Marketing with Displays: Color Theory


by Leslie McLane, Content Development Group, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

The goal of marketing is to entice customers. When marketing is done well, the customer may not even be aware they have been influenced. A predominant way this can be achieved is through color theory. According to the psychology of color, people are affected emotionally by different colors and combinations or the connotations associated with those colors. Take ''The Power of Color in Jewelry'' and make this concept work for your sales, by considering display presentations online, in stores or at shows.

While black and white are popular display colors, showcasing your jewelry is far from so cut and dry. When using colored displays, tone on tone isn't always a bad thing; just make sure your pieces don't disappear. If someone walks by your window or booth or browses online and they have to try to find the jewelry, they are not invested enough yet to take the time to search. Get the attention without having to say a word using these tips based on color theory:

Display Colors

Brown
Solid, dependable and Earthy


Brown and wooden displays are great for nature-inspired designs and materials including wood, hemp, pearls, etc. White and colors found in nature, such as the spectrum from blue to green, really pop against a brown display. Paired with pink, a color associated with femininity and tenderness, brown becomes a romantic hue. The brown spectrum also includes natural, tan and camel. These are more neutral and direct attention to brighter hues such as purple or turquoise. Deeper browns on these lighter hues look stunning with an Earthy appearance that doesn't overwhelm; confident in its practical yet understated appeal. Gold looks great on darker hues, but may disappear on tans.

Black
Authority, sophistication, elegance, mysterious, depth, gloom


Black is a classic color for displaying all metal tones, especially silver and gold. The dichotomy of light and dark draws your eye to the piece without even realizing what the color is doing. Black with white designs attracts attention as poised and authoritative in its sophistication. Black is a good choice for most primary colors, but some grey metal tones such as gunmetal can start to disappear.

White
Clean, youth, absence, pure


There's a reason most published material is done on a white background. White is often considered a non-color and provides negative space. Black on white looks clean and practical, while pink looks youthful and red looks exciting. There really isn't a color that doesn't work on white. When pure white is too bright, go with a cream or off-white to mute the background and soften edges. Clear is included in this family and tends to go well with most colors. Silver can begin to look diminished by white, while gold stands out.

Grey
Traditional, serious, sleek, balanced


This neutral background pretty much disappears--you guessed it--into the background. Grey is a solid base which redirects attention to bolder colors, especially along the orange to red spectrum. Yellow gold gains new life on grey. Brighter hues look bold and stunning on grey, while paler versions give a softer ambience.

Blue
Tranquility, honor, calm

White stands out on a regal blue, maybe even more than it does on black. While black and white are a stark contrast, the deep blue is relaxing and white is associated with clean and pure connotations. This combination is not jarring despite the distinct dark to light and instead puts the viewer's eyes at ease. Black and deep hues may disappear on darker blues, so it's best to pick lighter shades. Yellows and oranges are eye-catching against deep blues for a lush presentation.

Green
Nature, optimism, growth, wealth, luck

Everyone knows red stands out from green, but if you're not doing Christmas sales, it could send the wrong message. Try a similarly bold color instead: orange. This color is associated with energy and ambition or new beginnings. Think of how perfect oranges and peaches look against green foliage. It still offers a natural vibe while adding a little intrigue. Green works with all colors found in nature: green and pink for a floral feminine appearance, green and brown for a more robust look, green and blue for a relaxing, almost tropical, result. Natural materials look especially at home on green.

Red
Passion, boldness, love, life, warning

Both black and white stand out strong on red, but the message in these two color combos is drastically different. Red is naturally an intense color associated with boldness, while black is one of authority and elegance. Put red and black together for a seductive or powerful tone. White is often a signifier of youth or purity. Pairing red and white adds a more playful appearance, yet still retains a classy look. Blue has a tendency to stand out on red as well, especially handy for patriotic themes.

Shop all displays then refine by type and color.

Some Examples

Example 1:
Pink is associated with sweetness, youthfulness, romance and love. Dia de los Muertos is a celebration of life and death in the Latino community, and can be a bittersweet time of reminiscence. The pink bust displaying Robin Butzke's Bead Dreams entry Catrina does not hide the existing pink in the design, but actually enhances it against the white for a playful appearance and keeps the potentially somber tone of the piece lighter in nature; perfect for the holiday this design was inspired by.
Design Idea E77H Necklace

Design Idea E763 Necklace Example 2:
A dark tan display with an orangey undertone amplifies the appearance of ancient age for the design ''Eye''-volution entered by Kathleen Bingaman into the Beads Dreams contest. While tan and brown are near each other on the color spectrum, the darker design on the lighter display accents the ''rusty'' shine on the polymer clay, causing the variance in tones within the necklace to stand out. The turquoise accents are made even more noticeable against the double brown-based background.

Example 3:
The linen or hemp-colored display gives a neutral, almost natural appearance to complement the similarly nature-themed palette and design of florals made from modern textiles. For Amee K. Sweet-McNamara's Bead and Button contest entry Roses Released from the Tapestry, this color combination is a gentle contrast on the eyes rather than the starkness white or black could have caused.
Design Idea DA3M Necklace

And, Remember: Have Fun!

This is the biggest consideration: have fun with what you're doing. Mix some colors other people may not, simply because you like the combination. The color discussion covered some common primary hues, but remember metallic and more exist--explore to find your favorites. Extend your presentation to more than displays, too with whole settings. Susanne Kathol has some extra tips in ''Create Enticing Jewelry Displays to Attract Buyers''.

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