Sunday, June 13, 2010

Primary Colors, But Are They Right?

It's not real secret that color ads attract more attention than black and white ads. The secret, however, is in how you use that color to your advantage.

We've all seen political ads with orange text on green backgrounds, or red and blue. What most people do see is what I wish their ad designers saw: visual distortion. Visual distortion occurs when two colors are placed one on top of the other and hurts the viewer's eyes to look at it. I used political ads as my example because they are, in some cases, excellent examples of what not to do. If you decide to use blue text on top of a red background, or vice-versa, you'll need to put some space in between the colors. One way to do this is putting a white outline around the text. Another way is to "box off" the text into a white box, which will also draw attention to those words (like a call to action). Sometimes changing the hue of the colors will work, but some color hues don't like to play nicely, so use this option with great care. Remember: if it hurts your eyes, your viewer's eyes won't like it, either.

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