When it comes to advert design, colour concepts are so important. Most people don’t realise how much effort and thought goes into the colour choices behind the adverts and logos they see every single day. The thing is, colour means something. It’s more than just a pretty look for an ad campaign; it’s got the potential to mean big things and make a big impact on people. Colour is influenced along the way by a target audience if a business is putting together a new campaign. For example, in China, businesses know that adverts containing red and gold would do better than green and bronze, as red and gold are both the colour preferences for the locals. It’s all worked on perspective and advert design and colour concepts can make or break a campaign from the moment it goes live.
Do you remember back in 2015, there was a photograph of a dress that divided social media all because of the differences in colour that people saw? It went beyond social media, too, with newspapers and news channels broadcasting the phenomenon that people could see black and blue – with others seeing white and gold. It was all down to the perception of light and colour, of course, but it does prove that colour has a very powerful effect on the viewer, and it’s for this reason that you need to really consider your colour concepts in your advertising campaigns.
No matter what you are promoting and to whom, you should put colour first and foremost in your ad campaign priority list.
Choosing Colours for Your Brand
Picture your favourite fast food restaurant in your head. Do you think of the tables on the inside? What about the menu? We’re going to have a guess and say that the first thing that springs to your mind is the feeling of “yay” when you’re on your way to get your favourite meal. Next, the logo appears in your mind’s eye and you put the two together to create the warm image of your favourite restaurant.
Most people aren’t aware of it, but colours greatly impact the way that customers perceive a brand. Think about the success of McDonalds. Everyone can identify the classic Golden Arches (though they are more yellow now) and red banding. People instantly know their colours because they are bright, imposing and in your face and as McDonalds sells fun and food, the colours suit the message. You can’t miss who they are. When it comes to your own brand, it can help you to know the colours that will fit with the message that you are trying to convey.
Let’s take a look at some popular colours used for advert design and discuss how they may be used. This can give you some idea of what to expect.
Blue is a popular advertising colour and it’s likely that you can name several brands with blue in their colour concepts. It’s most appropriate when it comes to selling frozen goods, given that blue invokes the feeling of cold and ice. It also makes people feel soothed to look at it, creating a dependable brand colour scheme. As corporate businesses like to impose this image, blue is often used to put it across – the police do it very well and are known as “the boys in blue” because of this logical and efficient colour.
- Brand Examples: LinkedIn, Facebook, Halifax, American Express, Twitter, Tiffany, Microsoft, NHS
You’ll notice quite a few large companies choose red as their colour for advertising and logos, and there’s a good reason for it. It’s the second most popular colour after blue and it’s used because of the way that it signifies action. It’s got a masculine perception and is used for adverts that target male products, but it’s also used because there is a little defiance behind it. Rebellious and innovative businesses choose it to stand out!
- Brand Examples: BBC, Pizza Hut, Heinz, Lego, Nintendo
Most often used for creativity, optimism, friendliness and fun, yellow is a bright, strong colour that grabs the attention and really sells a message. It’s a warm colour, too, so it suits a variety of advert designs.
- Brand Examples: Nikon, Selfridges, McDonalds, IKEA
Companies that care about freshness, health and vitality use green colour concepts in their advert design. As we move into a world of eco-consciousness and “reduce, reuse, recycle”, more and more companies choose green to advertise their business. It shows that they care about the impact that they have on their customers and on their surroundings, and green is perfect if a company has elements of the environment or nature within it.
- Brand Examples: Holland & Barrett, Specsavers, Starbucks, Greenpeace
Colour in Advertising
The colours that you choose have a direct impact on the way that your advertising is received. You want to make your audience feel a certain way and that means that you need to look beyond what you offer and more into how you offer it. So, if you want to sell something for a charity, using emotional connections through colours that emphasise sadness is important. If you want to sell something as “fresh, clean, new”, you might think about how green will shift the mood of the customer.
Colour concepts are important when you arrange your advertising, so think about your target audience and then move to choose colours that will directly influence them. Choosing to sell something FAST is going to be red, for example, to put across the urgency you are feeling when you sell it. It will create a sense of urgency in your customers, too. Many companies use red for their call to action, too, as it stands out from the rest of the page. Warmer colours like yellow and orange can ensure that the audience feels optimistic, happy and excited, which is why it’s a wonderful colour for advertising fun and holidays.
Consider things like the gender of your audience, too, as it does play a part. Women lean toward the warmer shades and colours that have white added, where men will prefer darker shades. Knowing this gives you the chance to tailor your brand better.
Understanding your audience counts a great deal when you want to sell to them, and you can do that and learn the right colours to impress with your advert design.