The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Color For Designers

6/29/2017 12:59:00 AM

Color is a fascinating subject. Imagine living in a world without colors. The black and white life would be very boring. Colors fill our lives with happiness. Colors play a very vital role in forming our emotions and mood. Your health, your actions, your decisions are heavily influenced because of the colors around you. Colors represent different meanings to different cultures and different individuals. Colors, in itself, is a unique language. Bright colors instantly lift up our moods whereas dull colors may make you feel gloomy.
The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Color For Designers

Most of the time designers and business marketers fail to understand the importance of colors. Because of this, they end up facing a huge disappointment. Colors are crucial as it creates a visual impact in our work and communicates a message in a way that’s interesting but also effective. Research states that colors of the product are a major factor in increasing sales as many customers tend to select products based on their colors and attractiveness. In other words, the right (or wrong) colors can influence a consumer’s actions.

Why do designers need to give importance to colors?

Here are some reasons why designers need to focus on selecting proper colors for their product, business website, logo or card:-

1) Attracting People

Many of the most recognizable brands in the world depend on color as a basic and key factor in their instant recognition. Research states that 93% of the time, the visual appearance aka the color of the product is the leading factor in attracting consumers. Only 6% people pay attention to texture and 1% on the smell. Color helps in increasing brand recognition and gain customer trust by 80%.

2) Communication

Color is a form of non-verbal communication. Color is helpful in interconnecting your message to your audience because it draws attention, sets the tone of the message, and guides the eye where it needs to go. It presents a sense of direction and recognition that people can recognize and relate to.

3) Increasing Sales

85% of the people place color as the primary reason to purchase a product or receive a service. Between 62% and 90% of a subconscious judgment about a product within 90 seconds is based on color alone. Choosing the right colors can help in increasing the sales. Therefore it is very necessary to understand the color shades properly and execute it appropriately. 

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Color For Designers

Psychology of colors and color guides

For designers, it is crucial to understand the wheel of colors and the color relationship. Selecting colors for a particular product, clothing, website or logo is not a subjective matter and cannot be done by everyone. There is a definite and deep science behind this color theory and perception. Therefore, it is always advised to consider choosing the best experts while getting the information about colors. One such expert website that I know is Design Info. If you are a designer you have to check out Pantone Formula Guide Solid Coated & Uncoated, It is one of the best must have tool for designers and professional involved in the business of color consulting and color intelligence. With a variety of colors, shades, and tints; buyers are offered more than the standard CMYK and RGB colors.

Here are some things to consider while choosing the colors and preparing the design:

1) Types of colors

You should know what shade of colors you have to choose from. Here are some examples:

Hues - These are pure colors. They are not mixed with other hues or colors. These colors are usually used in preparing bright designs. If the client is looking for something youthful, jovial, summery, cheerful, energetic, cool, etc. this is what should be considered.

Tints - Tints are colors mixed with white. Tints carry a lighter, calmer, composed, more peaceful, less energetic feeling than pure colors and are usually considered more feminine. Industries like health, spa, beauty etc. might benefit from using tints.

Shades - Shades are darker as colors mixed with black. Shades can work well in mysterious, dark, evil or dangerous designs. They work well in gradients or tiles when used with either a pure color or a lighter shade.

2) Meaning of colors

Colors have different meanings. Each color represents something and has a message to give. Blue represents calmness, security, integrity, peacefulness, and harmony. Green represents freshness, nature, and environment. Yellow represents energy, caution, and cheerfulness. Red is a color represented differently in different situations. Sometimes it can state romance other times it can be a powerful accent color. With brighter versions, red can be more energetic and darker shades being more dominant and elegant. Purple represents spirituality and luxury whereas pink represents romance, love, beauty, innocence, and sensitivity. 
The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Color For Designers

3) Significance of Contrast

Using contrast is very important when forming a striking image. The important thing about contrast is that the foundations should be completely different. In contrast, dark colors are strong complements to bright colors. Improper selection of colors can create a bad contrast. Hence, you can use tools and color guides like Pantone for preparing the perfect contrast. Contrast allows designers to guide and control the attention of visitors who come to their products or websites.

4) How Much To Use?

Too much is always harmful. Use of too many colors is a common mistake done by many designers. When you use too many colors, you may end up conveying too many approaches or messages at once and may create confusion in the minds of customers. Customers usually tend to skip products with too many colors. Hence, it is important to know how much is too much. Professional color guides at Design Info will help you to choose the right amount of colors.


People associate colors with different emotions and meanings. As a designer/marketer, having this knowledge is important. With catering to more than 10 lakh customers worldwide, Design Info is Asia’s no. 1 and most preferred Textile Design Prints Studio. The team is experienced and extremely talented and produces the most premium & exclusive artworks for their clients. Their star color forecast book series Pantone has several designers across various industries to deliver the best.

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