How Fonts and Colors Influence Customers Buying Decisions

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Fonts and colors are inseparable elements of branding and marketing. They can evoke emotions, subconscious anchors, feelings and thus become great tools in the hands of marketers. 

The effect of these visual elements on customers is subconscious, which is impossible to control. We have no special devices to discover what impulses reach the minds of your target audience.

So, we do not offer universal algorithms such as: "Use a light violet color and Arial font on your website, and customers will definitely buy your product." 

However, our experience and the academic research of neuroscientists, cognitive psychologists, and neuromarketers have helped us come to some conclusions in this regard.

How a successful color choice can boost sales  

In the past, color had a sacred meaning for our ancestors. But in the 21st century, we should not belittle its importance.

How Fonts and Colors Influence Customers Buying Decisions

Of course, you can simply choose your favorite colors and apply them to the elements on the website or use them in a logo to make everything look aesthetically pleasing. 

But the best option would be to approach this issue thoroughly and choose a color that helps increase the conversion rate, create an impression of the brand and the product, and leave a lasting mark in the subconscious of your consumer

How to choose a color scheme to attract users? 

The customers will form their opinion of your product and brand in less than 2 minutes.

First of all, it will be formed visually thanks to the perception of color. The marketer has 90 seconds to gently influence a consumer's decision and persuade him/her to purchase

But how to choose the best color scheme? Perhaps, you should determine the favorite color palette of your target audience? It's hardly feasible because there are too many aspects influencing people's color preferences:

  • Gender;
  • Age;
  • Country of residence;
  • Cultural background;
  • Personal experience and neuro-associations;
  • Religion, etc.

Then maybe you should choose a color palette that emphasizes the features and uniqueness of the product? This is the smartest way, and it's sure to help:

  • Set the product/service apart from the competition. You definitely associate Apple with a minimalist design and basic colors and Coca-Cola with a bright red logo or a New Year's Eve truck. This way, you can also build strong associations with your brand;
  • Gently and unobtrusively form the desired reaction in consumers. Based on an understanding of the psychology of color, you can predict how potential customers will perceive your brand and products;
  • Boost sales. With color, you can give your product character and tell the customers about its value without burdening them with unnecessary verbal constructions. Evoking the proper emotions, you will gently encourage the user to buy it.

Red 

What emotion does the color red evoke for you? Everyone will have a different answer to this question: danger, passion, fire, or maybe love. One thing is certain: red raises the pulse and has an active effect on the central nervous system.

Red

In marketing, the associations with this color are very strong:

  • Brands involved in the sale of food and beverages often use red in their logos and other elements because it increases appetite. Think about the color palette of the largest fast-food restaurants such as McDonald's, KFC, Burger King, Domino's Pizza, and Pizza Hut: all of them use red elements;
  • The color red is an eye-catcher. This is due to our deep cultural connection to it. Typically, alarms, error notifications, and forbidding traffic light signals have this color. Users usually don't ignore elements of scarlet hues;
  • This color also makes our heart beat harder creating a sense of rush. A great idea would be to use red for CTA buttons like "See More", "Buy", "Checkout", etc. This will work like a red price tag in a store, encouraging the customer to buy and reducing the hesitation time.

Studies show that red CTA buttons are 21% more effective than green buttons and 34% more effective than blue ones. This significantly increases the conversion rate

Orange 

Orange is a friendly and positive color. Brands with affordable products often include it in their marketing campaigns

Fanta and Mirinda producers use it to emphasize the flavors of their products. 

And Hermes has chosen orange as their signature color as a tribute to the period when they had no other packaging paper than orange during World War II. 

Orange can also look great in the technology industry. It's a friendly color that reduces the degree of officiousness and makes complicated things a bit simpler. 

For example, Kodjin, a company that provides sophisticated FHIR server, uses orange as the main accent color on the site. 

On the other hand, in surveys conducted by Xerox Corporation, people often point out that some orange shades look cheap and may even reduce the overall value of the products. 

Yellow 

If you want to convey lightness, positive emotions, and enthusiasm, use yellow. Even in antiquity, our ancestors associated this color with the sun, which gave rise to a clear and positive connotation. 

This color causes the production of serotonin. If you want people to experience happiness when interacting with your brand, then embed yellow as an accent element. 

Yellow is often a supporting color in addition to red in marketing campaigns for food-related brands (let's go back to the logos of all the popular fast-food restaurants to see this).

Green 

Green, according to the concept of color psychology, has a connection to:

  • Nature;
  • Cleanliness;
  • Sustainability.

If your brand is tied to nature, healthy eating, and lifestyle, implementing green hues in your marketing campaign/website/logo will emphasize this, creating the proper impression.

The Iherb e-commerce website has skillfully used this trick. Its users are confident that the platform offers exclusively healthy products. 

Some shoddy pseudo-ecological brands resort to using shades of green to sell unhealthy products to customers under the guise of healthy ones. And it works. 

Moreover, some buttons/elements on your site can be highlighted in green. This is associated with a green traffic light, giving the impression of making the right choice or action. 

Blue

Many large companies choose blue as their corporate color.

Blue

Numerous technology corporations are among them:

  • Samsung;
  • Siemens;
  • Nokia;
  • HP;
  • Intel;
  • Philips;
  • Epson;
  • Windows.

The best experts in the world work on branding and marketing campaigns for these corporations.

They know for sure that blue evokes a feeling of safety, reliability, and stability. These are emotions that a person wants to experience when buying such products.

Also, some shades of blue (especially when combined with white) give a sense of purity.

If cleanliness and sterility are important in your business, then you can use this color pairing. For example, clinics and cleaning companies often turn to this method. 

It's easy to draw an association between blue tones and water/skies. No wonder many airlines choose them as corporate colors as well. 

Meanwhile, unlike red and yellow, you will hardly find blue anywhere in food advertising. There are dozens of studies that claim such coloring reduces appetite. 

Brown

Brown is rarely used in marketing. If we refer to the research results of Xerox Corporation, this color is disliked by both men and women. 

But for M&M's, using brown is a great solution. When clients see their logo, they instantly associate the color with milk chocolate. This is exactly what the candy company is trying to achieve. 

Black 

This is the most interesting and controversial color in our selection. In the cultures of most countries, it is considered to be depressing and even mournful. 

But in marketing, black has a very different meaning and evokes a sense of mystery, wealth, and conciseness

The most popular and luxury brands resort to using black (Chanel, Dior, Apple, Prada, BMW, etc). Their message is: We don't need to draw attention with bright colors, as we are known and loved thanks to our high-class products. 

Also, black is often used to give a product a muscular look. Massive men's watches look great on a dark background, emphasizing severity and solidity.

If you want to emphasize the uniqueness and luxurious nature of the product, follow the experience of big-name brands and use black

A few other tips for color selection

  • Use the color choices "pink for girls" and "blue for boys" with prudence. This gender tie-in is becoming more and more obsolete by the day. With children's products, it still works flawlessly. But given how the modern world strives for gender neutrality in marketing campaigns and branding, it may soon become a bad practice;
  • To highlight objects and CTA buttons on the background of the site, use hues that are opposite to each other in the color wheel. These are the best contrasting colors that are sure to attract users' attention;
  • Determine what you want to tell the customer about your brand and emphasize that with your color choices;
  • Research the colors of your competitors' products and resources. If similar solutions predominate among them, consider alternatives. By doing so, you'll increase brand awareness;
  • Test your brand's color palette on focus groups. You'll be able to see how different results you'll get just by changing the tones;
  • Be culturally sensitive. Every culture has its own unique associations. For example, white can be associated with either purity and cleanliness or mourning.

Many people starting a business turn to various professionals to develop a website/ marketing strategy or resort to telecommunication consultancy, ML/AI specialists, etc.

Meanwhile, they neglect such a tiny but so important detail as colors, which can also carry a dramatic impact. 

How a successful font choice can boost sales  

The choice of typeface also can't be unconscious, random, or purely aesthetic if you want to boost sales. 

For example, the font Comic Sans is a classic option to emphasize infantilism. It works perfectly for the promotion of children's goods. 

But just imagine using this font to advertise luxury goods. In that case, an expensive watch or classic gold cufflinks immediately lose the flair of luxury and are subconsciously perceived by the buyer as a child's trinket.

Would clients want to spend a few hundred or thousands of dollars for a child's trinket? 

Or suppose you need to sell a warm velour blanket. The font should represent the feeling that the customer will experience after buying this item. 

Warm velour blanket – EB Garamond

Warm velour blanket - Comfortaa

In this case, the Comfortaa font is clearly doing a better job

As you can see, a font is a crucial element of branding that also helps marketers build imagery through deep cultural connections in customers' subconscious. 

Serif fonts

Traditional typewriter fonts and the most popular document fonts have serifs. They're firmly embedded in our subconscious as classic and strict ones.

If you need to emphasize solidity and reliability, add them to your marketing campaigns

Sans Serif fonts 

These fonts are more modern. They're great for reducing the degree of officiousness but still look solid

An online bank, for example, might choose a bold sans serif font. This will show that they are positioning themselves as an innovative bank but can be trusted as a traditional one. 

Handwritten fonts 

Handwritten fonts give a sensation of lightness and unpretentiousness. They look unique and interesting and can evoke a range of emotions. 

Handwritten fonts

They are best suited for art, decoration, children's products, confectionery, and other brands where lightness and playfulness are important

Handwritten fonts can also have swirls, which imparts a baroque and elegant look, or they can be crisper and bolder to create a more grungy style. 

A few other tips for fonts selection

  • Make the text readable. The fonts you choose should have acceptable letter spacing and size. The user will not interact with the text if it is uncomfortable to read. In this case, the customer will contact your competitors;
  • The fonts you choose should create a visual composition. Putting mismatched fonts on one page is as absurd as presenting someone a bouquet of roses and sticks of sausage. Each of the fonts on the page should serve its purpose: to attract, to complement, etc.;
  • Guide your customer to the "buy" button. You should arrange all the elements (including textual ones) so that the user makes a logical path from acquaintance with an offer to the "buy" button. The attention of the potential customer should cling to the right elements in the right order;
  • Anything written in complementary fine print should not be decisive information. Be aware that the customer might just miss it.

Conclusion

Essentially, all people are aesthetes with a huge amount of neuro-associations relating to colors and fonts. This can be skillfully used by marketers to connect the promoted product with the emotion evoked. 

But color psychology is more of empirical science, which does not give us hard scientific facts. Accordingly, there are no algorithms or rules in the selection of shades.

A fan of minimalism may find a bright, juicy marketing campaign garish and irritating, and a lover of exuberant colors will consider the black&white design dull and depressing. But some associations will work well with both personalities. 

Fonts also actively influence customers' emotions and feelings. As we have found out, they can bring people back to their childhood or give them the feeling of a warm plaid on their shoulders.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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