Why A Very Curious Wedding is Blue – The Psychology Of Colour In Web Design

Why is A Very Curious Wedding blue?

Sitting at my desk, pad and pen in hand, there were numerous factors that I took into consideration when designing my blog. Yes, call me old fashioned, but I do use a pad and pen – for me it’s an integral part of my creative process.

Layout and usability were, of course, important considerations and I had firm ideas about the look and feel that I wanted to achieve. However, finding the perfect colour palette was the one area that had me searching the pages of Google – not for inspiration, but for information. So how did I make my decision?

Lots of vivid colours.
I investigated the way colours make us feel.

Colour is one of the most powerful influencers on the human brain. Whether we realise it or not, we all subconsciously judge a product within 90 seconds of seeing it, and up to an amazing 90% of that assessment is based on colour. Knowing the way colours influence our thinking and choosing which colours to use for your business / blog / website can be tricky. The Logo Company has tackled this subject and has visual examples of what colours are best for which businesses and why. Here’s a snippet of their infographic:

Green as a colour choice for business Black as a colour choice for business Red as a colour choice for business Blue as a colour choice for business
Interesting stuff! Digging deeper I found this emotion guide which gives really clear examples of the colours that household brands are using, and the emotions that they are trying to trigger.

Colours used in household branding
Next I took a look at colour choices based on gender. The following is an excerpt from an infographic from KISSmetrics.com which is based on a study carried out by Hoe Hallock in 2003. The study compared colour preferences across various demographics. There were 232 participants from 22 countries.

Favourite colours by gender – men on the left and women on the right.

Favourite colours of men and women

Least favourite colours by gender – men on the left, women on the right.

Least favourite colours of men and women
So, it seems pretty obvious from the graphs that blue is the most popular colour across both genders. But choosing the colours for A Very Curious Wedding was a little more involved than which colours look good and how many people they will appeal to. What about the 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women in the world who are affected by colour blindness (more accurately known as colour vision deficiency, or CVD)? That’s approximately 2.7 million in Britain alone that may struggle to see this site.

My understanding is that the most common form of CVD is red/green colour blindness or Deuteranopia. Sufferers do not mix up red and green, they mix up colours which have some red or green as part of the whole colour.

The colouring pencils below show ‘normal’ vision on the left and Deuteronopia on the right. Note how the blue along with the black (another colour widely used on A Very Curios Wedding) pencils retain their colour.

Colour ing pencils showing colour blindness
There are more complex forms of CVD, but it seems to me that true blue is a colour that has a greater chance of being seen clearly by a vaster majority of the general population. However, although I love the colour blue, I didn’t really want to go down the true blue road – I wanted something a little bit softer.

So how did I crack the conundrum? I placed the words ‘Read More’ as a link from blog excerpts to the full posts and all internal and external links within each post are underlined. I also tried to incorporate as much contrast between words and backgrounds as I could.

 So there you have it.

A Very Curious Wedding is blue because:

  • The colour blue has calming, credible, professional qualities.
  • The colour blue triggers trust.
  • The colour blue is the most popular colour across genders.
  • And although I chose not to use it, true blue may be distinguished by a higher percentage of the population.

I’d love your feedback on this feature. Have you designed a website? Did you consider the psychology of colour in web design? Do you have problems with CVD and have some tips for design? Hit the comment button.

Caricature of Michelle Lyndon-Dykes


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