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What do colours do psychologically for your website?

The psychology behind colours

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Creating a website sounds very simple, but there is more to it than meets the eye. The use of colour is very important when designing your website. You have probably seen that colours have a meaning. Colours are often associated with emotions. Everybody knows that red is the colour of love, but there is more psychology behind colours. Why this is valuable to know before you start with the web design, we would like to tell you.

The psychology behind colours

Colours unconsciously evoke associations that can have different effects on the visitors to your website. It is of course very valuable to understand which colours have which effect. We explain the seven (7) most common colours and what positive and negative emotions and associations they can evoke. 


As mentioned before, red is the colour of love. But why? It stands for warmth and power and makes our heart beat faster. Red is a colour that evokes urgency and is quickly noticed, which stimulates us to take action. However, red is also a colour that we associate with danger and pain. Red in combination with a light or warm colour can evoke a warm feeling, but red in combination with a dark colour can evoke a dark and ominous feeling. 


Blue affects people more mentally and different shades of blue give a totally different association. In general, blue stands for reliability, depth and effectiveness. Light blue also often gives a fresh, cheerful and calm feeling while dark blue is associated with deeper emotions such as loyalty, wisdom, truth and faith. However, blue is also a cool tone and can therefore evoke negative emotions such as coldness, melancholy and sadness. 


Like blue, the colour orange stimulates mental activity. Orange is often associated with energy, cheerfulness, warmth and friendship. Moreover, it is a very accepted colour among young people. Orange is creative and often a safe colour to choose. Nevertheless, orange can also be counterproductive if used too much. Some possible negative associations are discomfort and restlessness. 


The associations with the colour black are very persistent and therefore black can be a difficult colour to work with. The colour black is the epitome of luxury and elegance. Both shiny and matt black give a feeling of status and wealth. In addition, black stands for wisdom and efficiency; very corporate. Of course, black is also often used as a symbol for negative emotions such as fear, sadness, anger and danger. 


Not surprisingly, but true: white stands for a certain peace. White is often used to maintain order and tranquillity. Not for nothing that the (background) colour of this blog is white. It gives a clean and hygienic impression. This, at first sight, beautiful purity can, when used wrongly, come across as empty, sterile and soulless. 


Yellow, like red, also grabs attention quickly. The colour yellow is associated with positive qualities and optimism. But self-confidence and creativity also go with yellow. In an environment, yellow is a stimulating colour. Yellow can be counterproductive if used too much in combination with people, as it is also associated with illness, weakness and imbalance. 


Green represents a certain balance and refreshment. Green is often peaceful and exudes a natural tranquillity. The colour green can be most easily processed by the eyes because it is in the middle of the colour spectrum. As a result, the colour green is rarely experienced as tiring or overwhelming. As a counterbalance, green can also be found boring, safe and demotivating. Like yellow, green in combination with people can also be associated with illness and weakness. 

Colour combination in web design

Maybe you have noticed that in a good web design one or two colours are always used as primary. In addition, one or two secondary colours are always chosen for backgrounds, texts and lines, for example. In order to determine this combination even better, it is advisable to characterise your brand. Moreover, this is an important part of your branding. In this way you can match your web design perfectly with your brand identity and target group. As this article emphasises, the process of choosing the right colours for a desired association is not as straightforward as it may first appear. That’s why we at Mediabirds are excited to use our knowledge and professionalism to help you with this! Curious how to get it really perfect? We’ll tell you about it in another blog.