There are so many things that trigger a reaction in humans. Sometimes in many people, all at once. Think of the last fight you had with a significant other, a sibling, a co-worker…you get the idea. Or perhaps you suddenly saw a commercial and thought you needed to call your Mom right now. I mean, RIGHT NOW!
Digital media can evoke such behavior in us. At least it can if the people designing the content did their job well. Let’s talk about something that can cause a desired reaction in your audience. You WANT them to buy your jeans /burger /banana /insurance policy /dorm room /whatever it is you are showing the world on your media signage this week. So think about this:
McDonald’s and KFC include red and yellow in ads because they want people getting hungry and eating quickly. Those specific colors increase the appetite.
OK, so understanding what drives an emotion so that you know when a customer is likely to be happy, angry, etc. is a very basic ingredient for creating great content! We want a happy customer. We want to make them feel happy, because the bottom line is that a happy customer is one who will buy!
So right now lets just play with a quick overview of the color wheel as it relates to content for digital media signage and how that can bring positive results.
Red, orange and yellow are the warm colors on the color wheel that evoke happiness, optimism and energy. Yellow and orange can also irritate the eyes. While red is the warmest it also triggers opposing emotions, both love and anger. Use it as an accent, in moderation.
Orange is not overpowering like red, but brings a feeling of happiness and draws attention. It is a great call- to- action to buy or subscribe to any product.
Yellow is associated with laughter, sunshine and hope. It evokes optimism and will help give your design energy. However too much of it can be overwhelming; it tends to reflect light more and can be irritating to the eyes. In design, it grabs attention in a comforting energetic way.
The cool side of the color wheel gives us green, blue and purple. These are soothing, calm colors but also are used to express sadness. To display health, beauty or security, incorporate these colors. Also, as purple is a combination of red (intense) and blue (calm) it is used to spark creativity.
Green is easiest on the eyes and can be used to create balance and relax. Since it usually stands for health, wealth and new beginnings; it’s perfect if a company wants it’s digital signage to show those aspects, or perhaps to depict security and possibility.
Blue supports calmness as well as spirituality, trust and security. Our bodies actually create calming chemicals when we see blue. It is the color most favored. Corporate designs do best with dark blues because it helps give a professional feel. Just don’t use too much dark blue. That will create a cold feeling. You don’t want the company to appear to be uncaring about its people. Light blue has a more friendly and relaxed feeling. Look at Twitter and Facebook, who both use lighter blues.
If your media campaign is promoting beauty products, use purple to soothe or calm your viewers. Our mind automatically connects this color with royalty, wealth and creativity. With good reason, as it has been used to promote those things for thousands of years! Be sure to include purple in your design if you want it to look more luxurious, or use a bit lighter shade if you want to show mystery.
Black, gray, white, tan and brown are the neutral colors and are perfect for backgrounds in design. If you are planning to use bright colors in your campaign, stick these for your background. If you are considering textures then you can’t go wrong with tan or brown.
Do keep in mind that colors can be subjective. How they make a person feel depends on the viewer’s past experiences or culture. They are not completely agreed upon universally.
A designer MUST study their target audience before choosing any aspect of a design for a digital media sign. But remember the many triggers a human possesses before you finish yours.