Good design is the foundation of effective visual content.
Our brains process visual information more efficiently than text alone, and design serves to enhance that experience. By using certain design tools, you can multiply your visual content’s overall impact. And although many aspects of design can contribute, one element in particular holds tremendous power: color.
In the world of visual content, color serves an important function for both your audience and your brand.
How Color Serves Your Audience
Visual content is all about delivering a message to your audience. Color helps communicate that message in specific ways.
Color increases appeal: Color entices viewers, making them more likely to gravitate to your content. Consider the type of audience you want to attract or the mood you want to convey, then choose appropriate colors to reflect them.
According to a KISSMetrics report, 85% of shoppers say color is the primary factor in their product-purchasing decisions.
Color increases engagement: Because color makes content more attractive (and, therefore, more stimulating), readers spend more time engaging with colorful content. It’s even been shown to influence action. (A Virginia Tech study found that using red on webpage backgrounds influenced consumers to bid more during an online auction.)
Use color to encourage readers to interact with your content.
Readers will spend more time looking at color images than black-and-white ones. (Color Matters, Jill Morton)
Color increases comprehension: Because visual information is processed almost instantly, the strategic use of color helps enhance comprehension and retention. By highlighting certain information through color, you can help readers process the most important information. (Ever wonder why most highlighters are yellow? Because yellow and green are in the middle of the color spectrum’s wavelengths, making them easiest for our eyes to see.)
Adding color can enhance content comprehension by up to 73%. (The Power of Color, Virginia Johnson)
How Color Serves Your Brand
In addition to its efficacy in communicating information, color is particularly powerful because of its ability to elicit emotional responses and affect moods. Different colors hold deep cultural significance and meaning, which is why they are so powerful in communicating what a brand is all about. (Try to imagine Apple without its signature minimalist white or Google with a monochromatic icon.)By using color effectively, you can influence perceptions about your brand.
According to a Loyola University Maryland study, color increases brand recognition by up to 80%. (Color Matters, Jill Morton)
Although no single color will magically increase page views or social media shares, hue still has a profound effect on your brand experience.
Whether you are creating a single piece of content or an entire campaign, consider how you can strategically use color to maximize your message’s impact.
This post originally appeared on Column Five.