Monday, 25 May 2015

Using the right colors for your Signs

“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for.” - Georgia O'Keeffe.

Do you know why inkblots, colors, shapes and sounds play such an important role in psychology? It’s because the human mind reacts instinctively to them and this subconscious reaction affects conscious decisions, choices and actions. Colors can influence a potential customer’s purchase decisions because they are influenced by the colors they see in advertising promotions. That is why large corporations spend vast amounts of money researching how they can use colors to increase their sales. As a small business, you can’t afford to do this. But following a few basic rules in the choice of colors used in your signage can make your business or retail establishment more appealing to the people who see it.

Use the right combinations

The key element of an effective sign is visibility. Using the right color combinations can enhance this. Using contrasting colors – a light colored font on a dark background or vice versa – will make the sign stand out and catch the eye. Keep the background simple and go easy on the graphics – these may look nice but they can distract from the message that the sign is meant to convey. Keep the fonts simple and legible and do not try to cram too much information in a limited space. If reading a sign becomes an effort, people will stop reading before they finish absorbing the information on it.

Choose the colors carefully

You may have color combinations you are partial to or those that are associated with your business. These may be the ones that you want to use on your signs. While doing this, keep the following common psychological reactions to colors in mind and modify your color usage accordingly:-

  • Warm colors tend to make people feel more relaxed. If you want customers to spend more time in your office, shop or restaurant, use a palette of colors that includes reds, oranges and yellows.
  • If you want your sign to immediately attract eyeballs, yellow is among the best options.
  • The signature color for your business that you use in your signage should be appropriate for the commercial activity you are engaged in. For example hot pink will not work for a hardware store. That being said, electric greens, strong reds, bright pinks and blues are among the most attention grabbing colors.
  • If your sign aims to convey professionalism and elegance, black on white is always a good option.

Colors that Corporates use

  • Yellow is associated with “happy feelings.” That is why McDonalds uses it.
  • Blue is associated with confidence. That is why IBM uses it.
  • Pink is a feminine color which is why Victoria’s Secret uses it.
  • Orange denotes joy so Dunkin Donuts uses it.
  • Purple is for fun, mystery and wisdom so Hallmark uses it to indicate what their cards convey.
  • Green is associated with health so many health related companies use this color.

While colors are important, so too are the type of signs used for a specific application - the size, the materials, the fonts, locations, etc. You know your business best, but signage is a specialized field where you may not have the knowledge required to ensure that your signs are as effective as possible. The right way to maximize the effectiveness of your signs is to have them made by a professional signage company that will understand the complexities and combine their expertise with your inputs and preferences to create signs that work for you.