Colour Psychology in Marketing

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Remember back to when we first took a look at the colour wheel? Well maybe you will recognize the picture above as it was on one of the Power Points from earlier in the semester. It is Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, or just Goethe as you may know him as. In 1810, Goethe published a booked called ‘Theory of Colours’ in which he describes the different colours of the colour wheel and their unconscious psychological impact on humans. Now of course as with any theory there are going to be people who disagree, but with this theory many companies have applied it to their marketing attempts, and more specifically advertising.

According to June Campbell a researcher in the field some of the emotions that certain colours create are:

–          Red – strength, passion, excitement

–          Blue –trust , reliability,

–          Yellow –warmth, happiness

–          Orange –playfulness

–          Green –nature, fresh

–           Purple –royal, Spirituality

–          Pink –soft, sweet, nurture

–          White –pure, clean

–          Black –elegant, seductive, mystery

–          Gold –prestige, expensive

–          Silver –prestige, cold, scientific

Now for the interesting part of all this. Check out some advertisements and websites of companies that have got a lot of money for market research and pay attention to the colours they use. Many times you can notice the use of colour will reflect the emotions that the company is trying to get its customers to feel.

One good example that June gives is the website of the car company Jaguar (http://www.jaguar.com/ca/en/). On their site you can notice the silver back ground which indicates prestige and scientific, the writing and accents are black which shows elegant, and the red fonts for excitement. As most people know Jaguar is a luxury car company with some high performance cars which reflects the colours found on the webpage.

This won’t always be the case as trends change in advertising and companies have different budgets for advertising research. Some companies will also stick to their logo colours. Try checking out some different companies that you like and see if the feelings you get from the colours match what is listed above.

For more information about June Campbell’s study check out http://www.nightcats.com/samples/colour.html

-Blaise Theriault

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Web Design Says a lot About a Company

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Web design is definitely an under rated advertising tool for many companies. Many local businesses seem to creativity in this area and have very dull and uninteresting websites. The thing that a lot of businesses don’t realize about this is that it actually can reflect the business. I know that for my creative brief I took a look at Flagstone Business Interiors and their website. The company sells new furniture with all the most popular styles but by looking at their website you would have no idea. Actually someone might even think that they are no longer a business that’s how outdated the web layout appears.

Although many businesses do a horrible job at this many of the bigger companies, with higher budgets have incredible websites that really reflect their product and mission. The picture I have chosen is from the website of the car company Bugatti, and for anyone who doesn’t know Bugatti was the former creator of the fastest, stylish, and most innovative production car in the world. While looking through their site I could really see the innovation just through the layout they have. The front page is a picture of their newest addition to the Bugatti family and a list of all the other cars they build. After you click on any of the links it sends you to a page full of pictures that are in a slide show sort of format that really show the little details of the cars and actually how innovative and stylish they actually are.

Now back to Flagstone. At no point while searching through their website do you really even know the exact products they sell or all of the services they provide, whereas Bugatti had every little detail one would want to know before doing business with them except for the $2,250,000 price tag. So obviously budget is going to be big factor in how well the website is put together but that doesn’t mean it should be out dated and give a wrong impression, because at the end of the day it says a lot about it a company.

-Blaise

Photoshop Fails

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I’m sure that pretty much anyone who uses the internet daily has at one time or another come across a picture that has had some horrible Photoshop work done to it.  It seems like a pretty common thing to see these days and sometimes it is hard to tell if the person who made it purposely made it extremely obvious that the picture had been edited. Some of the pictures I have come across are so poorly done that they are almost sad.

Of course there are picture that people purposely edit to make themselves look different in pictures. They do things such as make their muscles appear larger, trim down excess body fat, or tan themselves. But often in pictures such as these they will not notice the other items in the image, usually in the background, which have also been transformed in one way or another. Now some of these are honest mistakes and the person editing the photo just doesn’t notice, but in photos like the one I have included with my post, it’s hard to imagine what they were thinking.

I know everyone has seen these photos at one point or another and it really is quite entertaining. I think that it would probably be beneficial for many of the creators of these pictures to take a class and actually learn how to use Photoshop. 

Hidden Contrast

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I know that I have posted on the blog before about contrast but, I’m going to do it again because this advertisement is too good to pass up. As you can see from looking at the advertisement there is some obvious contrast in the colours with the extremely blue background along with the Pepsi itself and the bright orange Cheetos. Orange and blue being on opposite sides of the colour wheel creates a great contrast with the colours and really draws your eyes to the ad. This definitely caught my attention of the bat, but after looking at the ad a little bit more I noticed that there is even more contrast than I had first thought.

 

This kind of contrast isn’t exactly what we have learned in class but it is in a way contrast. What I am talking about here is the drink and the snack. They are completely different but really complement each other. One without the other is kind of boring but together it creates and explosion of flavour. I’m sure if it is intended but it definitely is clever. Anyways that’s my two cents on this Pepsi ad.

 

-Blaise

 

Aside

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I have seen a few really cool ideas for business cards lately, many of them just cool designs or made out of interesting materials. Although they were not the regular boring business card printed on a thick white piece of paper they would still probably get lost or thrown out at some point if they were in my possession. The picture I have attached, on the other hand is not only a business card but something that will come in hand at some point in the future. It is small enough to fit in a wallet and works as a functioning bottle opener.

 

This is by far one of the best ideas I have seen for a business card yet. It is something that people will hold onto because of its function which in turn results in potential clients keeping your information for the moment when they need it. There are a few other business cards I have seen while surfing the internet that also serve other functions. Some of these are cards that act as a shoe horn, paperclips, lock picking tools, and USB’s. All of these seem as if they would be much more effective than a regular business card because they have other functions. I know personally when I see a creative business card it makes more inclined to hold on to it and likely use that business in the future.

-Blaise

 

C.R.A.P.

Aside

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I am going to apologize ahead of time for the quality of my image. My beaten and battered Iphone3   doesn’t take the greatest pictures, but when I saw this menu at a fish and chips restaurant in Toronto over my study break I had to take a picture and share it on the blog.

There are two main reasons that I thought this menu was horrible, as well as quite relevant to two of the four principles of basic design, or otherwise known as C.R.A.P. I will start by criticising the contrast or lack of, on this menu. As one will notice when they first look at it every word or price on the page is the exact same size font without any words bolded. Not only does it make the menu look bad but it was also the hardest menu to understand that I have ever seen. It was hard to tell what the difference was between the name of the dish was and what the different options where for that dish as all the worlds looked the same. In the four principles of design it states if something is not the same make it very different. That is what is needed to create some contrast and ultimately make it easier for customers to understand what exactly they are ordering.

The second is the alignment. Just from taking a quick glance at the menu you can notice that not even the prices are lined up on the menu. Everything is scattered randomly throughout the page making it near impossible to understand the menu. You will also notice that the option to have your meal with chips is never in the same area on the page but always in a random location.

This menu is the definition of C.R.A.P. if you take away the periods between the letters. I was truly amazed at how confusing it was and after trying to understand it for few minutes I just decided to go with the safe option and get fish and chips.

-Blaise

Positive or Negative?

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One of the topics we covered in class is the use of positive and negative space. When used right positive and negative space can create interesting and confusing pictures. Many pictures that use it to create an image often have more than one possible image in the picture depending on how the viewer perceives it.

In this particular photo the positive and negative space run into each other to create interesting object outlines. The negative runs into the positive creating hands which are picking up objects with in the positive space.  

I find pictures like this very interesting as the person who has created it has obviously put in a good amount of brain storming to come up with an idea like this. The outer line of the city (positive space) also plays the role of the outline of hands (negative space). The creator of this image really puts the negative space to use, which is something that is not normally done. In my opinion this use of negative space really shows the creativity of the creator and adds a whole other element to the picture.

Layers and Contrast

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One of the first things that we discussed in class was contrast. Contrast can be defined as the arrangement of opposite elements, which in this case are dark and light, or grays and yellows.

Contrast can play a very important role in photos and in this case I find that it creates two completely different feelings depending on which side of the photo you are focusing on. The left side of the photo, which consists of bright yellows and oranges creates a warm feeling, full of life. The right side which consists of grays creates more of a cool night time feeling.

Throughout our time learning how to use Photoshop one of the most important techniques that I have learned to use is the arrangement of layers. With the use of different layers and how they are arranged it is easy to create depth and other effects in a photo. In this particular photo one can notice three distinct layers. The background layer on the left side is clouds and stars on the right. The second layer is rays from the sun and moon and the top layer is a silhouette with a boy playing and enjoying the sun on the left and a wolf howling at the moon on the right. Although the techniques used are not overly complicated and pretty easy to duplicate I found the way they were arranged to be very clever. It is photos like this that I enjoy because they open my eyes to new possibilities with Photoshop.

Blaise T