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Get the message across with colour – Advertising tricks

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General, by Rebecca Greig

Discover the impact of colour choices in advertising and what messages certain colours convey

 

Get the message across with colour – Advertising tricks

 

Creating effective advertising imagery is the mark of a good designer, but there is a lot more to it than simply making pretty pictures.

Colours can play a strong role in whether an advert is successful in its goal of attracting an audience, and their effect can be immediate. “Printed advertisements are often seen for only a few seconds. This time should suffice for attracting attention and delivering the ad’s message,” says Dmitriy Glazyrin of Western Jack. “A proper combination of colours, shades and the overall composition help place the key highlights and focus on the main point [of the advertisement].”

The right colours can affect the impact of your designs, so it’s important to find out what message you are sending with each colour in order to create the most effective designs.

So we know how important colours can be, but how do you pick the right colours for your designs? Here we go through a selection of colours and the message they may convey to the viewer.

Get the message across with colour – Advertising tricks

 

Red: A hot colour that is often associated with fire. However, it can also be used to show that something is important or special (because of the Hollywood red carpet effect).

Get the message across with colour – Advertising tricks

 

Get the message across with colour – Advertising tricks

Orange: Part of the warm family of colours, orange is often used to show energy (think vitamin C and vitality). It can also give an autumnal feel in some tones.

Yellow: The colour of the sun, yellow lightens and brightens an image, and is associated with happiness, joy and wellbeing. It can make viewers think of holidays and relaxing.

 

Get the message across with colour – Advertising tricks

Green: Part of the cool family, green is linked to nature (think grass and trees) as well as environmental issues and being eco-friendly. Green is also the colour of money.

 

Get the message across with colour – Advertising tricks

Blue: Blue is a colour of contrast. It is a sad colour (‘feeling blue’), but it’s also associated with the sky, which can invoke feelings of limitless possibilities and dreaming.

 

Purple: This is a regal colour and is often used to show luxury. It can be a very rich colour when used in this sense, but pastel versions are romantic and spring-like.

Get the message across with colour – Advertising tricks

Black: Part of the neutral family, black is a strong colour that is often associated with both power and death. Practically, it is also perfect for logos and typography, as it’s not distracting,

Get the message across with colour – Advertising tricks

 

White: Think white and the usual visual images are those of purity and softness. It’s also very clean and sterile. White space is important in designs to give breathing space.

Get the message across with colour – Advertising tricks

Brown: This is a down-to-earth colour, as it makes viewers think of mud, trees, nature and wood, making it great for tactile or natural-looking designs.

 

Get the message across with colour – Advertising tricks

Grey: A colour that is popular as an alternative to white or black, especially for logos or typography, as it creates a more subtle effect. It can also look very business-like and professional.

 

Check out issue 137, for a behind-the-scenes look into Western Jack in our Studio Interview!

Issue 137 goes on sale on 9 July 2015