In articles to come I will be covering different elements that designers need to consider when designing for a large market. These will be shapes, fonts and colour. For now Ill discuss colour and how it appeals to the masses.
According to the research done by Kissmetrics, smell counts one percent of purchasing decisions, six percent is texture and 93 percent is appearance. 85 percent of shoppers place colour as there primary reason for purchasing a particular product. So it’s safe to say the colour increases brand recognition by 80%.
Colour is one of the most powerful design tools we have but it is not read the same around the world. Cultures have different interpretations of colour and tone. For example: it’s very uncool to wear white at a Chinese wedding as it symbolises mourning. This is why it is extremely important to do your homework during the planning stages of design.
Below is a list of colours and there general interpretations by consumers:
Youthful often used to get the attention of passing shoppers
Urgency increases hart rate.
Often seen in clearance sales
Creates a sense of security, stability
often used by banks, insurance companies and corporations
In Iran blue is the colour of mourning
Healing and nature
Associated with wealth
easiest colour for the eye to process
used to relax in stores
People relax more in green rooms
Call to action
Romantic feminine soft.
Used to market women’s products
Powerful, strong stern,
used to market luxury.
Used to sooth and calm
Used for anti ageing products
In Thailand purple is worn by widows.
Colour also has the ability to attract specific types of shoppers and change shopping behaviour. Red, orange, black and royal blue are usually used for impulsive buyers. Whereby navy blue and teal are used for budget shoppers. Pink, sky-blue and rose are suited for traditional buyers.
In the food industry colour is extremely important and equally easy to decipher. When we look at large food companies like KFC, Mc Donald’s and Coke, they have one thing in common and that is the colour red. This is no coincidence as red is an appetite stimulant. Blue on the other hand is considered the least appetising of the colours and that is probably because there are very few blue natural foods.
Obviously I don’t expect designers to follow colour rules exactly, but understanding what colours may mean in your industry is vital. And if you are going to break the rules, do so knowing them well. In fact doing so, will make for awesome work, but I must warn you that this is extremely difficult. A good example is Subway who have successfully broken away from the typical red food branding and have used the colours green and yellow in a fresh way. Many have failed with this combination as it can look like vomit when used wrong.
Creative’s have to learn how the consumer reacts to certain colours, shapes and fonts. The dynamics of consumer behaviour can only be learned through constant research. I often say “to further understand the client you have to attend as many marketing meetings as possible”. It makes no sense receiving a brief without knowing the research behind the project.
Is the understanding of colour important in your industry?