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The character of colour in eLearning

written by Ross, Senior Designer

When you’re developing eLearning content and want to create a strong connection with your learners, using colour is a great way of helping you achieve this. So how does this work in practice?

Getting started with colour

An understanding of colour theory will help you choose appropriate colours. Since every colour can have a different psychological meaning for your learners, here’s our quick guide to the feelings evoked by some of the most popular choices.


At eCom, we love blue. Symbolising peace, intelligence and trust, blue is a powerful colour which works well in the corporate environment. Technology companies and banks often use blue, as do organisations where trust and authority are important.


Symbolising health, energy, safety and the environment, green can also work well in a business context with its connotations of finance and wealth. Green suits eLearning about the outdoors, environment, finance or medicine.


A highly energetic and passionate colour, red stimulates a connection or response and is often used to highlight important information. Dynamic, fast paced organisations in technology, food and drink and the automotive space, often use red in their branding.


Bright and lively, yellow is playful, attention grabbing and energizing. Illustrations and icons highlighting key points are good places for yellow. However, yellow can be low in contrast when used against a white background, so wouldn’t be a good choice for text in this case.


Royalty, power, wealth and elegance are just some of the ideas that come to mind when we think of purple. Darker shades are often associated with luxury, high end brands, whereas lighter variants can be evoke romance, in a similar way to red.

Using a complementary colour palette will help you create a pleasing design that is easy on the learner’s eye and a colour wheel is a good tool to help you select harmonious colours. It’s also worth remembering that your content should meet the WCAG standard for AA accessibility to be accessible to users with disabilities and an awareness of the role colour plays will help you make appropriate choices.

Bonus tip!

One area which is often overlooked is the text colour for the eLearning project and organisations will typically choose black. However, we recommend using dark grey for your text instead as it will help you create a more effective eLearning course.

Get in Touch

If you’d like our advice on how colour could work to maximum effect in your eLearning, please Contact Us Online or call 01383 630032.

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