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Using Color to Create Influential Design

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There is logic in using color to communicate ideas. Color is part of communication language and is used in strategic ways to fulfill a purpose. Communicators must plan carefully when using color. It is not mere decoration, but a vital element of design. Color can be used to create associations that can change a viewer’s perception of a message. In addition, color can be used to help organize, emphasize, and provide structure and direction to various elements of the message.

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Create associations and influence by using color

Color is perceived and interpreted on a psychological level. Human beings make associations about colors. Warm colors are reddish, while cool colors are bluish. Green means go, red means stop. Red can mean emergency, and blue can convey calmness or authority. Browns and greens are earth tones. Purple is a regal color, while yellow can be cowardly. These instincts we have about color influence how we interpret and receive communications.

Give Emphasis with Color

Color can rank messages in order of importance and can create hierarchies in the order that you want to convey your message. Darker type is usually seen first, therefore headlines may use more vibrant colors to emphasize the main point. Followed by grays and blacks for more detailed information. Color is also used to shed a spotlight on the elements that are more important in order to convey the message.

Color Consistency

Color helps to organize when it is used consistently and may become an identifying characteristic of a brand. The red hue that Target stores use is instantly recognizable even without logos or other branding elements. The company uses the red background consistently on their campaigns and the association of the red color to Target’s brand is almost as strong as their bullseye logo. Their advertisements are recognizable, which allows the message to be understood more clearly. Target has built up brand equity by consistently using color effectively to associate it with their brand.

Use Color with Purpose

Communicators use color to create influential design. Color affects people in an emotional way and can be used effectively to influence, emphasize, and remind audiences about your message or your brand.

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