The Influence of Design in Purchase Decisions - Studio Humankind
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I'm a brand and website designer specializing in ethical storytelling for organizations tackling complex social issues around the globe.

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The Influence of Design in Purchase Decisions

When was the last time you purchased something WITHOUT the label? It’s not possible. So, then, how often have you purchased something BECAUSE OF the label? Easy to get wrapped up in the beautiful design, right? Whether it’s a bright and busy design or a simple clean label, we tend to gravitate towards thoughtful and effective design. 

So why do we lean towards certain design styles? It all comes down to psychology.

Color: When it comes to color, think about the way you want your product or service to make someone feel. Color has a strong correlation with feeling and oftentimes convinces is to purchase one item over another. How you’re feeling when you buy a product could influence you a lot even if you don’t know.

Example: Warm tones are often associated with feelings of excitement and energy while cool tones convey more of a calmness and tranquility. Bright colors feel more youthful and playful while black and white tones feel elegant and timeless.

Fonts: Fonts play into the personality of brand design. Whether the product you’re considering buying uses a thin serif or a chunky sans serif, font choice is a huge influencer when it comes to purchase decisions. Choosing a product based on the font comes down to brand cohesion and easy, quick readability. 

Example: Serif fonts typically give off a formal, traditional and feminine feel and sans serif tends to stray to the opposite — clean, bold, casual. 

Shapes: The difference between abstract and organic shapes is huge whether you see it or not. Abstract shapes are often harsh and clean and evoke specific emotions while organic shapes are fluid and calm. When paired with the right color scheme, you can create a versatile design that plays both sides or sticks to the general principles. 

Examples: Abstract shapes tend to be stars, hearts, arrows and organic shapes lean more toward clouds, water, animals. 

Logos: Logos are memorable. Businesses create logos to encapsulate their brand identity and allow you to recognize them based on a simple symbol. Logos use the psychological aspects of colors, fonts, shapes to establish them as a brand. 

Example: When at the grocery store with two identical products side by side, would you choose the one with a logo you recognize or the one you have no relationship with?

Keep these things in mind when you next shop in-person or online. Is it the label you are drawn to or the product itself? Have you taken the time to read where it comes from and how the company operates in terms of ethics? It is your right as a consumer to be aware of these things in order to make the right decisions for yourself and the brands you’re supporting.

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