Five forbidden colour combinations to avoid when creating your advertising print media!
Back in the good old days, before the home computer came along, graphic design for printed advertising materials could only be created by a professionally trained person with years of experience in their field. Today, however, everyone with a computer is a graphic designer!
Minuteman Press Norwich welcome all project designs, from charity organisations with a limited budget to one-man bands and big marketing agencies. However, there are some rules to be aware of should you create your own advertising materials, from posters for a gig or event to your own business cards. Follow these rules for the best possible practice and to present yourself in the best possible light.
Colour combinations are at the core of good graphic design. Here are our top five forbidden colour combinations.
First up as a big ‘no no’ is blue on red. These two colours majorly vibrate against each other, causing significantly poor readability. The human eye struggles to distinguish between these two colours and therefore the message is lost. If these two colours are crucial to your design, then we suggest that you use white as your main colour and accent with red and blue.
Second in line is yellow on green. Of course, we know these colours are used for our home team, Norwich City FC. However, when you look at their website, you will notice they rarely use the two colours together for promotion. Although yellow and green are really vibrant colours, they do not stand out to the human eye when combined with other colour combinations. Once they have grabbed the viewer’s attention, these highly garish neon colours tend to become highly unreadable. Yellow and green are too close in the colour hue to be placed beside or on top of each other to become effective.
Third on the list is green and red. Red on green text or green on red text is simply hard to read. The clashing of these two colour schemes causes the viewer’s eye to react negatively to what it is trying to see and so the message is lost. If you stare at the colour combination when placed side by side, the red and green cause the message to almost vibrate in contrast, tiring the reader’s eye.
Numero four is red on black. Red text on a solid black background is almost completely unreadable; black is just too bold a colour for any text colour to compete with. However, if this IS the route you need to work on, then we would always recommend white text. If you need to use coloured text anywhere on the black background, then the pint size of the font needs to be as large as possible.
Last up we have purple on green. Purple text on a green background has the same effect on the eye as red and green. While the initial reaction is shocking enough to capture a viewer’s attention, it then it fails in the readability department. Minuteman Press do not recommend this colour combination for any of your printed literature or web related graphics. The object of your marketing material is to entice the viewer. You need to make their eyes comfortable enough to continue reading further; this will make them trust what you are offering or saying in your advertisement.
We are recommending, when possible, you avoid these colour combinations when designing your marketing material. You should then be on the right path! Alternatively, you can always hire a professional graphic designer to work for you!