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“A color is as strong as the impression it creates.”    

– Ivan Albright

Wondering how to use color effectively when creating an app? Look no further! Since color is an extremely important part of UX design, we want to make it easy for you even if you’re building a mobile app for the very first time.

Brand colors: What are they?

Brand colors are a palette or a set of colors used to represent your brand – the colors on your logo, creatives, social media, business cards, or app design. A consistent and thought-through use of brand colors is extremely effective because it can help improve brand awareness and recognition.

Think of an app: In a crowded app store, your brand colors can help you stand out, communicate who you are, and ultimately help people connect with you. Your brand colors form a part of your app’s visual identity, which is a combination of graphic and visual elements that help form a personality around your brand.

Why do colors matter?

Here are some interesting stats about colors that point to why they make such a big difference!

A signature color boosts brand recognition by upto 80%

Blue, red, and black are the three most common logo colors

95% of all purchasing decisions are made subconsciously, and color plays a big role in this response

Color isn’t just about aesthetics – your app colors are a powerful branding tool that, when used properly, can improve your app experience dramatically!  There’s a reason the world switched to color TV and media – it grabs your attention, it’s appealing! It’s a great way to differentiate yourself from competitors and help you stand out, whether it’s in the feed on an app store, on a poster, or placed on a shelf.

The other reason why color is so impactful is because it can influence your mood. If you want your app to be associated with a particular emotion, color is a great way to do it! Interestingly, a study conducted by Virginia Tech found that the color red on web page backgrounds influenced people’s willingness to bid during online auctions.

How should I pick out colors for my mobile app?

Step 1. Pick your brand personality traits

What do you want your app to be associated with? Is it a particular mood, feeling, or expression? How do you want people to feel about using your app? Here’s a quick list of brand personality traits that you can use to get started.

Step 2. Choose colors that will help communicate your brand personality

According to Dribbble, “Knowing which colors are most popular and which emotions are evoked by each color are vital. The most popular favorite color
 in the world is blue, which helps explain why it’s such a popular color for many brands.”

According to a study of the world’s top 100 brands, a lot of successful brands have only one or two brand colors, so don’t be afraid to keep it simple and stick with that core brand color. You can use this guide to figure out which colors correspond to particular emotions or feelings, but remember that a lot of these associations are cultural.

Red:Red often corresponds with bold or intense experiences. It can represent indulgence – like the obvious associations with love, anger, danger, passion, or prosperity.

Yellow: Yellow has a reputation for being cheerful, bright, and uplifting. It reminds people of summer, which is why it’s often associated with warmth.

Blue: Blue is one of the most prominent colors in nature. It’s associated with water and air, which is why it’s tied to calmness and tranquility. Along with it, blue is often used to symbolize stability and trust.

Green: Green symbolizes abundance or freshness, and has become popularly associated with peace, environmental consciousness, and wealth.

Orange: Similar to red and yellow, orange is considered bold, fun, and playful.

Purple: Purple represents power, wealth, and royalty. It’s often linked to mystery or magic.

White: Universally, white is connected to light, purity, or cleanliness. It’s associated with simplicity and modernity in design.

Black: Black is associated with power, elegance, and sophistication.

Step 3. Pick a color scheme for your app

A color scheme is simply the way colors are combined or arranged. There are a few combinations and schemes you can choose from based on the color wheel.

Analogous color scheme

This is a popular choice for designers. It’s a combination of colors that are located next to each other on the color wheel. Generally, one color will be dominant, while the others form the accent colors. This type of color scheme is generally quite pleasing to look at.

Monochromatic color scheme

This color scheme uses one base color, along with its shades or tones as an extended palette. It gives your app a cohesive and elegant appearance.

Triadic color scheme

The triadic color scheme combines three colors that are located evenly across the color wheel (psst, we use this in the Adalo logo too!) Generally, the way to pull off a triadic color scheme for your app is to let one color be dominant, and have the other two colors used for emphasis or to highlight something.

Complementary color scheme

Complementary colors are located on opposite sides of the color wheel. Combinations like red and green, blue and orange – these colors have a strong contrast but often work quite well when placed side by side. Designers often use complementary colors if they want a particular element in the mobile app UI to stand out.

Compound color scheme

This is also known as split-complementary. This color scheme takes two adjacent colors on the color wheel, and pairs them with a color on the opposite side.

Helpful resources for picking your mobile app colors

Now that you’re an expert on colors, these awesome resources and tools will help you put all this information to good use so that you can pick the best color scheme and palette for your app.

  • lets you upload photos of color schemes that you like, and then generates color palettes based on those images.
  • Check My Colors is a nifty tool designed to check whether the background and foreground color combinations have sufficient contrast. This is especially useful if you’re designing apps people that may have color-identifying deficits.
  • Designspiration lets you choose colors that you love, and then generates images with that color combination so you can pick your favorite and save the hex codes for your brand.
  • Coolors is a super fast color scheme generator that can be used to instantaneously create color schemes for your brand. With little experience, you can quickly explore color schemes created by other designers and copy them for your own brand.
  • Canva’s color blog is a treasure trove of helpful information about colors, color trends, color schemes – you name it!
  • Adobe Color lets you explore the color wheel and try out options and themes. You can then directly export these onto other programs like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, and get to work!
  • Colormind is a great tool to explore and learn about colors while generating a color scheme. What’s great is that you can also see how the colors you choose will look with mobile UI components like buttons or tabs.
  • Colordot is a cool color scheme generator that gives you the option to lay out your colors easily. It’s great if you have certain colors in mind already and just want to have a few more options.

We hope this guide on colors helps you with the process of building your mobile app. The colors you choose for your app will make their way throughout the design – from the homescreen, to the buttons, icons, and functionality. It’s worth putting in the effort to choose the right color palette if it means creating an exceptional visual experience for your users. Whether it’s a social networking app, a security app, or an app for kids, choosing the right colors will help you design a product that will attract a loyal user base.

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