Life has different colours, shades, or palettes for everyone just like a box of crayons of different colours evoking different emotions and communicating different feelings for each person. That’s how powerful a box of crayons is --- the colours to be exact.
Colours are an effective medium to convey messages. It can even create a lasting impression. When used accordingly, colours can trigger the desired emotion and improve lead conversion.
As a business owner and marketer, it is crucial to consider the impact of colour on your business. It can make your brand stand out or lose out.
Thus, it is important to really understand how colour affects advertising, as well as, how it affects your life, and the lives of your prospects and customers to be able to use the right colours for all your marketing efforts.
So today, we will look at the importance of colours, understand the theory of colours, and learn how to use the right colours in images. We will also look at three tools that can help us in knowing which colours work best, specifically, in promotional ads.
The Importance Of Colour
Colour is everywhere. It dominates our surroundings and plays a vital role in the world in which we live.
Simply, colour can sway thinking, change actions, and cause reactions. It can soothe or irritate eyes, raise blood pressure, or even suppress appetite.
Similarly, colour plays an important role in business. The colours used in a product, website, business card, or logo cause powerful reactions. The key is you want the right reactions.
But you will only be able to get the right reaction if you use the right colours and you will only be able to use the right colour combination if you understand the theory of colour.
Understanding The Basic Theory Of Colour
Colour may seem like a trivial matter but it actually influences people’s perception of your business. It indirectly affects your advertising conversions and revenue growth.
So, whatever you do, whether branding, creating graphical content for blogs or social media, or images for promotional ads, it is very important to understand the basic theory of colour.
You need to be able to use the right colour combination that conveys your brand’s message to the audience through your logo, website, business cards, or promotional ads.
You can achieve this goal by understanding the basics of colours such as the types, schemes, and meanings.
In primary school, you may have remembered that there are three types of colours: primary, secondary, and tertiary.
The primary colours are actually mixed to make the secondary colours. The secondary colours are then mixed to make the tertiary colours.
That’s the main thing you should remember when it comes to matching the right colours for your brand.
When choosing the colour for your brand, start with the primary colour first, then, match out based on that primary colour.
Colour Wheel & Colour Schemes
To fully understand the basic theory of colour, let us take a look at the concept of the colour wheel.
A colour wheel is an illustrative model of colours in a circle. It is just a wheel broken up in how colours are aligned with each other. It basically shows the relationship between colours and is definitely helpful in determining the perfect colour combination.
The colour wheel helps you determine the colour scheme that is pleasing to the eye. You can either go for complementary, monochromatic, analogous, or triadic colour schemes to name a few.
The Complementary colour scheme is composed of two colours opposite to each other. This colour scheme gives a high impact and high contrast combination. This combination will appear brighter and prominent.
Monochromatic is composed of three shades, tints, and tones of one base colour. This combination gives off a harmonious look.
Analogous is composed of three colours sitting side by side on the colour wheel. Though a versatile combination, it can be overwhelming.
The Triadic colour scheme consists of three colours evenly spaced on the colour wheel. This colour combination gives off a bold and vibrant sensation.
These colour schemes will help you find the matching colours that can blend together to make an awesome image and help you create that reaction or those actions that you are seeking from your customers to do.
Meaning of Colours
Another thing you should bear in mind when choosing the right colour for your brand and your promotional content is the meaning associated with them.
As a business owner or marketer, it is important to be aware of the colour meanings to help you choose your brand colours wisely to be able to stir up the right emotion to the target audience.
- Red is typically associated with love, blood, fire, power, energy, and passion. But it is also associated with anger, aggression, and violence.
- Yellow is usually associated with sunshine, joy, optimism, bloom but also associated with caution and jealousy.
- Blue is mostly associated with integrity, loyalty, intelligence, and peace but sometimes can mean detachment or coldness.
- Green is for health, growth, renewal, and money but can also mean greed and poison.
- Purple is connected to luxury, royalty, and wealth but also connected to cruelty.
- Orange conveys energy and creativity but can also convey loudness.
Depending on how much of the colour you use and in what theme you use the colour can convey different messages.
It is likewise important to note that certain colours have a certain element within some cultures or countries.
- In Japan, Yellow is connected to courage.
- In most Asian countries, Red is linked to marriage and prosperity.
- In most countries, Blue is considered a masculine colour. But in China, the colour blue is for little girls.
So if you plan to have an international brand, make sure you understand the cultural differences.
Picking The Right Colour
If you are able to pick the right colour for your brand that not only attracts the eyes but also tells a message subconsciously to the people, you are helping your business grow, especially in terms of sales.
This is the reason why most restaurants use Red to induce appetite and banks use Blue to induce trustworthiness.
Here are the ways on how you can effectively choose the right colour combination for branding or promotional ads.
1. Pick a primary colour
When choosing the right colour, it is best to pick a primary colour first. Then, start looking for the perfect colour combination from the primary colour you choose using the colour wheel.
As a general rule, business or brand colours for your website, flyers, logos should be aligned to the culture you want your business to be or with the emotion that you're wanting to draw across in your promotional ads.
So with this, you may want to check back the different meanings of colours and see which best fit for your business.
2. Pick a secondary and tertiary colour
Now, this is where the colour wheel really starts to show its power. As a general rule, don't use more than three to four colours when deciding on your brand or ad colour palette.
You choose what colour scheme you should use based on your primary colour.
3. Align colours with cultural themes
When choosing colours for your promotional ads, social media posts, blog posts, you can align them with the cultural themes aside from the brand’s colour scheme.
So, during Christmas, you can use red or green to indicate the festive season. On Valentine's Day, you can also use Red which is for “I Love You”.
4. Study the countries’ culture
Culture can have a factor in your overall advertising. Thus, if you are dealing with other cultures or running an ad into the other parts of the world, make sure you take time to understand their culture so as not to relay a different message through your choice of colur.
Easy-To-Use Colour Matching Tools
Now, while you can match the colours on your own based on your instincts and taste, as an owner or marketer who has a lot on your plates, you need to do things as fast and accurately as you can.
These three colour wheel tools are very simple and quite easy to use. All of them operate pretty well the same though they somehow have different wordings. It’s up to you to determine which is best depending on your needs.
1. Adobe Colour Wheel
Adobe Colour Wheel can be used to generate a colour palette for Adobe products like Photoshop, Illustrator, and Fresco.
2. Canva Colour
Canva Colour Wheel can be used by those who prefer Canva in creating their graphical content or promotional ads.
Paletton is also a good colour scheme designer that shows you the different shades or tints of the colour combination you choose as you move along the wheel.
The best thing about using these colour wheel tools is you can automatically determine the right shade or tint for your palette through the hexadecimal codes shown when you move around the colour wheel.
Colour is very important when it comes to building a brand. It is what empowers your brand’s identity, delivers the desired message, boosts sales, and increases your brand’s recognition.