A Digital Designer Know-How

Colour in digital brochure design is an important thing to watch out for.

A simple change in the shade of colour you’re using could unlock the doors for untapped success.

It’s really not that simple, though.

Understanding colour psychology is something that people get paid thousands for, but we’re going to give you a lil’ rundown to help you understand.

The Psychology of Colour in Digital Brochure Design

You don’t need to be good at art to understand the impact of colour choices in the world of design.

Weirdly, colours affect all animals, and for us, it could be the difference between buying something versus closing the tab or putting it back on the shelf.

What does it do?

  1. Emotional Responses: Warm tones like red and orange may convey energy and excitement, while cooler tones like blue or green can create a sense of calmness and trust. Even if you don’t think this happens for you, it’s a process deep in our subconscious.
  2. Perceptual Impact: Align your colours with your intended brand image. Bold and vibrant colours can show innovation and modernity, whilst muted colours are more timeless.
  3. Cultural Influences: Every culture has different meanings for colours. For example, red could represent passion and luck to one culture but danger to another. Figure out where your target audience is and design around them.
  4. Brand Consistency: It builds brand recognition. By establishing a colour palette across all digital brochures and other marketing materials, you can make yourselves recognisable. It helps create a visual language that users associate with the brand, creating long-term brand recall.
  5. Memorable Experiences: If customers associate positive emotions with your brand due to well-chosen colours, they’re more likely to remember you and engage with your content.
  6. Call-to-Action Optimisation: A contrasting colour for a CTA button can draw attention and prompt user interaction. Understanding that people are engaged by visually pleasing colour palettes will help you optimise your designs for maximum interaction.

Importance of Choosing the Right Colour in Digital Brochure Design

Nowadays, most of us have shocking attention spans.

So, unfortunately, for designers, you need to find some tactics that work for keeping your online presence strong and well-known.

The colours you choose for your digital brochures are not just aesthetic choices; they play an important role in shaping how others perceive your brand.

  • Brand Recognition and Recall: Choose a colour palette of 4 or 5 colours and stick with it to reinforce your identity. Don’t confuse people when you literally don’t have to.
  • Brand Messaging Alignment: Colours tell people all they need to know without you doing or saying anything. If you’re a creative brand, be bold and creative with your brand colours.
  • Target Audience Consideration: Different demographics respond differently to colour cues. Younger people may like the brighter stuff, but older generations could prefer something more muted. Colours create relatability.
  • Competitive Distinction: Analyse colour trends in your niche to make informed choices that set you apart from your competitors. A trend-conscious palette can attract attention in a saturated market.

Colours and User Experience

Colour in digital brochure design shapes a user’s experience.

It’s important to be strategic with your choices to not negatively impact engagement, readability, and the overall navigational flow.

1. Enhancing Readability:

  • Contrast for Clarity: Using high-contrast colours between text and background is vital. High contrast ensures that text is legible, making it easier for users to consume information easily.
  • Colour Hierarchy: Establishing a colour hierarchy to different types of content (headings/subheadings/body text) helps users quickly understand information. Consistent colour creates visual cues that streamline reading.


2. Creating Intuitive Navigation:

  • Colour-Coded Sections: Assigning specific colours to different sections or categories within your digital brochure provides users with a visual roadmap.
  • Interactive Element Highlighting: Employing colour to highlight interactive elements such as buttons, links, or calls-to-action ensures they stand out. It encourages user interaction and guides them through the desired user journey.


3. Optimising User Engagement:

  • Emotional Resonance: Warm and inviting colours may encourage exploration while calming tones can promote a more contemplative experience.
  • Visual Consistency: Consistency in colour choices across different sections or pages of your digital brochure fosters a visually cohesive experience. It can reduce cognitive load, allowing users to focus on the content without distraction.


4. Strategic Color Placement:

  • Focal Points: Use colour to create focal points within your digital brochure. Vibrant or contrasting colours can draw attention to crucial messages or visuals, guiding users through a designated narrative path.
  • Whitespace and Balance: The strategic use of colour extends to the balance between colour and whitespace. A well-balanced composition ensures that colours enhance the content rather than overwhelm it.


5. Accessibility Considerations:

  • Colour Contrast Accessibility: Beyond aesthetics, colour contrast is essential for visually impaired users.
  • Alternative Colour Indicators: For users who may experience colour blindness, incorporating alternative indicators such as icons or patterns alongside colour-coded elements ensures that crucial information is still conveyed effectively.

Accessibility and Inclusivity

Understanding the Impact of Colour on Accessibility:

Colours play a significant role in conveying information, but only some perceive them in the same way.

Individuals with visual impairments or colour blindness may face challenges in discerning certain color combinations.

Colour Accessibility Standards:

Adhering to colour accessibility standards is a cornerstone of inclusive design.

These standards often revolve around factors such as sufficient colour contrast, essential for ensuring that text and graphical elements are distinguishable.

By following established guidelines, designers can create digital brochures accessible to users with varying visual abilities.


Tools and Techniques for Inclusive Design:

  1. Contrast Checking Tools: Numerous online tools allow designers to assess the contrast ratio between text and background colours.
  2. Colour Palette Generators with Accessibility Features: Some colour palette generators come with features that analyse colour combinations for accessibility.
  3. Alternative Text for Visual Elements: Incorporating descriptive alternative text for images and other visual elements is fundamental for making content accessible.
  4. Use of Patterns and Icons: Combining colour with patterns or icons enhances the comprehensibility of information for those who may have difficulty distinguishing certain colours. This dual approach provides multiple layers of information, accommodating a wider range of users.
  5. User Testing with Diverse Audiences: Engaging in user testing with individuals representing diverse abilities is a valuable step in ensuring accessibility. Feedback from users with different needs and preferences helps identify areas for improvement and fine-tuning.

Practical Tips for Using Colour in Brochure Design

1. Define Your Brand Palette:
  • Establish a cohesive colour palette that aligns with your brand’s identity and values.
  • Consistency across digital brochures reinforces brand recognition and fosters a unified visual language.
2. Consider Your Target Audience:
  • Understand your audience’s preferences and demographics to tailor your colour choices effectively.
  • Different age groups and market segments may respond differently to various colour schemes.
3. Balance Vibrancy and Neutrality:
  • Blend vibrant and neutral colours thoughtfully to create a visually appealing and balanced design.
  • Vibrant hues can draw attention, while neutrals provide a backdrop for clarity and sophistication.
4. Utilise Colour Psychology:
  • Leverage the psychological impact of colours to evoke specific emotions or convey particular messages.
  • Understand the cultural associations of colours and use them strategically to resonate with your audience.
5. Create a Hierarchy with Colour:
  • Assign specific colours to different content elements to establish a visual hierarchy.
  • This helps guide users through the brochure, emphasising key information and maintaining a structured layout.
6. Test for Readability:
  • Ensure optimal text readability by testing colour combinations for sufficient contrast.
  • High contrast between text and background enhances readability, catering to a broader audience.
7. Optimise for Accessibility:
  • Adhere to colour accessibility standards to make your digital brochures inclusive for users with visual impairments.
  • Use tools to check colour contrast and provide alternative text for visual elements.
8. Implement A/B Testing:
  • Experiment with different colour variations using A/B testing methodologies.
  • Analyse user responses to determine which colour schemes yield better engagement and conversions.
9. Consider the Context:
  • Tailor colour choices to the specific context of your digital brochure and its intended message.
  • Different contexts may require varying levels of vibrancy or subtlety in colour usage.
10. Stay Updated on Trends:
  • Keep abreast of current design trends in your industry and beyond.
  • While maintaining brand consistency, incorporating modern colour trends can keep your brochures fresh and relevant.
11. Collaborate Across Design Elements:
  • Ensure harmony by coordinating colour choices with other design elements like typography and imagery.
  • Consistent colour coordination fosters a seamless and aesthetically pleasing user experience.

12. Seek Feedback:

  • Obtain feedback from your target audience or colleagues during the design process.
  • External perspectives can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of your colour choices.
13. Document and Iterate:
  • Document your colour choices and their rationale for future reference and consistency.
  • Iterate based on analytics and user feedback, refining your colour strategy for continuous improvement.

Final Thoughts

Colour is a big deal in digital brochure design.

Don’t make the mistake of choosing any old colour, just because you like it.

It impacts how we interact with things, too little could be not interesting enough, and too much can seriously be too much.

If you’re not sure where to start, lucky you, you’re in the right place.

Here at Toast, we love helping brands find their colour palette and designing their digital brochures!

Reach out, and we’ll start crunching the colours.

Do you need help with digital brochures?

If you would like to discuss your digital brochure requirements, call us on 01295 266644 or complete the form and we'll get in touch.