The best colors for advertising are those that make people comfortable or stimulate their senses; knowing which color does that depends on what is being advertised. In general, color schemes can be pooled into three categories: warm, cool, and black and white. Warm colors include those with shades of red or yellow, while cool colors typically include various shades of blues and greens. Restaurants often choose warm colors because they are thought to increase a person's appetite. Many corporations choose cool colors because blues and greens are generally associated with knowledge and understanding; other companies choose a black and white ad for a clean contrast.
Bright red, orange, and yellow are warm colors, indicative of fire, and they stimulate excitement. Virtually all logos, advertisements, and menus of fast food chains feature these colors, which is no accident; companies rely on the extensive research that has been done in this field to get the most for their advertising dollars. Warm colors are some of the best colors for advertising food as they are known to increase the appetite, which may translate to higher revenue. Many restaurants and fast food chains use primarily red and yellow in their advertising.
A color scheme that incorporates warm colors also encourages people to linger, which is why many restaurants are decorated in deep burgundy, burnt orange, and other similar colors. These colors stimulate warmth and comfort, and when people relax over dinner, they are more likely to enjoy a leisurely dessert or a cup of coffee, thus spending more money. When designing a menu, it is important to understand that warm colors come to the front, while cool colors recede; when combining warm and cool colors on something like a menu, it is best to use less of the warm color.
Besides knowledge and understanding, some shades of blue are also associated with tranquility, and other shades represent an important life source — water. As a result of these peaceful connotations, the color blue can actually slow a person's heart rate and reduce appetite, which is why is not often chosen for restaurant advertising. On the other hand, shades of light blue are some of the best colors for advertising over-the-counter medicines and other health products. Light blue can have a calming effect on people and it is most often associated with health and healing.
Darker shades of blue indicate dependability and integrity making it a good color for business ads and logos. Many financial institutions incorporate darker shades of blue in their logos to reflect these values. Blue, particularly dark blue, is also a popular color for uniforms, worn by mail carriers, security guards, and police officers, among others.
Many websites use at least some blue in their color schemes, but it has been debated whether or not blue is one of the best colors for advertising online. Some people argue that it does not catch the reader's attention fast enough or often enough, while others argue that the color evokes positive emotions and experiences. Colors like sky blue and certain shades of green can also be effective in advertising as they evoke the feeling of being outdoors, which may be appropriate for many situations.
Black and White
According to research, black and white can be two of the best colors for advertising because they create a strong contrast when paired together. Black and white often signify opposite emotions: white is often associated with purity and perfection, while black usually represents power, elegance, or evil. When used together, however, black and white can create a sense that a company is highly professional. Often a splash of color, such as red, is included to accent the starkness, but the overall appeal of a black and white advertisement is created through contrast.
Many studies have been done regarding the influence of color on people's emotions and actions; in many cases, it may be wise to review some of the studies to select colors that evoke the desired results. Many companies choose to hire a graphic designer to select the best colors for advertising the company's product. Alternately, a business can conduct an experiment to make the best color choice: several employees can look over various websites and see which sites most entice them to continue viewing.