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  • 1. What color is response? An inside look at how color improves — or hurts — your sales Carol Worthington-Levy Creative Director What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 2. Does color really matter? • How do people respond to colors? • Does color help people to see messages more quickly? • Does color help to emphasize blocks of copy or headlines? • What colors help to show off product in a photograph? What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 3. How can the right colors improve response? • When The Highlander went from this – black backgrounds on all pages… What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 4. How can the right colors improve response? • …to this – warm gold colors behind all type — their sales were up 400% - and order sizes doubled What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 5. How can the right colors improve response? • When Republic of tea changed this layout background from green to white and lighter tans, sales improved substantially! What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 6. Today you‘ll get some ideas about… • How color affects the way people… - see you - perceive you and - respond to your promotional efforts What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 7. Let‘s look at some examples • Check out these treatments and tell us out loud what the color means to you… What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 8. Remember this? • Back in 1977, when this was Apple‘s logo, the Apple was seen as a computer that gave users superior color output to a PC • What ELSE does – or did - the color mean to you? What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 9. The modern logo • Today Apple prides itself in its technical wizardry and business-friendly dependability • What does this more subdued gray/silver image — used for all Apple products— mean to you now? What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 10. Brand is more powerful with color • What company uses this color? What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 11. Which one is from the Tiffany website? C A B • What does the color in the shot do to add value? What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 12. A sophisticated brand piggybacks on Tiffany • Is this a good choice? Is the market the same? What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 13. Another color treatment WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU? • Who is this? What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 14. UPS ‗owns‘ brown now WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU? • This campaign started in 2002 and was retired in 2010 • Anyone know how they chose brown? (Trivia!) • Is brown an upscale color? Downscale? What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 15. Pullman brown doesn‘t get dirty! The brown color that UPS uses on its vehicles and uniforms is called Pullman Brown. The color is also mentioned in their former advertising slogan: "What can Brown do for you?” Originally founder James E. Casey wanted the trucks to be yellow, but one of his partners, Charlie Soderstrom stated they would be impossible to keep clean, and that Pullman railroad cars were brown for just that reason. What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 16. All browns are not equal • Which brown is ―warmer‖? • Warm colors are more inviting, more responsive, than cool neutral colors What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 17. Sometimes brown is just plain wrong • Brown may seem like ‗mother earth‘ nurturing, but in truth it still feels like dirt • Is that what you‘d look for or want in health care? In a car? What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 18. Can we use color to connect to our customer? • Customers quickly learn what various colors stand for if they are on-target… • Web logos are hitting us so often that we‘re connecting the dots between color and business What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 19. Yahoo purple promises us a fun and offbeat experience • We‘re so well trained that Yahoo is purple that we don‘t even need to see who this is from. What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 20. We ―train‖ customers with color • … so when I get this in my email, and the Yahoo logo is orange, I’m uncomfortable with it! Customers will wonder: is this a scam? We learn to trust colors intuitively when they‘re used consistently What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 21. Vocabulary: Color Value • Dark to light • The eye is 1600X more sensitive to value than to color • Our eyes gravitate automatically to higher contrast, even though we love color. • It’s the way our brains are wired Highest contrast medium contrast lower contrast What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 22. Colors in proximity affect how we perceive other colors • The blue box in each of these is the same color – but they look very different. • Our eyes adjust to the intense color around that blue box, and our brains think it‘s different! What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 23. Color Wheel • An essential tool for all designers • Very handy when you‘re choosing curtains, too! What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 24. When type is put against a background of similar ‗value‘, it‘s too hard to read! • The red type on the gold is illegible What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 25. Type in a color – even when it‘s bold – is harder for people to read • It becomes lower contrast – the further away from black it gets, the less the legibility! • Our customer ignores messages written in colors lighter than black What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 26. How do we increase contrast? • Think ―value‖ when you put two colors together, and look at them carefully. Is there enough contrast or are they too close in value? What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 27. Black always draws the eye best • Do you feel anxious in a yellow room? Does the color blue make you feel calm and relaxed? Artists and interior designers have long understood how color can dramatically affect moods, feelings and emotions. • Do you feel anxious in a yellow room? Does the color blue make you feel calm and relaxed? Artists and interior designers have long understood how color can dramatically affect moods, feelings and emotions. • Do you feel anxious in a yellow room? Does the color blue make you feel calm and relaxed? Artists and interior designers have long understood how color can dramatically affect moods, feelings and emotions. What•color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 28. Which is easiest to read? • And which is the least readable? • At first glance, the human eye always goes for the one with the most contrast, ignores the lowest contrast What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 29. What do colors symbolize? • Dark green and dark blue are colors that symbolize stability and authority — banking, high end real estate, investment What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 30. When does blue NOT work? • For food… studies have noted that blue is not a good color, no appetite appeal — proven to decrease appetite! • Far right is dog food – and it still is not appetizing! What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 31. Photography can be made better, or worse with carefully chosen color of props • Which colors look most appetizing? • Yummy! ecch! • Good rule of thumb – almost nothing looks good on grey! What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 32. Logos for restaurants must have both appetite appeal and brand/service appeal… • JUST looking at the color – which one says Beverly Hills? Which one says TexMex? Which one says worldly, exotic? What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 33. Too much of any intense color actually annoys the viewer • The bowl of noodles is not enough to make up for this visual onslaught What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 34. What do other colors symbolize? • Pure hues like cyan (bright blue) and red are playful, exciting and work well in children‘s goods, pets and entertainment What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 35. Colors can evoke emotions • Which colors look more appealing for someone looking for pet goods? What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 36. Too much blue • High intensity blue makes us look away • Reversed type reduces comprehension to only 10% of what it would be if dark on light • The little bit of red is not enough to offset this deadly site What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 37. Too much blue • Less intense blue, offset by the yellow • Note – the box ‗disappears‘ in the layout • Reversed out type • Incredibly – a reversed out coupon • Proof that all the money in the world can‘t buy common sense What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 38. Grey: subtle but effective if balanced with other color • Gray is subdued and can be elegant if the right gray… but warning: can also be dull and uninteresting What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 39. Elegance with interesting surfaces • Grey used as a silver can be festive and classy • Note how this has a bit of turquoise and blue to provide relief from all the grey • A little blue, a lot of silver – a good rule of thumb for color use What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 40. The grey palette is bigger than you think • Note how this gray has some color to it – makes it more interesting • A little bit of intense red offsets the large areas of black and gray – takes it from dull to interesting What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 41. B/W photography – does it work? • Black and white photography has mostly grays – and it too can be elegant if used the right way Financial Luxury real estate What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 42. What does light blue symbolize? • Light blues are optimistic – evokes blue sky, relaxation, water and cleanliness. What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 43. What about black? • Studies prove that type reversed out of black (white type on black bkg) reduces comprehension to as low as only 10% • It‘s even worse for websites — people simply do not stay to read! What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 44. Can black work well? • This is a high end product by VISA • Could this get mixed up with the AMEX Black (Centurion) Card? Your own look/feel/color scheme Is best for you to establish your brand What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 45. The right colors can make us feel cleanliness and freshness • Green says ‗eco‘ but blue says ‗clean‘. See how these logos fare in using color to send their message. • For cleaning service, which would you have the most confidence in? What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 46. Choose color to emphasize the prime benefit to highlight a service • But there are times when water and relaxation are not the message you want to convey: • Which plumber would you hire to take care of your plumbing problem? Which would you hire to design an upscale bath? Water design strength/modern dependable/service What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 47. What do colors symbolize? • Green= fresh, nature, environment… but it‘s not necessarily the right color for type or a logo! • Mid to light greens fare poorly in comprehension tests – green vs. black type What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 48. And if you love bright yellow… • Bright yellows — either on walls or as the background on a computer screen—are the most bothersome colors and are not calming or relaxing in any way. • Bright colors reflect more light, so yellow over-stimulates our eyes, causing strain and even irritability. What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 49. And now - about bright yellow… • Don‘t let this happen to you! What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 50. How do you know which colors to choose? • We‘ve just seen examples of colors that work and don‘t work • Let‘s learn more about why they don‘t work • And let‘s discuss colors that work well together – or not • After that we‘ll go over which colors work best for messaging What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 51. More helpful vocabulary Complementary colors • This is a color wheel • It‘s a great resource when trying to define colors that work together • Colors opposite each other on the color wheel are complementary colors • They balance each other out visually What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 52. Same values, complementary colors Merchandise • Makes the eye uncomfortable • Seems to ‗jiggle‘ or shimmer • Bad readership with good eyes • Terrible readership when there‘s slight colorblindness (8% of males cannot tell red from green) Merchandise What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 53. Complementary color scheme • This is a kind of complementary scheme • The blue is opposite orange on the color wheel • Balance: It doesn‘t take much of a powerful color like orange to offset all the cool blues What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 54. Complementary color scheme • This is more subtle but it is also complementary • The pale yellow with the dusty blue (a little bit lavender) offset each other well • This was a very successful redo What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 55. Complementary color scheme • Classic holiday mix of red and green • The third color – the gold – provides some interest and visual relief from the heavy green and red What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 56. Other color schemes • Analogous colors means they are very near each other on the color wheel • They can look great together but too much will bore the eye. They need a touch of a complement to make it work What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 57. Example of analogous color scheme • The tan, mauve and muted gold are very close in color and intensity • Why does this work? The background does not overwhelm the subtle color of the shirt – plays it up • Subdued color choice plays up elegance What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 58. Example of analogous color scheme • The yellows, golds and metallic gold all work to create a compelling, harmonious image • White gives the eye relief from all the warm color • Note how the logo stands out nicely What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 59. Example of analogous color scheme • Use of a photo with strong analogous colors makes this mail piece eyecatching • We play it up with a bright yellow violator in one of the darker areas of the photo What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 60. Example of analogous color scheme • This is for the holidays • Breaks out of the traditional and often overdone red and green • Snowflakes in orange background are festive – we don‘t judge it to be wrong because it‘s orange What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 61. Example of Monochromatic color scheme • Many versions of the same basic blue • Do you think this works to show off the printer and samples? • If not, why? What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 62. Example of Monochromatic color scheme • This is monochromatic using reds • Their colorful packaging shows up well here • If this were all a bright red, those packages would not show up What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 63. Primary and secondary colors • Primary colors are red, yellow and blue – which look great together • A secondary color scheme uses purple, orange and green – which also work well together What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 64. Example of a primary color scheme • This is a primary color scheme • NOTE that it‘s not just ‗out of the box‘ color – • The yellow is a subdued tint to make the site easy to look at What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 65. Example of a secondary color scheme • The warmth of the field behind her (orange, subdued) and her skin tones balance the violet red color and the moss green What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 66. Example of a secondary color scheme • Pale gold makes a nice field color for the navigation – it offsets the forest green logo • The redness of the cooked food is a color too – this is very different. While it‘s not violet, it is so different than the others that it works. What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 67. Example of a secondary color scheme • Green and orange work well with the Chili‘s southwest theme • Green does not surround the food, so it‘s still appetizing • Little zings of gold and bright red liven it up What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 68. Contrast by extension: which is more eye-catching? • Pink is essentially light red • The complement of that is green • If this had only pale green it would be boring • The dark green adds interest due to the difference in color and contrast (it is much darker) • If you have a lot of one color, and want some visual relief and balance, choose a complement and use just a little to offset it. What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 69. Contrast by extension: which is more interesting? • On the color wheel, the opposite of violet is yellow • A yellow green is very intense • The violet colors are subdued and quiet • So the addition of the lime green in a small dose offsets it, makes it interesting and well-balanced! • If you have a lot of one color, and want some visual relief and balance, choose a complement and use just a little to offset it. What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 70. Contrast by extension in action • A lot of red • White provides relief • We immediately tune into that little guy because the color is so different What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 71. Contrast by extension - in the real world • Microsoft‘s friendly clean blue frame has a little ‗zinger‘ in that ―Kodak‖ warm yellow/orange. • It doesn‘t take much to work well • Warm colors have more intensity to our eye than cool colors do What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 72. Too much Simultaneous contrast makes a layout ―vibrate‖ uncomfortably • Next time you think about using red and green next to each other on your website or catalog, for the holidays, think about this • People avoid looking at this because it is overwhelming What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 73. Alternative: try a different version of one of the colors: more muted, darker, etc • This uses red and green, but it‘s richer looking • Easier to look at, more inviting • More eye-catching because it‘s slightly different than the usual holiday fare What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 74. Too much color can hide what you‘re selling • When you surround the product you‘re selling with similar colors, it will disappear from view! • A sign of a great stylist is one who props with taste and restraint! What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 75. How to use color to emphasize • To make a product pop, there must be contrast in value and color What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 76. Contrast is the #1 way to get attention • Black and white are the ultimate contrast • As soon as you make something a ‗color‘ it becomes less dark than black – and less contrasty • Subtle color is wasted on many people – especially men. 7% of all men are colorblind. Contrast is what helps them to see and read better What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 77. Contrast – can‘t take your eyes off it • Full range of value and color What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 78. Low contrast – weak, uninformed • Pale colors against white don‘t read well enough to be comprehended. What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 79. Color and contrast/photography • Sometimes photographers and art directors take concept too far • Black gloves – gray stony background – dull and lifeless – plus nondescript • Can you see the ‗new‘ burst? • What would make that work better? What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 80. Color choices photography • Complementary colors can make a photo – and an ad or visual - pop What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 81. Color choices photography • Is this the color of excitement and entertainment you‘d get from a big screen TV? Yawn. What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 82. So let‘s try a few before we go… • What could they do with color to make this a more interesting or appealing site? What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 83. Let‘s try another… • What could they do with color to make this work better? What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 84. • Do these colors work? Why or why not? • This is about a service for entrepreneurs and startups in business • What would you do to improve it? One more… What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 85. Summary: How do you know which colors to choose? • Think of how people emotionally respond to colors, and find the best ones for your effort • Don‘t let your designer choose the ‗creative solution‘ that is not in line with colors that are appropriate • Think of how you‘ll use those colors, and concentrate on ease of reading and comprehension …if someone can‘t read it, they can‘t respond to it • Work on color BALANCE – warm and cool, dark and light (value) and so on • Never, ever just say yes to the first color combination you see. Try a few, find the right one! What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 86. Some additional sources for you zealots out there • • • • • Franklin Institute page on color: http://www.fi.edu/color/ A color contrast analyser – from Australia http://www.visionaustralia.org.au/info.aspx?page=628 Interesting tool for communicating about color http://www.colblindor.com/color-name-hue/ • This site helps you identify interesting color combinations that work well- and tells you why they work! • http://www.worqx.com/color/itten.htm • Colin Wheildon: Type & Layout, are you communicating or just making pretty shapes? http://www.amazon.com/Type-Layout-Communicating-MakingPretty/dp/1875750223/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1315337552&sr=1-2 What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com
  • 87. Questions? THANK YOU! Carol Worthington-Levy What color is response? Carol Worthington-Levy CWL@Worthington-Levy.com