The Psychology of Color

Cheryl Cain
Much has been written about the cosmetic significance of tour design. Elaborate presentations that are not bandwidth hogs have always been considered desirable and even cutting edge in front-end tours. Design shops spare no creativity in turning out the finest in glitter and sparkle in pursuit of the ultimate eye-pleasing creations.

But is it really as simple as contracting the best designer for the most spectacular design, or is there more to it than that? Doing a search on the Internet will reveal a multitude of studies done by universities, marketing agencies and private organizations all seeking to answer these same questions. To various degrees, they all conclude that there is a psychology to color coordination that directly impacts a visitor's first perception of your product. That fact by itself is certainly not rocket science, as most marketers would instinctively include color coordination in their design work. However, you must be sure the coordination in the right shades to promote impulse sales.

In many studies, there does seem to be certain colors that inspire people, while at the same time haphazard combinations turn people off. Sadly, from my research there is not a catch all combination. Demographics have been established that show that men and women react differently to color, as do people in different age groups and geographical locations. Immediate reactions to color are based as much on history as on myths or established norms. For an example, if I were to ask which color relates to "Royalty," a vast majority would answer "Purple." The reason is that in western culture, we have been programmed with the glamorous robes worn by kings and queens adorned with purple shades. Interestingly enough in eastern cultures the same question may be answered with "Gold." These differences are rooted in the way we are brought up, the society we live in, even the dominant mythology in our cultures.

All of the basic eleven colors have some sort of emotional reaction associated with them at least on a subconscious level. These reactions are almost never thought of on a conscious level but never the less they do exist. Have you ever visited a web page about a subject that you were interested in that immediately struck you as terrible before you read the first word? Of course you have, and that is the basic emotional response to the color scheme at work.

Does this mean you should shoot only for strategic color balance? No, of course not. Your presentation still must reflect the mood of the site you are offering. Obviously you are not going to want to present a fetish site in bright whites and yellows anymore than you would present a glamour niche in dark shades and earth tones. The Psychology of Color is intended to blend with your presentations. Doing research in this area may cause you to make certain adjustment in the manner that you present, but they are not intended to replace the mood that your site seeks to put forth.

It is a foregone conclusion that the adult industry relies heavily on impulse sales. In many ways the emotional response to a site's sales pitch that leads to an impulse sale can come from three basic factors. Those factors can be boiled down to impression, curiosity and interest. It has been said that a potential customer makes an initial decision to either learn more or leave in the first few seconds they are exposed to a page. Most webmasters spend most of their time and effort on their tours for the benefit of those who want to learn more. Assuming a customer has gone that far in checking out your site has already established at least a curiosity and an interest, but in an industry that is driven by impulse, can an effective color scheme be ignored?

The psychology of color and its impact on sales is a well explored subject in marketing strategy for mainstream products. The Internet is rich with studies and suggestions on refining targeted audiences and their associated colors. Simple searches on Goggle will return a multitude of materials on this subject, all of which is backed up with data demographics and mood suggestions. With all of the effort you put into your business and it's advertising, it is definitely worth the time to do at least basic research on this subject. After all, your extensive efforts in tour design will only pay off in sales if the surfer stays long enough to see what you have to offer.