and jealousy? The colors you choose will have a direct effect on how the public perceives your company or product. This can be complicated by the fact that our use of color on the web is now limitless: technology allows us to create millions of color combinations. So how do you choose?
It’s important to understand that every color has a positive and negative set of emotions associated with it, what I call the “color meaning”. It’s this meaning that will affect your readers’ emotional response to your blog. So when choosing color schemes for your blog, you need to make sure you’re presenting your blog or brand with a color that will most likely encourage reader’s to choose your blog to read.
It’s also important to note that your color choices can present challenges to the visually impaired.
Blue, green, purple, turquoise and silver are cool colors. Cool colors tend to have a calming effect on readers. Used alone however, these colors can have a cold or impersonal feel, so when choosing cool colors, it may be wise to add a color from another group to avoid this.
Red, pink, yellow, orange, purple, and gold are warm colors. Warm colors tend to have an exciting effect on readers. However when these colors are used alone they can over-stimulate, generating emotions of anger and violence. When choosing warm tones, adding colors from another group will help to balance this.
Brown, tan, ivory, gray, black and white are neutral colors. Neutral colors are a great selection to mix with a cool or warm palette. They are good for backgrounds in a design, and also tend to tone down the use of other more overpowering colors. Black is added to create a darker “shade” of a primary color, while white is added to create a lighter “tint”.
Making color choices for your blog
Choosing color is more than just picking what feels good to you, it is about creating a response from readers. By knowing your target audience and the effect that different colors can have, you gain a greater ability to determine what colors will work best for your reading audience.
Color selection tools
Color wheels have been used for a long time but they are much easier to use today. Color wheels have been used for a long time but they are much easier to use today. Check out this resource visibonecolorlab which lets you choose from the 216 color browser-safe palette. Here’s another color wheel and has a cool hovering tool that allows you select colors and then shades. And here are two more color tools you can use as well.
Aside from making your site accessible to visually challenged readers, including those who are colorblind, did you know that:
- An accessible website is more likely to be ranked well with the search engines than an inaccessible website;
- By designing a colorblind accessible website, you are also targeting PDAs, 3G phones, and similar technological devices that are used for web access.
- Color blindness (color vision deficiency) is a condition in which certain colors cannot be distinguished, and is most commonly due to an inherited condition. Red/Green color blindness is by far the most common form, about 99%, and causes problems in distinguishing reds and greens.
- Another color deficiency Blue/Yellow also exists, but is rare and there is no commonly available test for it.
- Depending on just which figures you believe, color blindness seems to occur in about 8% – 12% of males of European origin and about one-half of 1% of females. I did not find any figures for frequency in other races. Total color blindness (seeing in only shades of gray) is extremely rare.
- There is no treatment for color blindness, nor is it usually the cause of any significant disability. However, it can be very frustrating for individuals affected by it. Those who are not color blind seem to have the misconception that color blindness means that a color blind person sees only in black and white or shades of gray. While this sort of condition is possible, it is extremely rare.
Colors and browsers
Readers use different monitors, different browsers, and different operating systems. It is nearly impossible to ensure that your colors come across the same on every computer as well as in print. Don’t be overly concerned with the differences on varying computers, but do try to be consistent.
What is the trend in browser usage?
Browser use web statistics and trends provide important information. From the statistics you can see that Firefox and Internet Explorer are the most common browsers. Note that the 19.6% who are using IE6 will always have problems as IE6 is a problematic browser.
Cross browser compatibility tools
It’s important to check and see how your blog displays in various browsers and there are online tools that you can use to do this:
I have previously posted a thread on this to The Blog Catalog forum that received over 200 comments and these were the questions I asked:
(1) Which colors do you use on your blog?
(2) Why did you choose them?
(3) Which color tools did you use to make your selections from?
(4) Did you check your colors for cross browser compatibility?