Why Twitter is Blue and Evernote is Green – How to Choose Your Colours

“Man needs colour to live, it’s just as necessary an element as fire and water,” – Fernand Leger

Whether edtech, healthtech, fintech or games, your choice of colour is no less important than the choice of music in a Tarantino movie. It might not jump out as the most important element, but it really does set the scene and the unconscious impact is huge. When you think about it, the colours you use in your tech are almost as important as the functionality. They create the entire character of your product. And they’re most important because:

We buy and download on impulse

With tech, especially with apps, people make decisions on impulse.  To download or not to download, it’s not so much a question most people ask themselves as a feeling they follow. And colours have a huge psychological impact on the feelings of us all – far more than we even realise. Take a look at your favourite apps, your favourite programs and websites. See how vibrantly they use colours. Part of the pleasure of playing Angry Birds is the vivid world of colour we are taken through, and all the pleasure sensors in the mind those colours hit. Think Facebook and Twitter are blue by chance? Think Evernote was chosen to be green on a whim?

The emotional impact of colours

Colours have a huge unconscious impact on our emotions. Take a moment to picture the bright blue of a clear summer sky. Just visualise it. Don’t you start to feel instantly more relaxed, calm, tranquil, fresh and trusting? Ever wonder why Twitter is around that shade of blue? Now, change your image to a deep, rich blood red of a Hollywood red carpet. Can you notice a feeling of excitement rising? Like something fun is going to happen? YouTube chose red for a reason! And finally, picture the green of freshly cut grass on a brisk spring day and notice feelings of peace, health, growth growing in you. Just like the green of Evernote.

Here is a terrific infographic from BufferApp showing the emotional impact of colours and some leading brands that use them:

Colour Emotion Guide

Your safe option with colours – copy success

In true Darwinian fashion, the colours chosen by the world-leading brands helped them get to the top, whether it was an intelligent choice or simply blind luck. You can be sure that when it comes to colours, it’s not wise to try to be completely original. Save the originality for your tech product’s functionality and features. But with the colours, why not use the proven ones that work!

Check out this massive study and infographic by Cargo Collective on the colours used by the top 100 brands of the world today. Here’s a snippet showing the most common colours in media (including social media) and the tech sector. We can see that blue wins the day by a long shot. Presumably because it inspires such a strong feeling of trust, and with social media and tech software on our private devices, trust is very important! Next comes black, which also inspires trust – trust in absolute professionalism and competence. In power, credibility and strength. A very strong no-nonsense colour. Great for fintech. And third most successful is red, which is a powerful exciter, galvanising people to take action. Now!

How to combine colours well – don’t leave it up to chance

I’ll assume the Hipster on your team is a master of colour co-ordination already, but just in case, here are 28 groovy tools to help you combine colours in the best possible way, for a colour scheme that makes your users love you and hit that download button.

28 Colour-Choosing Tools

What colours are you thinking of choosing?

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