One of the stages we go through during the planning of a Web site for our clients involves a design consultation of sorts. A very important aspect of these consultations involve the client’s desired emotional/esthetic feel for the site. You can talk about industry and business goals till you are blue in the face, but it really comes down to how your visitor feels when they are on the site and if that compels them to do whatever it is that you want them to do on your site. Whether that’s buy something, fill out a form or simply find out more about your company. .
I’ve always been impressed with how well our designers take this feedback to create the initial design. They clearly have a good handle on how to use color and layout to convey these emotions. That handle of course can always get better.
Cymbolism looks to take this art form a step further and attempt to quantify our association between colors, emotions and words. On their site you are presented with a word, it’s definition and a small pallet of colors. Once you choose a color, it shows you a distribution of other users picks for that word. Things like love and hot are heavily skewed towards Red but words like elegant, contemporary or secure have less concrete results. Their blog also has some interesting posts about the nature of color.