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I'm working on a website. The entire site is thematically designed around three colors (red, blue, yellow) which correspond to the three products. Now we are adding a fourth product, which will break this symmetry.

I'm on the fence about introducing another color for the fourth product or playing with the colors I have. If I introduce another color for this product, then I'll need to do the same for the next and the next. The vision is that there will be many more. On the other hand, there is currently a strong color-product association built into the site that makes things clear for the user. Duplicating a color for two products will muddy these waters.

Here's the current look with three products: enter image description here

I'm not sure which course of action will be the clearest for the user and allow best for continued product growth:

1). Add a new color to keep color-product association.
2). Stick with 3 colors, allowing 1 color to be associated with 2 products.
3). Stick with 3 colors, breaking the color-product association with random usage.

Which approach makes the most sense?

  • Could you share a screenshot? Otherwise it is difficult to tell how and how much are colors affecting the design and brand/product identity. – Alvaro Mar 13 '17 at 21:33
  • @Alvaro popresearch.com/products – wogsland Mar 13 '17 at 21:40
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Since the products are differentiated by a color, the obvious answer would be "new product+new color". However, by taking a look to your screenshot and your site, I can see those 3 colors are the only colors you use, without even a hint to another color. Thus, another color could look a bit strange, kind of a "last minute addition".

So, while I still think you should use another color, this is something you should keep in mind. Therefore, I think your paths should be one of the following:

  • add new color within this palette, then add the new color somewhere in the site
  • keep the 3 colors, but brand the products with 2 color combinations besides one color versions. That way, you will have 6 possible combinations (of course, you won't be able to add more products)
  • an alternative to the above: instead of using full 1 color versions, you could create 2 color versions by mixing the colors with black or white (which you use anyways)
  • keep the colors on the site, but change ALL the products to another color out of these 3. That way, you'll be able to create "site agnostic" product brands (this is the one I would use)

However

Of course, the recommendations above are just ideas which you will need to test with real users, so in the end, your users will be the ones to choose the best approach

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I think if you're planning to add multiple new products then continually adding new colours is going to lead to a very confusing brand image. Because each product currently has a different main colour, but each still uses the other colours in a small way, you've built a strong palette.

You'd be better off sticking with the the colours you currently have in the palette and making sure the next product simply uses a different starting letter and a different image in the same theme, these will be enough to differentiate it as a new product.

I would cycle them, so use green again next. Once you have 5 or 6 products, it certainly won't matter as the direct colour association will be diluted naturally.

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