We may know how to use complimentary colors, the difference between RGB and CMYK, the Pantone Colors of the Year, but regardless it will never change that people come from different places.
We come from experiences which can create associations with specific colors that no web designer would be able to factor in. Even more so, is that web users come from all over the world; so forget personal experiences – on top of that we also have color associations within cultures.
Where Red can represent love and passion in one culture, it symbolizes danger and evil in another. Purple in some cultures denotes wealth and royalty in one place, and mourning in another.
How can we deal with this in design?
The majority of the time we design for our target audience. If we’re designing for an audience that is in North America, then we use color palettes representing ideals that North Americans associate good things with.
Even still, have you ever gone onto a website with an American IP address? Then you switch to the Canadian site and the color scheme is completely different?
Well, the color scheme would likewise be even more contrasting if you switched to, say, the Latin American Website IP address.
Now, huge conglomerates that get worldwide business would be smart to design options that appeal to its target user.
What about the average business though? Like designing for mobile, or accessibility, should we be including designs that function for those across the world? Would it broaden our reach to appeal to users elsewhere with color?
Well, we’re not sure, but it’s an interesting thought. Imagine a website that adjusts its colors based on where you access your internet from.