ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

JOIN YOLANDA RENEE ON HER BLOG TOUR!

Friday, 1 November 2013

COLOUR - Choosing a colour to suit your brand. What colour are you?

Hello fellow bloggers!

Well, Halloween's over. The HAUNTING blogfest was excellent. Now I have to decide which story intrigued me most for the $10 Amazon Gift Card. Thank you to all the participants! What great quality stories, poems and photos!

Yes, I'm huddled away beginning my latest NaNovel, but I love blogging so much I decided not to take a hiatus;  rather I prepared a few posts ahead of schedule. I will come by after I put in my writing hours and comment.
Today I'm going to share something with you that I've been pondering awhile. I keep changing my blog look because I'm never happy with my colours. That has partly been because I'm a pink girl, and haven't wanted to shout that out too loudly in case those of you who are deep, dark and serious take one look and run! Egad!
I've finally stopped toying with pink and embraced my favourite colour (which is closely followed by white and blue). I've worked up a collage for my new header which says it all - I love Pink. Hope you like it.
WHY DO BLOGGERS USE SUCH VARIED COLOUR COMBINATIONS FOR THEIR BLOGS?
Look around you at the different colours that represent various bloggers in the community. We have Roland Yeoman's black, Donna Hole's yellow, Alex J Cavanaugh's blue, J. L. Campbell's pinkish tones, Yolanda Renee's brown (now she's gone and changed some of it!) Somehow these colours just seem right for these bloggers. Why? If they read this, I hope they'll tell us!
Colour selection is one of the key elements of building a strong brand. Every colour has a different feel and associations. By choosing a colour or a combination of colors for your brand, you will take on those associations. Colours will evoke certain emotions and feelings towards your brand so it's vital to choose a colour that will represent your identity effectively.
There's been a ton of research on this topic, and I can but scratch the surface today. It has been shown that people make a subconscious judgement about a person, think...blog and other social media...within 90 seconds of their initial viewing. Between 62% and 90% of that assessment is based on colour alone. Getting the message? Colour is HUGE! 
WHY COLOUR MATTERS
Where to start? Colour symbolizes your product, in this case you and your social media presence. By combining the same colours (usually two or three), your brand will be recognizable on any social media, very useful if you have a product to promote.
Have you heard of the great new tool to help with color selection--Cymbolism? It’s an interactive survey of colour and word associations. Every page loads a new word, for which you have to select a colour you feel best represents it. You can see most popular associations either by colour or by word in the image below.
To help you select the right colour for your brand, here are the results from Cymbolism, and there are some examples of brands that use each colour:

Now do you think this chart represents your colour choices? I decided my pink (belonging to the purple spectrum) pretty much describes me -- romantic (and a little bit Victorian, haha), decadent (with my love of chocolate and other sensuous things in life), elegant, stylish (hmm...in my dreams)...but overall, pink describes my personality pretty much to a T. 

Perhaps you align yourself with the brands who choose not to associate themselves with one colour. Instead of two or three colours, they choose four or more. This represents variety. These brands are usually platforms that host a vast amount of different applications or goods.
There are also two more colours that haven’t made it on the list: black and white. These are arguably not even colours, and they will go well with pretty much everything you choose. In Western culture, white is considered the colour of purity and peace, but in some parts of Asia white is the colour of death. However, cultural differences aside, on a social media platform white provides a clean background to add images/text to. (Many people prefer to read black text on a white background above all others.) Black is a heavy colour, but also complementary to many others. Used on a blog or other social media site it would suggest serious, deep and dark to all who come by.
HOW TO SELECT YOUR COLOUR
Look through the table above for a quick overview of what each colour represents. Of course, your opinion may differ. Some questions to ask yourself:
  • What colour represents me--thus your brand's personality?
  • What colour suits the characteristics of my product/service?
  • What colour will give my readers the best impression the first time they see it?
You aren’t limited to one colour. Some brands like eBay choose to go with many colors to represent variety — but you can also choose a couple of colours that work well together. I like pink, white and blue.
In the competitive world of colour selection, it is often suggested you pick a different colour than that of your competitors. If you are a romance writer, for example, nothing says it like pink, (unless of course you write dark paranormal romance etc.) so you will have to find something edgy so you don't blend homogeneously into the background. Find something to make your pink more alluring than all the others.
If you're interested in further reading on this topic, I've found some links. I haven't checked all of them recently, so some may be dead, but here are some tools and resources you may find useful:

Articles and Resources:

Tools:

Dimitry Fadeyev, A Guide to Choosing Colours for Your Brand, 2008

  • What do your colours say about you? 
  • Did you find this post helpful?









43 comments:

  1. Very interesting! I'll have to research further...I've had the same black background on my blog for almost ten years, lol. I might shock myself to death if I changed it!

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  2. Fascinating stuff. And, yes, I actually did give some thought to the color of my blog. It does have a heavier look with brown, black, red, and white. But it SO suits the novels I'm writing and most of the topics I write about. I anticipate the covers of my novels will some day have the same tone to them, if I self-pub. I know for a fact it keeps some people away from my blog because it isn't light and cheerful looking, but I figure those people probably wouldn't connect with me or my writing anyways.

    And I love your new banner! You should absolutely stay with pink if it's your favorite color. Very apt for a romance writer. :)

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    1. Isn't it interesting the way our genres are reflected in our blog colour/design. Yours certainly suits your writing style.

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  3. Blue is liberal? That's so not me...
    Black is my favorite color, which is why I chose the black and blue design for my blog. (That and the Matrix-style background matched my science fiction interests and books.) Those two together represent sky and space, another fit for me.

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    1. Glad you're happy with your fit out Alex.

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  4. I've bookmarked this page for future reference. I'm a highly visual person, and the psychology of color shown here fascinates me. I'm predominantly blue, but like touches of brown, red, and purple (the cooler varieties).

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  5. I guess I haven't thought on this much. I like the depth to with you approached this. I prefer primarily black on white like your page mostly is. I picked my colors to match the jacket I was wearing on my old header. They're different colors--kind of weird. Not sure I'd want to be associated with that color scheme. Maybe it's time for me to change colors.

    Thought provoking post.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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    1. I like your look Arlee. But I also like to change.

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  6. Just changed the color scheme on my blog, so this was a fascinating read. Good luck with NaNoWriMo!

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    1. I'll be over to check it out when I can E.J. Thanks for the NaNo wishes.

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  7. Oh, Denise, I am sooo glad you're embracing pink because it's true to you. No better reason. I mean, if we think about it, projecting something *not* us in order to avoid turning people off will turn on the people who might feel like we misrepresented ourselves. Or something. Anyway, you've made the right choice! Let there be pink. :)

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  8. Interesting Denise, and colour is important. I chose my colours on Blogger with a purpose in mind, infinite space and the unknown of scifi and mystery. I'm fond of blues and greens (not the reds, pinks or purples) . I have an inordinate fondness for black too - it's always elegant, is always in - ask Coco, and color shows better on black. Funny that pink and black is used a lot to indicate Paris.
    Good luck with your Nano. . .

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    1. Yes, sounds like you've thought about your colours, D,G. Yes, Paris pink and black, always elegant.

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  9. My current blog is pinkish sorta, but was thinking of changing it to blues. Love the psychology of colour.

    Good luck with Nano. I see you've kicked off with a good start. :)

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    1. I'm always interested in the changes we make to our blogs. Yep. Good start to NaNO.

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  10. How very interesting! I'm more of a black and white person so my blog and website have a lot of white space and I try to keep them extremely uncluttered. Kind of how I live my life lol. Good luck with Nano, Denise!

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    1. Thanks Karen. I'm glad you found it interesting. Thanks for the NaNo wishes. Going well so far.

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  11. I had dark gray for a while. I wonder what that means? It certainly suits dystopian/apocalyptic more than the light blue I have now. But I still think it's pretty.

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    1. I love grey too! It is fascinating the genres we choose to write too and how they often match our colour choices.

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  12. Blue represents creativity and trust, so a fav of mine, and green is for innovation, so good for the techie peeps!

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  13. Good luck with NaNo! I still haven't decided if I'm in or not, yikes!!!

    This subject fascinates me. I change my blog a lot. I like variety and I choose colors based on my mood. Thanks for the information and I'm copying the links!!!

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  14. I bounced around a bit before I settled on my colors. The colors scheme settled for me when I designed the "right" header. I did change the header to a pink when you look at the cookbooks. It's a retro pink, hoping to elicit simpler times and home-cooked meals.

    I did a series of color posts about three years ago that was fun to write. It includes what your color wardrobe says about you!

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    1. Oh forgot to add my NANO handle- AKA Southpaw

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  15. Very interesting! I'm a pink gal too! Honestly! I have a wardrobe full of pink, black, blue, and more pink! My favorite pair of shoes is pink. My favorite purse. I have an all pink raincoat, and most of my lingerie is pink. LOL Although, when I moved into my home it too was all pink - and horrid - carpets, walls, appliances - pink everywhere! I've removed all of that but for one bathroom, it's all different shades of pink. LOL
    For my site, I was all black with gray letters - but just recently had my site evaluated and the changes came about based on her suggestions. I like the pen and ink icon, because it goes with my title - and I collect pens and ink wells! It fits my love of all things old / antique! I was also told that my site read dark - in that I prefer dark things, like horror. Not true, horror is a hobby, a fun romp into the unknown - although I do write murder - so I guess I can't get away from it. I love mysteries - life is a mystery to me, and writing it is my way of moving through it. I don't think any one thing can tell specifics about a person - we are all enigma's, some more than others. LOL But I will look more deeply into the color thing. I find all that, including numerology, and astrology very intriguing. I changed the colors of my site to make it easier to read - anything to help folks move around it. I was told it was too busy - hopefully it is now less so. What do you think?
    You're site is lovely - it does fit you (what I know of you or that you let us know of you) now, I'm off to investigate a little more! Have a great NaNo - oh and I am there, honest! Gee, I wonder, can I count this comment as part of my word count? LOL
    Oh, and thanks for the correction on my title! :)

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  16. Gidday human, Denise,

    Good grief, how does Yolanda do it? Check out that comment. I'm going to leave a short comment. My paws are struggling to type. Yes, imagine typing with mittens on.

    I'm going to tell my human to pay heed to what you allude to. He's kept the blog simple. Simple might be good, but he needs a little more flare. I do know his basic colour theme is crap brown. I also know that keeping his site simple, without a zillion things to load up, might help folks actually get to read his stuff. Actually, never mind him, my stuff.

    Pawsitive wishes for the remainder of the weekend,

    Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! :)

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  17. Great post, Denise. I do seem to change my blog's look rather regularly, but some things generally stay the same - my tabs look the same, the header is always the same, etc. But I do change my background image and colour themes, now and then. My favourite colours are blue, black and silver, but I don't really want a blog that's black and silver - too hard on the eyes! I have had a bit of blue on my blog before but right now it's mostly in pink/fuchsia but with an "earthy" background (one of my photos of a plant). I like pink as well, though it's never been nearly my fave colour. I guess I do have a slight fascination with it. :D

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    1. So many lovely colours. Just got to find the right combo.I get bored. I have to change things around.

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  18. Hi Denise
    Now that I have read everyone's post in the blog hop I'm starting on Francine's hop. I don't envy you having to pick a winner.

    Now color is interesting. I hadn't considered this. I use to change my blog a lot because I got bored with it. This is something I will have to consider when I decide to have a web page. Some time next year I think. I see you as a pink girl absolutely.
    Nancy

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  19. I'm a multi-coloured individual! A rainbow nation girl!
    Why multi-coloured? Because multi-coloured = multifaceted which suggests nuanced and diverse in nature... think of a rainbow which stretches across the sky after a deluge...
    Think of a box of crayons: "We could learn a lot from crayons: some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, some have weird names, and all are different colours... but they all have to learn to live in the same box." Author Unknown.
    So that more or less sums up my colour preference...

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    1. Yep. Multi coloured definitely sounds like you Michelle!

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  20. This is fascinating. I never thought what the colors of someones blog may say about them. I have always used blues, browns, blacks and greens in my blog designs. I love nature colors, deep dark warm colors. Very interesting! I'll never look at someones blog design the same way again!

    Good luck with NaNo!
    Jen

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  21. Having left the blue phase behind, I'm now in my green phase. And, umm, think it suits me at this moment in my life. I had a course in this some years ago. I thought it would be more fun than work. HA! One's never supposed to use more than three colors (this includes background white, black, whatever) so as not to dilute the message. A friend of mine produces TV commercials in NYC. She says this is sacrosanct. I also learned that Tide detergent is orange because it's the most abrasive color, but manufacturers wanted buyers to really notice the packaging.

    Hey, good luck with NaNo! If anyone can complete this on schedule, you can.

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  22. Well, this was a fun post! I chose pink for my Victorian Scribbles blog, although I didn't know at the time pink was associated with Victorian. I chose purple for my Fourth Wish blog, because purple suggests magic to me, and I had just self-published a book that dealt with magic. Then, when my posting on that blog branched out to travel and art as well as book reviews and author interviews, I just kept the purple because it's my favorite color.

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  23. This is really interesting, Denise. I hadn't considered it at all! Mine seems to be a sort of bluey purpley thing. Hope it's easy on the eye for readers and sets off the photos that I post!
    I love your envelope background :-)

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  24. I've been meaning to read this since you put this up. I think pink goes well with romance, which is my first love in terms of writing. However, when I hosted my website separately from my blog, it was black. I like how images contrast with a black background, hence a lot of my covers have a dark feel. I know black is hard on the eyes, particularly for reading so I've done the next best thing. Going pink or as close to it as possible. :)

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  25. Very interesting! I'll have to put some more thought into this--especially since I just wrote my brand's logline. That was fun. Now colors should reflect it. Thanks for the thought provoking post!!

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  26. Hi Denise .. I thought I'd commented but see I haven't. I tried one of the sites and failed .. perhaps that's why I stopped - but I'll be back to look over your info again and check the other links. I chose my blog colours because at that stage they were slightly different to others around .. but I'm not that keen on them! I suspect I'll be multi-coloured ...

    Cheers Hilary

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  27. Thanks for all your comments. I'm a bit snowed under, but will be around to visit you all soon. D

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  28. I've been with my current layout for a while. When I found the color scheme, it just felt right. I wouldn't say blue is my favorite color. But looking at the blue list from the chart above, it hits pretty close to the tone I hope to project.

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  29. I love your new blog! Especially the pink!!!! Really, it looks fantastic! I went with dusty "French" colors, as you know! On a different note, I can't believe how organized you are-- planning blog posts while doing NaNo? ***takes notes***

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