Colours To Avoid

Planning on including your favourite colour in your advertising campaign? Whatever colour it is, it should never be the key criteria for choosing your campaign graphics.

Merchandisers pay graphics gurus and psychologists millions to find the ideal colour for their product or packaging that will draw out certain emotional responses from shoppers. Similarly, branding and advertising agencies brainstorm on their choice of colours when designing a brand promotion programme or advertising campaign.

Careful selection of the right colours in an advertisement can relay a powerful message to viewers even before they start reading and understanding what the advertisement is promoting. Conversely, the wrong choice of colours and colour combinations can make a message painful to read. Here are some colours to avoid in your next advert campaign:

  1. Green/yellow on white background

    Placing light coloured text such as yellow or green on a white background will create readability problems. When using a white background, it is better to go with darker shades of grey or black.

  2. Rainbow or Neon colours

    Though these colour combinations are eye-catching, they’re also aversive and irritating. They tire the eyes of viewers very quickly, and usually end up causing aggravation instead of the positive feelings that brands want customers to associate with their product/service.

  3. Blue, Red, or Purple on Black background

    Unless you’re looking to create a ‘goth’ look, it’s best to avoid red text or images on a black background. Purple and blue are just as bad when placed on a black background because they are completely unreadable. In fact, black is not a good choice of background colour because it overwhelms every other colour on the advert.

  4. Coloured Text with Textured Background

    No matter how good a colour is, if the text is placed directly on a textured background, particularly a strong coloured one, it simply won’t be readable. If you want to place text on an image, consider reducing the opacity of the background, or placing the text in a box with a modified background.

  5. Blue, Yellow, or Magenta on Red background

    Though yellow contrasts well with red, the combination can make a viewer dizzy. As with black, red is overwhelming and hard to balance well with most other colours.

Colours are wonderful: they can lighten up your life and infuse you with happiness. They can excite your audience, calm them, or give them the feeling of reassurance. When correctly harnessed, the psychology of colour combines with proper colour selection to match the products or services offered will form the basis of a winning marketing campaign.

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