Caption: It turns out that what colors you use on your website really does matter

Image Credit: Matt Doucette

Let’s face it: if you have been put in charge of creating an effective website for an elected official, then you’ve got a big task on your hands. I’m pretty sure that by now we all understand that for a website to be effective, all of its different parts need to work together as a unified whole. What this means for you is that you’re going to have to get your website colors right.

What’s The Big Deal With Colors?

When we are thinking about the websites that we want created, what do we spend our time thinking about? More often than not it’s about what images we’ll use and cool drop-down menus.. It turns out that we might be overlooking one of the most important factors that can cause our visitors to remember what we show them. What we’ve been skipping is color.

Oh, I don’t mean that we don’t use color on our websites – no B&W sites here. However, if you are like most people who manage websites then what color something is can almost be an afterthought. This means that we’ve been missing the boat. Often times what we have is a lot of data that we want our site visitors to see. However, the real meaning of that data is hidden and it’s up to us to tease it out and make sure that our visitors understand it. This is where color can help us out.

If you’ve ever watched one of those fancy fashion shows, then you understand just how powerful color can be in conveying information. Your visitors are going to be drawing conclusions from the images that you present to them in your website. The colors that you use to do this are going to play a critical role in how effective this all is.

What Story Do Colors Tell?

Cynthia Cornell, a color researcher, at Color Communications points out that certain colors provoke a common response in people. This means that we need to understand what a given color will be telling our website visitors when they visit it. Here is a list of the most common colors and what they mean:

  • Blue-Based Reds: These colors are associated with expensive products. Think of raspberry red cars and bed linens. Is this the story that you want your elected offical's website to be telling?

  • Orange: is associated with being affordable.

  • Yellow: has less of a meaning and is more of communication tool. Because of how we humans are built, yellow is the first color that our eye will pick up. This means that when we use yellow with dark colors (yellow text on a black background), the contrast is powerful and is easily read by your visitors.

  • Green: is associated with both possibility and hope. Additionally, in recent years green has become associated with environmentally sensitive causes.

  • Blue: is associated with both safety and confidence. You'll find a lot of this when people are talking about health care or financial topics.

  • Purple: is another one of those colors that has no clear association with it. Since it has no known association, we see it used with multiple types of imagery from chocolate to high fashion.

  • Black: has always been associated with a concept of power (think of the American Express Black Card that Hollywood types carry with them). If you want to boost the power of black even more, then add a matte or sheen to it when you use it.

  • White: tells your customers that your message comes with a higher end price, but also that it is both sophisticated and formal.

What Does All Of This Mean For You?

With a little luck, I’ve been able to convince you that the colors that are selected to be used as a part of the elected official's website that you are responsible for really do matter. There are an unlimited number of colors out there and unfortunately that means that you are looking at an unlimited number of options the next time that you are called on to either create a new website or upgrade an existing one.

The good news here is that you are not alone. Nobody expects you to have the color selection skills of a talented graphics designer. That’s what GSL Solutions’ HillTop service can bring to you. Not only is HillTop a top-notch content management system that can provide your elected official with a great looking responsive website, but when you select HillTop you’ll be able to work with one of the best website graphical arts teams out there. They’ll take what you know you want to be able to do and, by picking the right colors to tell your story, create a website that uses a full pallet to both capture and amaze your website’s visitors.

Websites can be tricky to design correctly. Picking the right colors to use with a website can be even tricker. Simplify your life and avoid making the wrong decision by selecting GSL Solutions’ HillTop service the next time you need a new or upgraded website. You’ll harnss the power of professional graphic artists who will make sure that your website uses the right colors to tell your elected official’s story.

- Dr. Jim Anderson

HillTop – Political Websites That Get The Vote!™

Question For You: Is there any color that you don’t think should be used on an elected official’s website?

GSL Solutions' HillTop service provides politicians with a way to get voters more involved with the political process. HillTop has been designed by politicians, for politicians in order to provide easy-to-use tools that make updating a political website with current and topical information easy to do. The website becomes a powerful communication tool between the politician and the voters. More information can be found at:

Tags: color, colors, color wheel, graphic artist, common response,political web site, campaign, voters, reelected, issues