Understanding color Psychology | Pure Color, Tints, Shades & Tones
Color and visual cues can have a dramatic impact on conversion rates. Color has value beyond aesthetics. Yes, we all have preferences, but why? The answer to that question will directly affect our design, thinking and conversion optimization strategy. Color is something that’s always around us, but we rarely think about how it impacts us. Color psychology is a well-known, yet less explored branch of the study of how our brain perceives what it visualizes. As far as scientific research goes, there is not much to work with. However, the impact that colors have on our brains is used to manipulate our decision making by multiple facets of society.
Color Theory: As this Quora thread points out, there is a clear science to picking colors that work together. There is a definite element of subjectivity involved (culture, generational perspectives, and personal preferences), but there is also a set of best practices that psychologists and designers will stick to. A user experience designer, breaks down color into the following framework.
Pure Color, Tints, Shades & Tones
Pure Color: These are colors that are not mixed with other hues. They’re usually
incorporated into bright designs. Anything youthful, summery, cheerful, energetic, or ‘cool’
can benefit from using pure colors.
Tints: These are colors mixed with white. They convey a lighter, more peaceful, and less
energetic feeling than pure colors. They’re also considered more feminine. Companies in the
health, spa, and beauty industries could benefit from using these colors.
Shades: These are colors mixed with black and are effective in communicating mysterious,
dark, evil, or dangerous moods. Shades can work well with gradients when used with either
a pure color or lighter shade.
Certain colors are tied to cultural, emotional, and social connotations. Tints and shades can help influence the feelings that color conveys. For instance, a darker shade of blue would convey more security and integrity. Lighter shades of blue would convey more tranquility and peace. Some colors have developed a particular meaning over time due to use from certain organizations (i.e. a branding effective).