colours are one of the most important tools when it comes to creating creative best-in-class banners. Knowing how to proceed when it comes to banner colours is therefore essential for any ambitious banner creator. A study from 2006 by Cardiff Business School found that humans associate different colours with different values. Depending on the colour of your business’ logo or banner, potential customers will make a direct connection between your choice of colour and specific values. By being aware of the connection you can make use of this when choosing your banner colours. If the colour of your brand matches your values, you have brought your audience one step closer to the conversion of your message. In this blog post we take a look at the most eye catching colour combinations that can create magic banners for your brand. Before we dive into the specific examples of combinations that we have found, we advise you to take a look at this scheme which explains the traditional connection between values and colours:
Maybe you recognize some of the brands and agree on the values attached to them. With this scheme in mind you will also be able to further adapt our examples so they fit your business perfectly.
Choosing a neutral background colour for your banner can lower the risk of the user overlooking the message of the banner. Too many bright colours can be confusing and result in that the item the banner is trying to sell or the message that it is trying to convey will be overlooked because of the dominant effect of the colours. Overusing your tools is not always necessary nor in harmony with your brand or the product showcased.
Think hard and long about what effect the choice of colour has on how the banner and its message is perceived. If it is crucial that the message which your banner is trying to convey must not be misunderstood, choosing a neutral background colour such as grey, black and white can be a good idea. Neutral does not necessarily equal boring, so in order not develop a bland banner we advise you to use more eye catching colours for the actual text or the icons on the banner. Combining a white background with the colours yellow, blue and pink is an example of using what is referred to as a triadic colour scheme.
Combining dark magenta with a dash of dark blue gives your banner a modern look while still keeping the colour combination in harmony. This is also an eye catching colour combination that is not used as often and the recognition likelihood is therefore higher. When using white as the colour for the text the depth of the dark will be extra underlined which gives a cool effect.
It may sound lazy and somewhat basic but sticking to one colour and its shades can result in the user not having any doubt in terms of what kind of product is being advertised. Because you stick to one colour you also stick to one value which can increase the chance of your message getting through to the user. Browse through the thousands of shades of your product’s colour and pick out the most eye-catching colour combination leading to a stylish banner. If the product included on the banner contains more than one colour, you are of course welcome to use all of them as long as you stay inside of the spectra of the product colours all throughout the banner.
For people who are not completely fluent in design lingo, the terms “warm” and “cold” colours may require an explanation. At first glance, it may seem mysterious to ascribe colours to certain temperatures, but it is in fact something that you as a user do more often than you might be aware of. We make a connection between blue shades and colder temperatures, probably because we associate it with snow and winter. On the contrary, we connect the yellow and orange colours with warmer temperatures due to the fact that we associate them with summer and the sun. Hence, the fact that summer sale banners tend to be of exactly those colours, unlike winter sale banners.
Although they may seem opposites, the usage of warm colours does not exclude the usage of cold colours since combining both of them in one and the same banner can be quite successful. The warm shades are responsible for catching the user’s eye while the cold shades convey the message clearly. If the banner design is developed thoroughly, mixing cold and warm colours can bring out the best of both worlds for your banner.
You do not need to do daily yoga or eat plant-based to make use of the colours of nature in your next banner. It is the usage of water and earth colours that can give your banner certain characteristics which the user will not forget. Banners using natural colours have also proven to have a calming effect on the perceiver. This does not mean that the user falls right to sleep when they view your banner, it simply means that they associate your brand with other values than if you would have used bright colours.
The red colour is often associated with passion or romance. This unofficial fact is something that you can make use of when choosing your banner colours. Even though we always encourage you to think outside of the box, once in a while taking advantage of those established elements that are found inside of the box is also one way to do it. Everything in moderation of course. We see a lot of red banners during Valentine’s Day and Christmas, but if you as a banner designer is just a tad more ambitious, your banner will not be one of the holiday cliché ones. Choosing red as the primary colour for your banner does not always equal predictable. Pick out some eye catching shades of red that do well together and that gives your banner a classic look.
Opposites attract. You may have heard the saying before but perhaps in a more romantic context, but actually this also applies to banner design. Using complementary colours have the effect of catching the attention of the user, since the colour combination is not seen as often because a lot of banner designers try to avoid the combination. Of course there is a reason behind the fact that the colours are categorized as opposites, but if you stay focused, this eye catching colour combination can definitely create a symphony of a banner. The term “complementary colours” has its roots in the colour circle figure. Take a look at the colour circle figure below and get some insight in which specific colours it includes.
In other words, colours that are located across from each other in the colour circle are complementary of each other. By choosing appropriate complementary colours you can through your banner speak to specific feelings if you bear the aforementioned aspects about temperature and values in mind as well. Is your banner advertising for a travel agency? Why not combine yellow and blue as the primary colours of the banner then? The blue colour symbolizes the cold skiing trips, while the yellow colour represents the trips to warm bounty beaches. By doing so, your product will be in harmony with both of the colours chosen on the banner and your message will therefore be very clear. Remember that IKEA does not own the right to be the only business using blue and yellow in their banners and after this guide you will for sure be able to develop a banner that will make the user forget who IKEA even is.
When making complementary colours such as yellow and blue the main colours of your banner, the outcomes can vary from our previous example if you decide to turn the colours’ brightness volume up a bit resulting in a more intense shade of the colours. Depending on brand and product, the decision of exactly how bright the colours should be can be adjusted. Bright eye catching colours do not have to be uncool, but we of course acknowledge the fact that they are referred to as more intense for a reason. You are guaranteed that they are the most eye catching colours when it comes to getting the attention of the users. When choosing bright colours for your banner you have the option to steer clear off colours associated with neon lights or traffic cones. Luckily a whole range of different bright colours exist, that can give your banner the cool brightness effect without making the perceiver nauseous. Browse through different colour libraries until you find a bright colour that is just right for your banner.
It is not like we want to go all politics on you or anything, we just want to underline the fact that there are no laws out there stating that banners advertising products meant for women, HAVE to be pink and full of flowers. This goes both ways of course. If you are designing a banner, which aims to speak to the female segment of the population, there is nothing stopping you from combining pink colours with blue colours. When combining traditional masculine colours with traditional feminine colours on your banner we highly doubt that it will result in the user not being certain about if the product is meant for men or for women. We have to face the fact that the world as a market is becoming more unisex, which means that there is no reason in limiting your banners to only aiming for half of the world. Even if your product can exclusively be used by women, there is no harm in designing a banner which does not follow the traditional unwritten banner colour rules. Such a banner will only seem refreshing and innovative for the user. You can avoid using the obvious elements completely or you can combine colours across the spectra in order to create a sharp look.
There are a various of ways to proceed to when figuring out which are the most eye catching colour combinations for your next banner. Our examples should be perceived more as a source of inspiration rather than templates you should copy completely. Surely you can use exactly the colour codes displayed, but if you want to change one single colour or shade you should not limit yourself to our examples. By the end of the day, it comes down to what you think looks cool and which values you wish to convey through your banner.
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