Research reveals people make a subconscious judgment about a person, environment, or product within 90 seconds of initial viewing and that between 62% and 90% of that assessment is based on color alone (Source)
We can’t shy away from the fact that we live in a world driven by color. Color influences many important decisions we make – purchasing a car, decorating our home, the clothing we fill our closets with…
& without even knowing it, deciding which law firm to choose.
Whether unconscious or not, you law firm’s brand color has definitely played a factor in your prospects’ and clients’ decision whether to select your law firm over the competition and that is why selecting a color scheme for your law firm’s brand is 100% necessary.
Selecting the right colors for your law firm is more than just what looks nice or is easy on the eye. In this blog, we want to help guide your law firm in finding the best colors that resonate with your brand’s messaging and your target audience.
How Color Psychology Plays a Role in Your Law Firm
Believe it or not, you have been influenced by the psychology of color in your life. We all have. Color can influence our buying behavior, brand recognition, and so much more.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into the psychology of color.
Color Psychology – Explained
So, what is color psychology? Our friends over at Help Scout defined it as:
“The study of how colors affect perceptions and behaviors. In marketing and branding, color psychology is focused on how colors impact consumers’ impressions of a brand and whether or not they persuade consumers to consider specific brands or make a purchase.”
Using color for any type of business is absolutely essential, as color often dictates how we think and behave in regard to making buying decisions.
As for your law firm’s website, the colors you choose will work to set the mood and draw potential clients in, so picking a color scheme that represents your practice while also catering to your audience is a crucial step in your website design decision.
How is Color Used in Branding
Deciding which color to use to represent your brand is an important step in your law firm’s branding process. And yes, I know what you might be thinking “why would I need to brand my law firm?” Well, branding does in fact extend to law firms as well.
Branding is everything from your logo design, the colors your pick, and how you design your website.
Selecting a strong color scheme can be an amazing opportunity for your law firm to see what the competition is doing, and find ways to differentiate yourself from the classic law firm website color schemes – blue, gold, and a red CTA.
Not to say these colors aren’t highly effective, but it’s important to let your firm’s personality speak for itself when picking a color scheme.
A Few Notes on Selecting Your Color Palette
In one study conducted by Science Daily found that the brain’s response to product branding has found that strong brands elicit strong activity in our brains.
In the following sections, I will be discussing the different potential emotions that each color can evoke in a buyer, but the emotions that these colors evoke are only a suggestion as each individual will elicit a different feeling when encountering a certain color.
I also want to make a note that although there are inherent gender preferences, your firm might find it a better idea to look beyond the gender stereotypes when it comes to selecting a color, as many firms will serve clients that identify anywhere on the gender spectrum.
Help Scout suggested that when picking a color to represent your brand, it is better to ask if the color combination is deemed appropriate for what you are marketing.
This is a better way of approaching colors for your law firm’s branding instead of making decisions soley based on gender preference and emotional response.
The most important question to ask your firm when creating a color scheme for your website and branding efforts is more so on the basis of appropriateness vs emotional provocation.
So, for a law firm, look at the type of law your practice and think about whether your potential clients could enjoy and feel a sense of security when entering your website, or if they would immediately click out and go to the next law firm that appears below you on a SERP.
How Can Colors Influence Buying Decisions?
Whether you realized it or not, the colors that your firm has selected for your website have subconsciously influenced your potential clients whether to initiate the first consultation or not.
In fact, 93% of consumers say that the visual appearance of a product is the most important factor.
Of course, your law firm is not selling a product, but you are still selling an extremely important service that can have a profound effect on your clients’ lives. And you want your site to showcase your skills and expertise.
It is important to remember that whether you have the most successful track record of winning cases for your clients, your website should not be an afterthought because it is an extension of your firm.
So, knowing that, having a strong color scheme will greatly influence the decision to have that first consultation with your law firm.
Humans are color-driven people, we love color and take our preconceived feelings and sentiments into decisions about products or services we select.
If 85% of consumers are heavily influenced by the color of a product, why not treat your law firm’s website as such.
Introduction to the Color Spectrum
Fasten your seatbelt, we are about to take a trip back to 9th-grade intro to art class. While some of the following information might be rudimentary for you (or not, maybe you never took art or just like colors because they’re cute), I invite you to think of it looking through the eye of a potential client who has just stumbled upon your law firm’s website.
So, let’s talk about colors!
This might be a bit elementary, but to better understand the psychology of color and how to select the best color scheme for your law firm’s website.
What are the primary colors? I am sure you remember from elementary school:
See? So far, super easy stuff. Let’s move on.
Now that we remember the primary colors, what are the secondary colors?
These are the colors you get when you mix two primary colors together, with combinations including:
- Blue + Yellow = Green
- Red + Blue = Purple
- Red + Yellow = Orange
Now that we know more about primary and secondary colors, if you use tertiary colors, you really begin to get some variance within the colors you select from your website.
Tertiary colors are created when you mix a primary color and a secondary color that sit next to each other on the color wheel.
So, if you mix blue and green together, you get that really lovely blue-green color.
Cool & Warm
Warm colors bring upon, well, warm feelings. What colors do you typically associate with warm? Oranges, yellows, and reds as we typically relate these colors to what experience on a warm day.
Whereas cool colors are, you guessed it, colors that remind us of cooler days. Colors you may feel as you sit inside, wrapped up in a blanket watching the rainfall. These colors are typically more blue, violet, or green colors.
Shades, Tints, Tones, & Saturation
Adding a shade as one of your colors scheme could be a nice option, as it provides a darker variance to the scheme. A share is created by taking a pure color and adding black to it. Shades will obscure any brightness in the color.
Tints can add a little bit of brightness to your color scheme, as tints are created by adding white to a pure color. These colors are not as intense as pure colors or shades, so they are typically nice for accent colors across the website.
If you have ever toned your hair, you understand that the result is a bit of an ashy and less bright color. That can be the same as adding a tone to your website. A tone is putting gray (black + white) into pure color. The end result? The level of intensity will be muted. This can also be a good accent color.
When you take a pure color, it always sits at normal saturation. If a color becomes oversaturated, it is hard to see any of the fine details of it, or it can be dulled if you desaturate the color by adding white, black, or grey. It is important to note that color saturation can be a bit tricky, because an oversaturated color paired with, let’s say a yellow or white, may clash.
Combinations of Colors
There are a few combinations of colors your law firm could target for your content and website, so don’t think you can just select three random colors and have a ‘complete look’ because some colors, frankly, just don’t work together.
Here are the types of color combinations you could use when selecting a color palette for your law firm’s website.
Complementary Color Scheme
Have you ever heard that opposites attract? Well, this holds true from complementary colors. Complementary color pallets are colors that are direct across from each other on the color wheel.
Probably the most infamous complementary colors would be green and red. Why do you think people go so crazy during the holiday season when there is a red and green explosion in every store and mall?
Complementary colors can be a bit harsh on a large scale, but work great if you want something to stand out, such as a call to action on your website.
Triad Color Scheme
A triad is any three colors that are evenly spaced across the color wheel.
If you had a standard 12 color wheel, you select one color and then count 3 colors, and then on the 4th color will be your next color in the triad.
To successfully use a triad color scheme on your law firm’s website or content, the key is to strategically balance the colors by choosing one dominant color and two accent colors.
Analogous Color Scheme
Analogous colors are any set of colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. This color scheme usually is quite harmonious and easy on the eyes, so using analogous colors could draw potential clients to your website and provide a balanced and aesthetically pleasing design.
The best way to make analogous colors work is to choose one color to dominate, a second to support. The third color is used (along with black, white, or gray) as an accent.
Rectangle (Tetradic) Color Scheme
The tetradic color scheme is any four colors on the color wheel that are arranged into two complementary pillars.
This is a smart strategy as it can add a lot of variety to your design with the number of combinations of colors you can use.
If you were to use a tetradic color scheme for your law firm’s website, you will want to create a strong balance between warm and cool colors and pick one color to dominate and the other to complement.
Split-Complementary Color Scheme
A split-complementary color scheme takes a complementary color scheme but adds a little bit extra. You will have two base colors, and then two complimentary colors that are adjacent to the base colors.
Using a split-complementary color scheme will provide a bit more variation to your color scheme and it is great for beginners because it is very easy to manage.
You will have two main colors and two colors that can accent across your content and website.
Square Color Scheme
A very similar combination of colors as the rectangle color scheme, but a square color scheme is 4 colors on the color wheel evenly distributed.
This color scheme will look best on your website if you pick one color to be the dominate color, and us a combination of warm and cool tones with the supporting three colors.
The Relationship Between Emotions & Colors
Now, there are some universal feelings and sentiments that most people feel when they see a certain color, for example, almost every person will learn to associate green with nature and the environment, and when you think of yellow, most people will certainly think of the sun.
Below, you will find common emotions and sentiments that people may feel when viewing a certain color.
Using color association when selecting a winning color scheme for your law firm can be a powerful tool. Most of the color associations we make begin as infants.
Your law firm can use these associations when you decide what tone you want to set upon entering your website.
Ideas for Picking a Strong Color Scheme
I think it is always good to point out the potential emotions that may arise when a person views, but it is more important that your firm actually likes the colors and the aesthetic of your site.
So basing your color scheme on what you believe is the perceived emotions your target audience will feel is not the complete case.
If you think red is too abrasive, then swap for a green, blue, or another color that you prefer! Just because the competition is using one color doesn’t mean you need to follow suit.
But, here are some things to keep in mind when picking out your color scheme:
- Understand Your Demographic –
- Who is your target audience and why should they select your law firm over the competition? Take into account the colors that your target demographic would enjoy seeing when entering a law firm website.
- Consider Age –
- If you are usually serving an older population, understand what colors draw them in and that they enjoy. The more you understand your demographic and their purchasing tendencies regarding color, the easier it will be for you to start planning a great color scheme.
- Have a Strong CTA –
- Your CTA needs to stand out, and this is the opportunity to use one of the bold colors you selected for your palette. The CTA is the most important factor on your website in regards to conversions, so make it bold enough to draw attention and render clicks.
- Let Go of Gender-Based & General Biases –
- Whether it is that men don’t actually like pink (untrue) or because your favorite color is green then everyone will want to see green on your website might not necessarily be true. Don’t let your ideas of a specific color dominate your decision of selecting colors.
- Decide How Many Colors –
- Once you decide on which primary color you want to use, now is the time to branch off and think about what colors you want to use an accent. Think about how many colors you want to use. It is best to start off smaller, around 3 or 4 colors, and add more than starting with more than 10 and scaling back.
- Compare a Few Color Schemes –
- Even if you think that the first color scheme you selected is the winner, that might not be the case. Select a few color schemes and perform A/B testing until you find the absolute best color scheme to apply to your law firm’s website, logo, and across your content.
If you are wondering what colors might be the best for your website, you can take a colors quiz that can help point you in the right direction as it will help narrow down who your target audience is and what they are expecting out of your company.
How To Choose a Strong Color Combination For Your Law Firm
Now that you have been reminded about the different types of color combinations you can select and the types of emotions these colors elate, we can begin to discuss picking your color palette!
The following are some tips and questions to think about when picking your new color scheme for your law firm website.
Picking colors for your new website
There are many factors to consider when picking colors for your branding and website.
By now, hopefully, you have begun to ask yourself the important questions regarding your target market, and since you have a strong understanding of color theory, let’s put it all together!
- Take your new knowledge of color theory when selecting the colors for your website. Utilize the primary, secondary and tertiary colors, and find proper shades, tones, tints, and cool and warm colors when picking your color scheme!
- Consider how you want to mix your new color combination. Try to avoid picking random colors you might think will work well together but rather examine the nuance of colors to see which colors actually make a strong combination.
- Use proper contrast of colors, and make sure you pick the boldest color for the most important areas of your website, such as your CTA, email subscribe button, and your navigation tabs. The rest of the colors should complement your bold color choice.
- Consider a colorblind palette if it’s appropriate.
- Don’t overdo it! Sometimes less is more, start with a mix of between 3 to 5 colors. You can always add more and play around with it but you also don’t want your law firm website to look like a rainbow threw up all over it. Sleek, professional, inviting and on-brand is best.
The Best Colors to Use for Law Firms
Now, I truly think that the answer to this is; it depends. The most important thing when picking a color scheme for your law firm is that you enjoy looking at it! Consider demographics about your target audience, as well as color association.
But, don’t forget to consider what YOU like.
But, the type of law your practice should also be considered when picking a color scheme for your law firm.
Let’s look at a few examples:
Business (Corporate) Law
What colors would we typically associate with a firm that practices corporate law? Power, strong, sober colors. If your law firm practices business law, colors that might be strong to incorporate on your website would be variations of blacks, dark blues, reds, and silvers.
What colors would you associate with a law firm that is working to protect the environment? Well, probably more colors that make you think of nature and being outside, so a smart color palette could be the use of monochromatic greens and blues.
Criminal Defense Law
For a criminal defense law firm, you want to show your clients that you mean business and that you won’t quit until you have won their case. When we think of this type of attitude going into court, we think of fierce lawyers, so a natural color scheme would be blacks and reds, as they show power, dominance, and urgency.
Family law is an extremely taxing law to practice, and when a person is selecting a family lawyer for divorce or custody-battles, you don’t want your website to come off too aggressive since often, it is sensitive time for the clients.
The best colors for family law would be using soft blues, grays, pale greens and whites. Using bright colors or reds can be too abrasive for the clients.
A Few Words from a Young Startup
Although we are not a law firm, we are a young marketing startup that went through this exact process when deciding on an appropriate color scheme for our website and logo.
And we too are working in a higly saturated and competitive market, up against agencies that have been in the business for YEARS, so we wanted to differentiate ourselves with our branding and color scheme just like your law firm wants to do.
Of course, we did market research in the following ways:
- Saw what the competitors were doing
- Searched what are the best colors to use for marketing agencies
- Did a good ol’ scroll through Google
But, most importnatly, we landed on these colors because they resonated with what we saw as the vision for our agency. The vibrant blue and magenta are colors that complement each other, and gives a feeling of youthfulness, energy, and excitement.
These are the emotions we want to manifest when people visit our website, plus not many other marketing agencies were using these colors, so we found a spot where we could differentiate ourselves and our brand in a market full of veterans.
And we want your law firm to do just that!
More than anything, you want your brand to be conveyed when you select a winning color scheme, so ask yourself these questions when you begin to select the new colors for your law firm:
- Who is my target audience and what colors will be deemed appropriate and profession for the people I serve and the type of law I practice? Think of your demographic and what will ultimately attract and hook them upon discovering your website.
- What emotions or sentiments do I want to convey when people visit my website? Powerful, calm, energetic, serious, etc. Set the tone of your firm with the colors you select.
- What is the competition doing and how can I change my design to stand out from the rest of the law firms? If everyone is using black, gold, and red, then opt for a different design. Your audience will appreciate the originality.
- Ask yourself – what do I like? And how can you incorporate the colors you enjoy into an amazing website. With all of the different variations of tones, shades, tints, warm and cool colors, there is totally a way to work your ideal color scheme into your website. 🙂
Color, it’s all around us and is often the fuel that fires our buying decisions.