Every successful blogger will tell you that blog design is an essential part of blogging success. That is why I keep tinkering with mine. Some will even give the mechanics of a good blog design (how to create a great sidebar, for instance – apparently mine is terrible by the way). But few seem to focus on the simplest design element of all: the color.
The theory is that there is a psychological effect for every color. Each color has a different effect on your mind and mood.
I’ve even read that colors effect your pituitary gland, which effects your hormone production, which would obviously effect your mood.
So if the theory is true, and you didn’t take the color of your design very seriously, is your design sending your readers the wrong message or putting them in the wrong mood?
Common Color Psychology:
Let’s take a look at what colors are widely accepted to represent:
Black is the color of authority and power. Popular in fashion for its “slimming” qualities. It is also associated with death, loss or grieving. Hence, black at funerals.
White is associated with purity and cleanliness – thus the tradition of white wedding dresses (even if you’re not so pure).
Red is associated with energy and stimulus. It is often associated with sex or anger (or angry sex?).
Blue is the opposite of red. It is considered to have calming qualities, which is why it is one of the most popular colors.
Green is also considered to be a calming color and is often associated with nature (or money ).
Yellow is cheerful and happy…like the sun.
Orange is widely seen as vibrant and fun. Kind of makes sense since it is a mix of red and yellow (red: energizing, yellow: cheerful/happy/fun).
Purple is often associated with royalty, wealth and sophistication
Breaking Down Reality Burst:
But assuming that color psychology is true, what message am I sending the readers?
This is a very colorful blog (if I do say so myself), but the two most prominent colors on this blog, in my opinion, are green and red. The header is green, and the sub-headings within each post are red.
Psychology or Symbolism?
There is a no-so-slight problem with color psychology in my opinion. Where does psychology stop and where does symbolism and cultural meanings take over?
For example, according to this chart, in Brazil purple is associated with mourning, while Europeans and North Americans associate the color with royalty. That’s quite the disconnect!
Or do we even need to separate cultural meaning from psychology? Psychologies of each individual human being may be different in relation to color taking into account the culture they grew up with.
So for me, green may be nature or money, but in Indonesia it is forbidden. And someone growing up in a country with blue money probably wouldn’t associate green with wealth as much as I would, right?
What to Do?
If you want to get so deep into blog design that you are using color psychology to pick colors, then you need to know exactly who your target audience is. Where are they from? What is their culture? What do colors mean to them?
In an ever-shrinking world, where connecting across the globe is easier than ever, picking the right color to match your audience is exceedingly difficult to do. It may be a smart move to scrap the idea of color psychology altogether, pick a color scheme you like (maybe your favorite football team) and focus on the structure.
Your Two Cents:
Did you take color psychology into account when designing your blog?
If not, and you had to do it all over again, would you?
Do you ever find your mood changing depending on what blog you are visiting?
Do you think color has anything to do with that?
If you are from Indonesia reading this post, how do you feel about my header?