We, humans, are drawn to colors. Each color evokes a different emotion. And different cultures around the world have different outlooks when it comes to colors. But have you noticed that the kind of emotions a color triggers instantly changes when you combine it with other hues? If you do not want that, if you want the color you choose to have its full impact on your target audience, then monochromatic color schemes are what your marketing materials need.
You still get to explore the effect of contrast since you can pick from the many tints, tones, and shades of the chosen color. Done right, monochromatic color schemes can make your ads scroll-stoppers.
Before we talk about the perks of using monochromatic color schemes and how to use them in marketing, let’s get this straight. Monochromatic is not always black and white. It does not always have to be nostalgic as in the case of a sepia palette. You can create even the liveliest-looking designs with monochromatic color schemes.
To begin with, you need a hue and then you add tints, shades, and tones to create a monochromatic color palette. In case you are yet to brush up on your knowledge of design terminologies, here’s a quick look at what they mean:
You will monochromatic color schemes in logos, website designs, ads, social media posts, and even marketing emails. Why are designers so fond of them?
Your design should stimulate your audience. But it should be an intended response. Any unwanted stimulation will mean that your design does not convert the way you want it to. In other words, you might not succeed in getting your target audience to click that CTA button.
Have you noticed that a multicolor palette leads to a busy-looking design? But when you put together a monochromatic palette with a spectrum of tints, tones, and shades, the design still remains low-key. This color scheme ensures that your design has just one powerful message and that this message is clearly conveyed.
You suddenly see eclectic color palettes dominate the market. The next year, you might see an inclination towards minimalism. You never know what the design realm will bring tomorrow. As a brand fighting to maintain its pace in the rapidly-changing marketing space, it might be tough to keep up with the design trends.
With your ads, you have the freedom to explore the running trends in design. But you cannot do this with websites and logos. In such designs that remain unchanged for a long period, monochromatic schemes work wonders. They will look as relevant tomorrow as they do today. As long as you maintain and emphasize the connection between the chosen color and your brand, the chosen monochromatic color scheme remains timeless.
If robin egg blue makes you think of Tiffany & Co., or red makes you think of Coca-Cola, you are not alone. These are exemplary brands when it comes to capitalizing on color psychology. Sparking a brand recall with just a color takes years of consistent branding. But before all that comes the choice of relevant colors that match your brand’s unique traits.
In the initial stages or even decades down the lane, when you want to make conscious efforts to establish your brand colors in the minds of your audience a monochromatic color scheme is just what you need.
The above ad from Twitter manages to display a brilliant concept while emphasizing the brand color of Twitter. Can you see how you can convey an elaborate message even when you only have one hue to work with? In fact, stories said in monochromatic color schemes make a much deeper connection than you imagine.
When you create a multicolored logo, it looks good at the first glance. But the real problem begins when you have to start placing the logo on different background colors. If one of the colors in your logo does not pop out from the background, it can dampen the whole effect. That’s where a monochromatic logo helps.
With monochromatic color schemes in a logo, as you see in the example above, you can come up with a standard set of variations for use on different background colors. They all look quite similar to the original version. So, even if you have to change the logo color to suit the background, the message still remains clear.
According to a study conducted at 3M, the human brain can process images nearly 60,000 times faster than it can process text. So, all the images you post on social media, all the graphics you use in your banner ads add value to your brand. They get new customers to notice your brand and make sure that the existing ones do not forget it.
But nearly every marketer knows this. So, how can you show that your brand is different? How can you tell customers that your brand has something that will truly excite them? By trying something new with your graphic design and this “new” something can be a monochromatic design. As your target customers scroll through their feeds filled with multicolored ads and images, a powerful monochromatic post is sure to make them stop and see what it is.
In an infographic design, the text and icons in the image are of great priority. Of course aesthetics matters but you cannot risk the chances of your customer missing an important detail conveyed in the infographic. In places like these where you do not want too many distracting variations, a monochromatic color palette works really well.
In digital spaces like websites, there is usually a lot for the customers to explore. In such areas, too many colors might lead to a lack of visual hierarchy. That’s one reason why you might find most brands sticking with just one color and an accent color to highlight the clickable areas.
The above image is the website homepage of NexBank, a Dallas-based financial institution. Its clean monochromatic design makes it stand out from other banking websites and also keeps it easier for customers to navigate through the site.
The exquisite nature of monochromatic color schemes is that they help create an air of mystery. When you have a big announcement to make, or when you want to build anticipation for a new launch, monochromatic color schemes can be pretty effective. Take a look at the email below and you’ll understand what we mean.
The half-concealed product keeps the audience engrossed while the ‘black’ goes perfectly with the fact that this was a Black Friday campaign. With one concept you get a seasonally-relevant content that looks unique and feels more interactive. That’s a perfect formula for marketing success.
Now with a fair idea about the benefits of monochromatic color schemes, are you ready to experiment with them for your brand? Then, here are a few quick tips that might help.
With monochromatic color schemes, we let one color dominate the design. So, this color is going to carry the mood of the design entirely on its shoulders. So, the base color you choose tells a lot about your design.
The base color entirely depends on the context of your design. If it is a simple ad to introduce your brand or bring leads or your website design, your brand color will be the ideal base color.
However, if it is a seasonal campaign or a landing page design for a specific promotional activity, you can pick the most relevant color of the season. Like red or pink for valentine’s day. But in this case, you can go for a nearly-monochromatic palette. While the seasonally relevant color and its corresponding shades and tints dominate the design, you can add a subtle finishing touch with your brand color. Like just the logo or the copy in your brand color.
Irrespective of the variations you opt for, monochromatic palettes remain visually pleasant. So, it is easy to get carried away. But you should keep it simple.
Only choose variations to highlight specific elements or balance visual weights. This way, you keep the design elegant. And using as few variations as possible also adds more depth to your design. You can use this to draw focus to particular areas, ideally, the place where you have your CTA.
If you do not know how to make an impactful design with just one color, talk to your design team about the possibilities to explore. You will be surprised to know about the wonders that monochromatic color schemes can create, even with such minimal variations.
The scope of graphic design, as you can see, is truly endless. From the base colors to the overall color schemes, there’s so much you can play with. It’s not just about aesthetics – these colors also influence the effectiveness of your ad in communicating the intended idea. No wonder big brands put a lot of thought into creating color schemes for ads. And you should too. Working with professional designers is one way to make this easier. Let your designer know about the response and the emotional reaction you expect from your audience, for the ad, and your designs get so much better.