In the design world, either print or Web, one of the main mistakes made by designers is the incorrect usage of colors. Bad color schemes can make your marketing materials and Web site look unfriendly and amateurish.

This article will identify common mistakes with selecting colors, good color scheme creation and accessibility issues that arise from colors.

Color associations and moods

Colors can be perceived by people as different moods and emotions. When setting design goals for the overall marketing look you should consider what mood you aim to set with your design, with careful use of color.

These moods can vary from person to person, depending on their life experiences; however, in general, these are the following meanings:

Why so Blue? – Blue is one of the most used colors on the web and in most marketing applications. This is because it is a safe color because the moods it conveys are mostly good. Blue can represent peace, tranquility, reliability, trust, honesty, cleanliness and clarity. However it can also represent depression (e.g. feeling blue).

Green Day – Green has always been associated with nature. It also can represent environment, health, luck and youth.

Yellow Submarine – Yellow is a very happy color. Yellow can represent joy, happiness, the sun and friendship. It can also convey negative moods such as cowardice and illness. Me personally, I hate pale yellow, as it reminds me of a disheartening childhood experience.

Orange Crush – My favorite color! Orange can convey warmth and energy. Orange is a good attention grabber when used correctly.

Red Hots – Danger! Caution blood. Good things include love and warmth. Red is a good attention grabber, maybe because people notice danger and notices the red.

Purple Rain – Purple is a mysterious, creative color. It can also be associated with royalty and exotic items. Look at dairy milk chocolate bars, the purple packaging make it look more luxurious.

Pretty in Pink – A very feminine color also associated with babies and childhood.

Black Tie Required – Black can convey power, darkness and evil. However it is a useful color (like grey) for making things stand out from a page. Black along with red is an example of this. A black page with a red item will make the red stand out more.

Snow White – White represents purity and goodness. It can also represent coldness and winter.

I hope you find this a little useful when making the choice of which colors to use in your office, Web site and corporate logo. When designing brochures, logos and Web sites I use this simple rule of colors daily and hopefully it’ll help you with your corporate color decisions as well. Good luck and have a colorful day.