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When you decide to start a blog, there’s this illusion that you set it up, write great content and people will flock to read it.  It would be great if that was true but most of the time it isn’t.  One of the things you have to do to make yourself stand out from the crowd is to create a brand for your blog and a key part of doing that is colour psychology.  Let’s take a look at behind the scenes of branding your blog.

What is colour psychology?

Colour psychology is the science of how colour affects human behaviour.  It is part of behavioural psychology and yes, that means it is can be pretty complex stuff.  There are whole theories around what we like and why, tests and studies to back it all up.  And if you want to get really into it, enjoy!

But let’s have a few summaries to show why it is important for branding your blog.  For starters, one study showed that it takes just 90 seconds for us to form an opinion about a product and 62-90% of that interaction is determined by one thing – colour.

Colour is studied in many industries from office managers and architects to gardeners and chefs.  When you pick the colour for the nursery for your new baby, you are using colour psychology, even if you don’t realise it.

What is a blog brand?

The other thing to consider is what is a blog brand?  Whether you are just setting up or wanting to expand your blog and get serious about it, branding is a key component of this.  The top bloggers have a clear brand and you instantly recognise their stuff, in part because of their brand.  Key components of a brand include:

  • Logo – this if the cornerstone of the brand that can be used on the website and on social media. You will want different variations of the logo to use in different places including with a dark and light background
  • Brand colours – these feature in the logo and will be used on social media templates, business cards and even in email signatures as well as on the website to create a cohesive look
  • Brand fonts – like colours these will feature in all key content including on the website, social media, Pinterest and other places
  • Typographic treatments – these take the brand fonts and show how they are used. For example, is the blog name always in all capitals?  Do you use a script font to accept the key word on social media graphics?  Do you use a specific swirl under the headline?
  • Image style – all images don’t need to be the same but there should be a sense of continuity in them often with similar colours, style or elements in them

Colour tips to help

So, as you can see, the key to most everything here is the colours that you use.  They go into the logo, the website, social media templates, business cards and everything else.  They are used in fonts and in images and everything together creates a brand.  But how do you pick the right colours?

Let’s start with some traditional associations with the main colours and how these might affect your choice in using them for your brand.

  • Blue – suitable for both male and female audiences, it creates feelings of calmness, trust, security and dependability.  It is used in a lot of social media sites including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
  • Red – commonly associated with anger, tests have shown that we have a physical response when we see it rather than a subconscious one where it accelerates the heart rate and grabs our attention.  It can be aggressive but also energetic
  • Green – associated with natural, grass, trees and the outdoors world it is a fresh and healthy colour.  Dark green shades are also associated with money
  • Yellow – warmth of the sun and positive associations, yellow is said to be the first colour that we see so is great to draw attention to important elements
  • Orange – excitement and fun, it is a colour that isn’t as popular as others and can then grab attention due to this
  • Brown – associated with the earth and durability but also slightly negative with dirt and dirtiness, brown should be used with caution
  • Pink – obviously associated with the feminine, it is romantic in pale shades and exciting, fun and young in bright shades
  • Purple – often popular with male audiences, it is a creative colour and sophisticated as well as being associated with royalty and spirituality
  • White – associated with cleanliness and purity, white is popular for product package and to work as a clean background colour for other shades to sit on top
  • Black – high class, luxury, sophistication are all associated with black

What research shows

While these are the traditional associations that have been built up over time, there are also some interesting facts that have come from studies, particularly on the internet in recent times.  These can help you choose colours for your blog and even what colour to use on elements of a website.

For example, women like blue, purple and green but aren’t as keen on grey, orange or brown.  35% of women said blue was their favourite colour followed by 23% with purple and 14% of green.  Another study showed woman are less drawn towards earthy tones.  Men, on the other hand, like blue, green and black but not so keen on purple, orange or brown.

Other examples of research show that blue can help build trust in your brand with its sense of trust, peace and order.  Yellow though is a colour for warnings (think those warning and traffic signs) despite it being traditionally a colour of happiness.  Maybe we are happy at being warned?  And there’s no surprise that businesses associated with the outdoors or environment should favour green shades.

colour psychology - what's your favourite colour?

Importance of white

White might seem like a lack of colour and therefore not offering much in the way of benefits, but this isn’t true.  In fact, white space or the lack of anything is an important part of designing anything from a website to a Pin for Pinterest to product packaging.  Think about Google’s home search page – there’s the coloured logo, a blue box, grey buttons and that’s pretty much it.  The rest of the page is white, so you can focus on the important stuff.

Does it really matter?

While creating a brand for your blog is a personal thing and should reflect yourself and what you are about, you might also want to think about a bit of colour psychology.  But also use a bit of common sense – for example, a bright colour for a call to action button grabs the attention better than a pale shade and therefore means we are more likely to click it.

Don’t be afraid to mix and match your colour palette and see what works best where.  Just don’t use too many colours so that things become chaotic and don’t forget that white is a colour too.

What colours do you use on your blog?  And do you have a brand?  I’d love to hear how you chose yours!