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Is There Benefit to Green in Web Design?

By Jake Gorst
Posted Wednesday, June 23, 2004

John Deere tractors are painted green - so are encoders produced by Gurley Precision,
rental equipment from Sunbelt, and metering pumps from Pulsafeeder. Many
manufacturers report that they sell more products when they are painted green. Why? How could this trend impact the Internet Design Industry?

Green has a long symbolic history. In Celtic myths, the Green Man was the god of
fertility. Green was a sacred color in Egyptian culture, representing hope and the joy of
Spring. In the 15th century, green was the color of choice for wedding gowns because of
its symbolic ties to purity and virginity.

Green has a significant psychological impact on the human mind. It is the most soothing
color to the eye and can aid in the healing process. Studies have found that people who
work in green environments have fewer stomach problems. Teething infants find comfort
in green surroundings. When London's Blackfriar Bridge was painted green, reported
suicides dropped by 34%.

The fact of the matter is that our natural environment, when it has not been polluted, is
saturated with the color green. Green makes things appear natural, fresh, and
ecologically beneficial.

When equipment is painted green in an industrial environment, the illusion of safety and
normalcy is fostered. People in this unnatural environment tend to have the sense that
things around them are clean and that their personal health is not at risk.

The psychological impact of the color green can be applied to advertising, corporate
identity, and electronic media.

At the time of this writing, the vast majority of industrial Web sites are designed in shades of gray, blue, and brown. This is partly due to the fact that the featured products are also those colors. Industrial manufacturers trying to boost their revenue through Internet sales and marketing may find that implementing green in their Web sites could be helpful.

If your potential e-business customer is sitting in an an unnatural environment, whether an office cubicle or on an assembly line, give them something soothing to look at. Why not use some green in your design?
About the Author
Jake Gorst is a writer, fiml maker, and president of Exploded View (http://www.explodedview.tv), a new media advertising and design company. He also is a frequent contributor to various trade publications on topics related to Web site and architectural design psychology and trends. Previously, Gorst served as Vice President and Chief Creative Officer for E-Media Publishing, Ltd. and as an Internet content developer for Citibank and other Long Island based corporations.