A long time ago, in my early years as a graphic design student, I had the opportunity to take not only a number of computer-based graphics courses, but also traditional art courses. You see, the thing is, you can't get started applying concepts to elements in a design without having a solid understanding of the core fundamentals of art and design. Especially colour. I learned about color theory in Painting I. With my glass-topped rolling palette, oil pants, mineral oil, and a trusty palette knife, I learned everything I know about color by mixing the basics with what I needed. We started mixing colors with two simple rules, no mixing with white, no mixing with black, not until we learned to mix color with color. The reason? Black and white affect the hue and shade of a color so dramatically that you'd probably end up with one big muted mess. Even when you've perfected the right levels of restraint, it was always a tricky move, especially with black. Why? Black is just so powerful. Color can often speak louder than words. It's the first thing that strikes you about a design, it evokes immediate emotion and sets the tone for all other supporting elements. “People make unconscious judgments about a . . . product within 90 seconds of first viewing and . . . Between 62% and 90% of this rating is based on color alone.” Being able to successfully understand and implement color in your marketing and design can change behavior. This is no more true than for arguably the strongest color there is - black. Get actionable live feedback on the site A valid question considering black isn't even on theFarbkreis. There are different philosophies about this. The first is scientific. According to physics, black isnota color because it has no specific wavelength with respect to visible light. Each color in the spectrum has its own specific wavelength, black has no wavelength as it is seen as the absence of all light. picture aboveScienceStruck. Ok well, science has a point. But if you open a box of crayons, you see black, pink, and even macaroni and cheese, none of which have these wavelengths, but we still perceive them as "colors" and look at them. We know fromAshleigh's previous articleRegarding the color red, when choosing colors for design, there are three primary color/emotion categories to consider: warm, cool, and neutral.
But wait, is black even a color?
Black as neutral
A long time ago, in my early years as a graphic design student, I had the opportunity to take not only a number of computer-based graphics courses, but also traditional art courses.
You see, the thing is, you can't get started applying concepts to elements in a design without having a solid understanding of the core fundamentals of art and design. Especially colour.
I learned about color theory in Painting I.
With my glass-topped rolling palette, oil pants, mineral oil, and a trusty palette knife, I learned everything I know about color by mixing the basics with what I needed.
We started mixing colors with two simple rules, no mixing with white, no mixing with black, not until we learned to mix color with color.
The reason? Black and white affect the hue and shade of a color so dramatically that you'd probably end up with one big muted mess.
Even when you've perfected the right levels of restraint, it was always a tricky move, especially with black. Why? Black is just so powerful.
Color can often speak louder than words. It's the first thing that strikes you about a design, it evokes immediate emotion and sets the tone for all other supporting elements.
“People make unconscious judgments about a . . . product within 90 seconds of first viewing and . . . Between 62% and 90% of this rating is based on color alone.”
Being able to successfully understand and implement color in your marketing and design can change behavior. This is no more true than for arguably the strongest color there is - black.
Get actionable live feedback on the site
A valid question considering black isn't even on theFarbkreis.
There are different philosophies about this. The first is scientific.
According to physics, black isnota color because it has no specific wavelength with respect to visible light.
Each color in the spectrum has its own specific wavelength, black has no wavelength as it is seen as the absence of all light.
Ok well, science has a point.
But if you open a box of crayons, you see black, pink, and even macaroni and cheese, none of which have these wavelengths, but we still perceive them as "colors" and look at them.
We know fromAshleigh's previous articleRegarding the color red, when choosing colors for design, there are three primary color/emotion categories to consider: warm, cool, and neutral.
Black is a neutral color that is often used to "stabilize" or mute more vibrant colors that risk overpowering.
Because of these stabilizing properties, black can feel very powerful.
Black can be associated with being elegant, formal, sleek, modern or luxurious.
The WWF logo, for example, is formal with a sophisticated elegance that always remains modern.
The Nike Swoosh's action-forward shape is both sophisticated and modern.
The New York Times logo is timeless and traditional.
Consumers may find black used on sites that sell high-end, luxury, or elite items.
The high contrast offered by black allows certain page elements (like backgrounds) to recede, allowing the user's focus to remain on the product photos without the overall layout looking fussy or overdone.
In the Chanel example above, traditional website elements such as the logo, navigation, and background fall out of focus, allowing the user to focus on the vibrant product photo.
On the other hand, black has some very negative connotations. In North America, black is often associated with evil, death, or mystery.
Using black to support additional elements can exude elegance, while too much black can be downright gloomy and uninviting.
So how should you use black?
Successful use of black in marketing and branding
Black is most valued for its highly functional design aesthetic. It is often used in situations where high contrast and legibility are the most important factors.
In this example from Vogue, we can see how these functional design principles are carried over to the web from a traditional print publication where readability is paramount.
For example, their logo is big, bold, and takes center stage, similar to what is used on printed magazine covers. Your menu mimics the hierarchy of type in articles and serves as a headline rather than secondary body copy.
This is why most word processors use black text on a white page by default and also why luxury brands keep their visual identities simple yet extremely bold.
Unlike some more connotative colors like orange or red, black is versatile, making it suitable for a variety of different industries.
Let's take a look at how some brands have successfully used black in their marketing and branding.
Black in the logo
1. Tiffany & Co.: While Tiffany is commonly known for its “Tiffany Blue,” it also uses black in its logo to show simplicity and luxury. It's also subtle and ready to take a backseat when confronted with her stunning jewellery. Black promotes sophistication and sophistication here.
2. Apple:The use of black in the Apple logo implies modernity, innovation, minimalism and bold thinking.
These are all qualities that the modern consumer relies on Apple products for in their daily lives.
3. Gillette:Combined with such a strong font, Gillette's use of black looks incredibly masculine to the viewer. The color makes the brand appear resilient, strong and hardworking.
4. Channel:Similar to the Tiffany logo, Chanel uses black as a pure neutral to elevate its products and show that they are anything but basic. This logo is daring luxury consistent with the brand's values.
5. Playboy:The use of black in the Playboy logo is extremely interesting. They play both sides of the emotional coin. On the one hand, the brand is perceived as very high quality and glamorous, but at the same time it is also incredibly mysterious.
Black in websites
Just as the logos above have used black to convey emotion and quality, the following websites have used the color black to encourage their users to take action.
1.code and theory: The Code and Theory website's use of black sets a bold and modern tone. Because Code and Theory provide design services for agencies, these underlying tones speak to their aesthetic and the end product that the user can expect.
Black has been used here to create a stark contrast to the white text, the only other element on the page that fully captures your attention.
2.SNP: Similar to the example above, SNP uses black to set a bold and modern tone for its website and brand.
Because SNP specializes in digital production and uses advanced programming languages to execute projects for their clients, the modern tone set by the color black suits their product and the services they offer very well.
Combined with an interactive, animated element that offers the same strong contrast, your eye is specifically drawn to the text and the user's journey begins.
3.HER: This example uses black in a very authoritative and traditionally "masculine" way. The color black combined with the bold, blocky font is extremely compelling, reflecting the tone of the product pictured behind the high-contrast text box.
The tone of these elements not only reflects the product, but embodies the image that their persona wants to identify with.
4.Kuroazul: Very similar to the luxury brand logos mentioned earlier in this article, Couroazul uses black to convey wealth and a sense of exclusivity, which is important for a high-end leather company.
Combined with a photograph that also relies on high contrasts, the color black serves as a grounding neutrality for the elements on the page.
5.INFINITY: This example relies on the color black to create a neutral background that puts the product in focus for the user.
Finally, since this product will be used in a user's home, the neutral background allows the user to image the product in their own space, as opposed to an artificial space created by more complicated photography.
The use of black as opposed to white highlights smaller, more intricate details of their stone products and gives the user an overall sense of luxury that they will want to carry over into their own home.
The color black & conversion rates
Color is arguably the most important element when creating calls-to-action (CTAs).
CTAs exist to grab the user's attention and persuade them to take a desired action. The best way to do this with color is to make sure you choose one that stands out from all the other elements on the page.
Black is an easy color to achieve this as it is able to provide high contrast with the vast majority of colors.
While it's not appropriate in every situation (you need to consider appropriate page elements), it's a quick way to draw attention to a clickable action on a page.
In this example, Marie Forleo used a black very effectively in a CTA.
By opting for a black button, she stayed with the brand and offered the highest possible contrast to all other elements on the page. The button has been provided with a lot of white space and the button text is also rich in contrast.
When to Avoid Using Black in Marketing and Branding?
While we've highlighted some excellent examples of the most effective ways to use black in design, there are times when it's just not appropriate.
1. In an already dark theme
Dark backgrounds in particular can impair legibility. Light text on a dark background can strain a user's eyes, resulting in a less than pleasant user experience.
As always, accessibility concerns should also be addressed.
In the example above you can see how white text can go wrong on a dark layout.
The text isn't big enough and there's way too much of it. In addition, the line spacing is not sufficient to make the text fully legible.
If you plan to use light text on a black background, leave enough white space and make sure the text size is appropriate for the font style (e.g., thin text versus block text).
Additionally, as we discussed in this article, black is one of the most contrasting colors available to a designer. This adds to its powerful, attention-grabbing nature.
If you use black in a design, be extremely aware of your use. Applying color to every element on a page draws attention to everything and therefore to nothing.
Reserve black for section backgrounds, important text, or bottom-of-funnel calls-to-action, but don't use all of these black elements in the same section. .
2. In particular industries
There are certain industries that often use black to communicate the raw emotions the color often evokes, but others should exercise caution to avoid large doses of the color entirely.
For example, in the wedding dress industry, black would be perceived with negative emotions.
3. With specific target groups
Similar to usage in certain industries, black may not be appropriate for certain audiences. Again, black is the color of mourning in many cultures. If not used strategically, this feeling could be evoked in an audience familiar with the color in this context.
Considerations for using black in your marketing and design
While black can be beneficial for the emotions your brand is trying to convey, you should be careful when using the color in your designs.
Pay attention to the combination with other colors. While black can help enhance the colors it's paired with, sometimes that contrast can be overly effective.
Take black and orange for example, not only will you get spooky Halloween vibes to many people, but when these two colors combine together, they make the other brighter and more striking.
In this example, you'll notice how black and orange make each other stand out, making both colors far more impressive than they would be alone.
This fight for user attention could result in ineffective design if you consider implementing them on CTAs.
Think about how you want to use black.
Should it be a base color in your design or just an accent?
Depending on your usage, you should pay attention to how you use other elements in the design. Above all,spacesand typography must be treated very differently depending on the use of black.
Finally, pay attention to others in your industry.
How do they use the color and what kind of emotion does it evoke? If competitors don't use the color at all, does it convey the appropriate emotional response from users?
Considering your competitor's use of color can help determine how you're perceived and whether you stand out.
OurBrains prefer instantly recognizable brands, and color is a key part of creating a brand identity. Depending on how you want to position yourself against direct competitors, you may want to deviate completely or orientate yourself on their use of color.
Finally, use black responsibly.
In general, using the color black in the theme can greatly impact your efforts to grab your users' attention. You just want to be sure that that impact is always what you intend and that it reinforces your overall message.
Go for high contrast and use black, but make sure it's appropriate for your application and industry. Don't forget to recognize how other elements in your design interact with the color and make adjustments accordingly.
Black is an extremely powerful color, use it for good.
What is black Colour psychology in marketing? ›
Black Color Psychology
Black is a popular color in retail. In color psychology, black's color meaning is symbolic of mystery, power, elegance, and sophistication. In contrast, the color meaning can also evoke emotions such as sadness and anger. Many fashion retailers have used black in their logos.
Though black is often used as a representation of darkness, in design terms it is typically a color that brings gravity and strength to a message. When used in small doses, black can make a design look polished, edgy, and minimalist.What is psychology of Colour in marketing? ›
Color psychology is the study of how colors affect perceptions and behaviors. In marketing and branding, color psychology is focused on how colors impact consumers' impressions of a brand and whether or not they persuade consumers to consider specific brands or make a purchase.Is black a good color for marketing? ›
Consumers can notice black being used on websites that sell high-end, luxury, or elite items. The high contrast that black provides, allows certain page elements (like backgrounds) to recede, so that the user's focus can remain on product photos without the overall layout seeming fussy or overdone.What psychological effect does black have? ›
Black feels sophisticated, classic and serious. Black evokes power, luxury and elegance, but can also mean professionalism, neutrality and simplicity. It's bold and powerful and is often used to evoke mystery. In certain contexts and cultures, the color black can also refer to mourning or sadness.What is the message of color black? ›
But black color has a special full-spectrum status when it comes to the feelings it reflects. “Power, elegance, sophistication, status, formality. Evil, death, grief, mourning, the occult. Mystery, bleakness, heaviness, depression, rebellion, fear.”What does black symbolize in business? ›
It can suggest aggressiveness, power, and discipline. It can also be associated with sophistication, temptation, affluence, high-end luxury brands, and success. By using black in a business logo, you can convey authority, strength, formality, and power.What color black symbolizes in business? ›
Black is traditionally seen as a symbol of professionalism and seriousness. However, it can also be used to elicit feelings of elegance, substance, and power. Brands which pick black are looking to make a powerful statement and convey a sense of authority and respectability.Why is the color black so powerful? ›
The Psychology of the Color Black
Indeed, the color black can evoke feelings of safety and covering. The color black also absorbs negative energy. In fact, it really absorbs both negative and positive energies, creating a neutrality that is refreshing during stressful times.
Red: excitement, passion, anger, danger, action, anxiety, power. Orange: playfulness, friendliness, creativity, warmth, enthusiasm. Yellow: happiness, optimism, warning, joy, originality, enthusiasm. Green: Youth, vibrancy, vigor, nature, growth, stability.
What color is best for marketing? ›
Red is the color of power. It gets people's attention and it holds it, which is why it's the most popular color for marketing. The word SALE is always red, and you'll often find red a common tie color for professionals.What psychological effect do colors have? ›
Colors close to the red spectrum are warmer colors, including red, orange, and yellow. These warm colors evoke emotions ranging from feelings of warmth and comfort to feelings of anger and hostility. Whereas blue colors like purple and green are known for evoking feelings of calm, sadness, or indifference.Why black is the best color? ›
Black is the elegant color
As a result, it is regarded as the most enigmatic color. The color black has an enticing beauty to it. It is also associated with prestige, power, intelligence, glamour, and luxury. Black clothes give the impression of elegance, confidence, and sophistication.
The color red attracts attention in an emotional context.Why is black a premium colour? ›
It is a colour that makes a very powerful and striking mark and can give a feeling of superiority and strength. I find it fascinating when I see a brand's logo in black, whether it's used for its elegance, power or for its strong presence, it can easily resonate these characteristics of the brand.Why is Black psychology important? ›
In many ways, Black psychology should be viewed as a precursor to positive psychology and multicultural psychology. Black psychologists have had an unwavering belief in the humanity and potentiality of Black people, especially in their ability to transcend and not be defined by racial oppression.What does black emotion mean? ›
Throughout history, this somber color has been tied to death and all things evil and bad. It evokes strong feelings of anger, aggression, fear, and sadness.Does black attract attention? ›
The top 10 most attractive colors for women include purple, green, pink, orange, yellow, gray, brown (dark), black (dark), white, and silver. These colors make many women feel confident, sexy, and attractive.What does black represent positive? ›
The positive traits of black include protection and comfort, as well as, strong, contained, formal, sophisticated, seductive, mysterious, endings and beginnings. With negative traits being aloof, depressing, pessimistic, secretive, and withholding.What does black mean in sales? ›
Being in the black means that you have been profitable. You make more than you spend. Your company has more income than debt, and you can pay your expenses with ease. You may not be making a profit, but you are at least breaking even.
Why do companies use black? ›
Black in logos suggest boldness, strength, and durability.What is the best color for success? ›
(Gold symbolizes success, triumph, luxury, and abundance)
Gold is often used as a brand color for businesses selling luxurious and expensive products. It's also frequently used in combination with navy blue or black in brands with men as their target audience.
Symbolism And Meaning Of Black
Black represents evil, darkness, night, and despair. It's the color used to convey certainty and authority, and when used in opposition with white, it's a symbol of the eternal struggle between day and night, good and evil, and right and wrong.
Black is dominant, which means black individuals must have at least one B allele. Their genotype could be either BB or Bb. In this pedigree, black individuals are not filled in.Why is the color black unique? ›
The color black results from the absence or complete absorption of visible light. Unlike most colors, black is achromatic which means it doesn't have a hue. Black is one of the earliest colors known to man and has become a symbol for different things across various cultures.Why does black make you look? ›
One reason dark colours have this effect is that they draw the eye away from the body to the head, hands and feet, making you appear taller and slimmer. They also help hide any bumps or bulges. By contrast, lighter colours emphasise your contours, as these are more likely to produce shadows in light-coloured clothing.What is the color psychology of black and white? ›
Black is evil; white is good. Black traps space, while white opens space. Black evokes sophistication; white communicates innocence. It's clear: black and white are opposites.Why is color important in marketing? ›
In marketing, colors can be a powerful tool used to influence reactions and responses in your audience. The psychology of colors explains that specific colors can trigger certain emotions and moods in people. While some colors can trigger urgency and alertness, others can make the audience feel calm or even nostalgic.How is color psychology used in design? ›
Using color in graphic design is an excellent way to subtlety influence the way a viewer feels about a composition. For example, bright green colors tend to evoke springtime and nature, which would make perfect sense for a renewable energy company's logo.What color makes people like you? ›
#1 Color Psychology and Attraction
Either way, the color red gets your attention. A study shows that men or women are attracted to each other by the color red, but for different reasons.
What color attracts buyers? ›
If your buyer is a traditional buyer they are most likely to be found in clothing stores and are attracted to pink, rose, and sky-blue. As a whole, women prefer soft colors and are more receptive to tints, while men prefer bold colors and are more likely to select shades of colors.How does color influence behavior? ›
Warm colors like red, yellow and orange evoke higher arousal emotions, such as love, passion, happiness, and anger. Cool colors, like blue, green and purple are linked to calmness, sadness and indifference. Colors can trigger these arousal states and emotions.How does color psychology influence consumer behavior? ›
As well as the emotions that can be stirred by individual colours, the tone and brightness of colours also makes a difference to consumer reactions. Warm colours such as yellow, pink and red produce excitement, while cool colours such as blue and white evoke relaxation and peacefulness.How color affects your perception? ›
Some colours induce a feeling of pleasure in the observer. When an affectively positive, or pleasurably perceived, colour is viewed after a less-pleasant colour, it produces more pleasure than when viewed by itself, an effect known as affective contrast enhancement.Why do designers love black? ›
It allows the joyous colors from your project to be the focal point and for you to be the professional presenting it. Adage designer Tosh Hall, explains it as “the reason we wear black is because it's simple and everything else should be the color – your ideas should be the color.”Is black color positive or negative? ›
It's also practical, rarely fades in modern fabrics and goes with everything – in fashion, black is not a negative but a neutral. In fact, it was the colour of choice for the chic and rich as far back as the 14th century, where rulers and courts began to wear the austere but elegant shade.What is the most welcoming color? ›
Yellow symbolizes happiness and warmth in almost all cultures. It's the color that grabs users' attention more than any other color. McDonald's and IKEA both use yellow in their branding to give off the feeling of friendliness and positivity.What color increases attraction? ›
Scientists have revealed that wearing the colour red will make you more attractive to the opposite sex. Studies reveal that red is the most attractive colour to both men and women but, curiously, the two genders are attracted to the same colour for different reasons.What color catches the eye first? ›
On the other hand, since yellow is the most visible color of all the colors, it is the first color that the human eye notices. Use it to get attention, such as a yellow sign with black text, or as an accent. Have you noticed yellow fire engines in some cities?What does black colour make you feel? ›
Black feels sophisticated, classic and serious. Black evokes power, luxury and elegance, but can also mean professionalism, neutrality and simplicity. It's bold and powerful and is often used to evoke mystery. In certain contexts and cultures, the color black can also refer to mourning or sadness.
What does black Colour represent in business? ›
Black is traditionally seen as a symbol of professionalism and seriousness. However, it can also be used to elicit feelings of elegance, substance, and power. Brands which pick black are looking to make a powerful statement and convey a sense of authority and respectability.What does black Colour mean in business? ›
It can suggest aggressiveness, power, and discipline. It can also be associated with sophistication, temptation, affluence, high-end luxury brands, and success. By using black in a business logo, you can convey authority, strength, formality, and power.What does black mean in business? ›
Being in the black means that you have been profitable. You make more than you spend. Your company has more income than debt, and you can pay your expenses with ease. You may not be making a profit, but you are at least breaking even. This is a huge contrast to being in the red.What is black marketing class? ›
The black market is the 'market' where goods and services are sold in a way that is illegal or for goods and services that are illegal. Obviously, it isn't a market in the physical sense of the word, but rather, a market meaning the collective transactions that take place between buyers and sellers.Why is black an important Colour? ›
It can be linked with death, mourning, evil magic, and darkness, but it can also symbolize elegance, wealth, restraint, and power. As the first pigment used by artists in prehistory and the first ink used by book printers, black played an important role in the development of art and literature.Why is black a professional color? ›
Black : Black portrays leadership skills and authority, so may be best for high-level executive or managerial positions. Brown : Brown reflects dependability, warmth and safety, all good traits to work in a team.What is the full meaning of black? ›
1. lacking hue and brightness; absorbing light without reflecting any of the rays composing it. 2. characterized by absence of light; enveloped in darkness. a black night.What does it mean to work black? ›
work for which a person is paid in cash, with the transaction not recorded or reported, so as to avoid paying income tax on the amount earned.What is the meaning of to be in black? ›
If a bank account is in the black, it contains some money, and if a person or business is in the black, they have money in the bank and are not in debt.What is the cause of black marketing? ›
Black markets typically arise when the government attempts to control prices or imposes an excessively high tax burden on transactions. For example, when a government imposes price controls on fuel, individuals willing to pay more than the fixed rate will form the demand side of a black market.
What leads to black marketing? ›
Why Black Markets Exist. Black markets, also called shadow markets, come about when people want to exchange goods or services that are prohibited by governments. Black markets skew economic data, as transactions are unrecorded.What are the effects of black market? ›
The shift in supply and demand causes the quantity consumed of the black market good to decrease, while the price rises. If the demand side effects dominate, there will be a drop in quantity consumed, but there will also see a corresponding drop in price. However, this does not typically happen in a black market.