Off Color

Set The Mood

If, however, keeping teens glued to your Web site is the goal, consider the colors preferred by this young yet influential audience.

As part of a Web activity study conducted by Cheskin Research and Cyberteens.com, 2,579 teen surfers were asked to reveal their attitudes toward color on the Web. Gaining the most positive response was the color blue, where words such as "success," "intelligent," "trusted" and "welcoming" were offered in praise of the hue. Least favorite was the color black-although haughtily described as "high-tech," teens considered black mostly "complicated" and "outdated". Yellow conveyed "playfulness" and "ease," green communicated "wealth," and red evoked "speed" and "warmth."

As for the middle-aged demographic (ages 45-65), Samuelle Easton of Samuelle Easton and Associates in New York City, believes that strong, medium-toned colors, like "true blue", "American Beauty rose" and emerald green are the most respectable. So, even though you may consider bright neons eye-catching, steer clear of those if adults make up your target audience, Easton insists. "Color conveys the message faster than anything else we do," she says. "It's stronger than words and faster than speech. It's a language all in itself."

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This article was originally published in the June 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Off Color.

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