You will NEVER see me wearing the colors green and yellow together. You will NEVER see me wearing purple, either. Actually, I follow the same guidelines when I buy pretty much anything in the stores. If I’m looking for a particular item and it’s only available in those colors, then I’m not buying it. Heck, I wouldn’t even take it for free! Why you ask? It’s simple…
I’m a loyal, die hard, fan of the sports teams I like, and absolutely refuse to wear or buy anything that prominently features the team colors of their rivals (Well… MAYBE if I lost a bet). To some I’m sure it may seem petty, but I take this stuff seriously! I just can’t look at something featuring the colors of my most hated rivals and NOT think of them. I’m sure I’m not alone in this!
When I attended the University of Illinois, it was almost blasphemous to wear any bold color other than orange or blue. Think about it – that’s tens of thousands of people just in central Illinois with the same tastes and biases. I would be shocked if there were many stores in the area hoping to sell much maize (yellow) and blue apparel resembling the University of Michigan.
Sports loyalty is just one (extreme) example of how something as simple as the choice of color can affect the value or suitability of any given product. But it can serve a greater point. Ever wonder why a website may not have as many visits as hoped? Pinks, purples, and most pastels–even in small amounts–would be an obviously poor choice for a website designed for men (if I go a site and there are flowers and kittens, then I probably won’t stay long). Just like grays, blacks, and other industrial colors may be a poor choice for a website catered to women.
I don’t mean to be color biased, but it’s true to a degree, isn’t it?
In home improvement shows, we’re always told to paint rooms in neutral colors. Does everyone really LOVE neutral colors? I highly doubt it. But they don’t push people away. And in this instance, that’s the main purpose. On the flip side (using my previous example), if a site about the University of Illinois used all neutral colors and didn’t have orange and blue in it, it would be dry, bland, and unlikely to attract visitors.
It’s all about understanding your target audience and customers, even in regard to the colors you choose for your logo, advertising materials, and website. You want to attract as many people as possible and repel as few as possible. Many times it is easy and clear how to do this (like if you’re going to advertise in Chicago, then don’t make anything look like “Packer Central”). But other times it can be more convoluted.
How does a news website look bright and interesting, but not annoying? How does a company create an attention-getting logo without driving away customers who avoid certain colors?