What Are The Best Colours For Online Conversions?

In the global world of online commerce, design is a language in its own right. From guiding the flow of web traffic, to highlighting and emphasising products, services, and options, how you look is increasingly an influence on how you sell. And, in the digital realm, colour is a key component of this unwritten language.

Unlike the written word, the vocabulary of colour is a more complex language to translate. Our interpretations of colours are infused with cultural contexts and learned responses. So is colour really a universal language?color theory

Colour Theory and Culture

Colour is linked with memory and association. Our responses are often ingrained through learning, rather than inherent traits, although this learning can itself come from nature. Green is healthy; blue is peaceful. Red is seen as vibrant, but also urgent: which is why it is so widely used for discount sale signs in shops, and also warning signs.

Colour in commerce can affect our assumptions too: we see blue and teal as signs of dependability and honesty, and these are the colours most commonly associated with banking brands. But do we see blue in this way because it is used by banks? Equally, certain brands have made the colour orange synonymous with dependability and value for money, yet in some communities, orange is also a divisive emblem of political loyalties.

So the challenge for any design agency with an eye on web-based commerce is this: when you sell online, you sell to the whole world. How can you strike a compromise between the many differing interpretations of your brand’s colour palette?

The Psychology of the Perfect Palette

Using colour to focus the eye and influence navigation is one matter. But when it comes to converting mouse clicks into cash, this is where colour theory really becomes interesting. Because there are clear examples where colour most definitely is a universal language.

This is where an understanding of colour palettes can really be converted into profit. A good digital design agency will know how to use colour to direct attention; a great one will know how to create a meaning. A fantastic case study to illustrate this is the re-branding of McDonald’s restaurants, from red to green. The company faced criticism for being too aggressive in its business practices, and that their products had become unhealthy. Out went the domineering and dangerous red; in came the calm and natural deep green. The company reversed a downward trend and the strategy is considered one of the most successful top tier re-brandings of recent years.

So, which colours are best for online conversion? That all depends on your objectives. And – as with all matters of colour – context is king. One interesting question to ask of your palette is this: will your colours be a prompt, or a problem solver? In the example given above, the brand used colour to address a perceived problem with their image. In doing so, they relied on the broadest, most universal interpretations of very bold colours. If your brand is strong, but you are routinely failing to complete sales due to an indistinct layout, colour can be a prompt: bold and urgent contrast hues that direct the customer’s eye towards completing the purchase. So whether you are building a brand identity, or simply improving your end-user experience, think about how you can be communicating in colour.

Image Credit: http://www.1stwebdesigner.com

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How To Boost Your Photoshop Skills

photoshop artwork

Since its creation over 25 years ago by Thomas and Knoll, Photoshop has now firmly established itself as the tool of choice for designers worldwide. Adobe bought the distribution license back in September 1988 and since then, a mind-boggling amount of new versions and tools have been added on, to make it one of the most sophisticated design software available on the market.

The fact is that anybody using complex tools, machines or software will develop their own methods of working, based on the training they had as well as their experience. However, it is important to sometimes sit back and review the habits we have developed to work out if they are the most effective and logical ones to produce the highest quality work. We have compiled a list of ideas that will help you review your methods and hopefully help improve them.

  1. Save time and effort by creating folders and layers

    One of Photoshop’s main features is the ability to create layers to allow for easy modification of your project. The ideal way to use them is to ensure that enough layers are created from the start. This means that you won’t have to start the work all over again when you realize that you don’t have enough to complete the project. The other good habit that will save you time is to make sure that your layers are organized into folders. A well-structured project has many benefits. Not only you will be quicker, but it will also create a much smoother process if you work with another team or design agency and need to share your work.

  2. Allow your work to go further: increase your resolution

    By default, Photoshop’s resolution is set at 72dpi (dots per inch). This is usually fine for most professional website design projects, but your work will be limited to the small screen formats and might pixelate if printed. Try and get into the good habit of saving your work at a higher resolution, it’ll save a lot of time and efforts in the long run.

  3. Expand your horizon with shortcuts

    Being able to produce great work in record time is one of the top employers’ requests when hiring designers. It is therefore hugely important to know your shortcuts, as they can speed up and improve your workflow enormously. There are over 40 essential Photoshop shortcuts you can learn here, but don’t forget that you can also create your own ones. This is the equivalent of shorthand for designers and it will separate the good ones from greats!

Top Tips to Find the Right Creative Agency

Looking for Creative Agency

Choosing the right creative agency or branding consultancy can be a challenge, particularly if you have not had much experience working with the design industry, but it is possible to compare the top design agencies and find the right one for your needs with these simple tips.

  1. Decide what you want from your creative partners before you begin your search. The right agency for you will depend on whether you are looking for a branding consultancy to reinvigorate your image, to launch a new product or to expand your online presence. Create a brief explaining exactly what you need, including your aims, target audiences, and estimated budget, so that you begin your search with a clear idea of the services that you require and what you want your creative agency to achieve.
  2. Research the top design agencies before you approach anyone. Use their websites, marketing material and examples of previous projects to learn about their services and style. Check their experience working with similar projects and businesses in your area, and ask for personal recommendations from others in your industry. Compare what is available in terms of the type of agency you would like to work with and your needs for the specific project, and draw up a shortlist of your favourites.
  3. Contact your chosen agencies to discuss your needs in more detail before committing to a relationship. Try to speak to members of the design team who would be working on your project, so that you can find out how well you work together. If you are still undecided, consider asking your top design agencies to pitch you their ideas in response to your brief. Judge the results carefully, by quality not volume, looking for an agency that is sensitive to your needs and which has produced work that feels right for your business.
  4. Once you have decided which branding consultancy or design service you wish to use, make sure you maintain a good working relationship by setting out your terms clearly at the outset and ensuring that you communicate well and open yourself up to their ideas. A successful project depends on input from both sides, so make sure you choose an agency that you will be able to work with closely. If you have the right chemistry, your relationship could last through many years of successful projects.
Photo Credit: www.freevector.com