Colors: Effects, Usage and Tips

Colors play one of the most important roles in the area of communication design. This blog post is about how we can use colors cleverly and what effects colors possibly have. As it is often the case in life, the following guiding principle applies to colors: Less is more! 

Colors can emphasize, and carry meaning, as well as show structures better and increase comprehensibility. If they are used in a targeted manner, they can direct the audience’s attention to the essentials. For ensuring the best possible use of color, we’ve collected some tips below.

Choose Colors with Logic and Connection

For better understanding and directing attention, it is a good idea to work with colors. With the targeted use of (for example) signal colors, you can quickly categorize facts. For example: important vs. less important or belonging together vs. opposite. In addition, relationships between individual pieces of information can be successfully and more precisely illustrated. Colors create an atmosphere and are an effective way to take desired messaging to the next level.

Use Contrasts: Design Medium for Emphasizing

Design Farben Wirkung Einsatz und Tipps Communication Design

Contrasts can highlight important content – the greater the difference between the colors used, the more the highlighted content will be emphasized. Also, the background and foreground should be as contrasting to each other as possible to provide the best readability. An Example: Black or dark blue fonts on a white or cream-colored background. Not only highlighting through a light-dark-contrast is possible. Complementary colors such as red and green, yellow and violet, or orange and blue also highlight aspects when they are used in combination. Another possibility: warm-cold-contrasts. While warm colors are generally associated with energy and vitality, cooler colors convey feelings of tranquility and security.

Consider the Message of Colors & Utilize Consciously

Every color has an effect from a psychological point of view. This should also be taken into account. The effect can be both “positive” and “negative”. Let’s take the color blue for example. It can convey credibility, trust, and security. On the other hand, it can also be perceived as cool and distant. In the following, we created a small overview with possible color effects.

Use Color Scheme: Importance of a Targeted Color Palette

As mentioned at the beginning, “less is more”. If possible, when using color, work with a targeted and limited color palette. If a corporate design exists in a company, there is already a guideline here and there is no need to develop and design a color scheme. However, if an “empty color box” is the base, this can of course be overwhelming at first glance. That’s why we’ve created a practical tip below for quickly creating a harmonious color palette.