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School of Business | Department of Communication | International Business Communication | 2011
Thesis number: 12704
The importance of colors and images in visual communication on charity organizations' websites
Author: Koivusalo, Suvi-Kanerva
Title: The importance of colors and images in visual communication on charity organizations' websites
Year: 2011  Language: eng
Department: Department of Communication
Academic subject: International Business Communication
Index terms: yritysviestintä; business communication; viestintä; communication; kansainvälinen; international; visuaalinen; visual; kolmas sektori; informal economy; non profit; non-profit organizations
Pages: 120
Key terms: Colors, images, visual communication, charity organizations, website design, international business communication, Finnish young adults
Objective of the Study The objective of the study was to analyze what kinds of feelings and reactions visual communication on six distinct websites resonate in young Finnish adults. The aim was to investigate the associations which Finnish young adults would have with specific colors and images and whether these features support the mission of each of the three different charity organizations. Furthermore, the study concentrates on evaluating the differences between the reactions toward local and global versions of the organizations’ websites; is it beneficial for an organization to modify their websites based on local cultures?

Methodology and the Theoretical Framework The theoretical framework is based on previous studies of Finnish color perceptions and studies which elaborated on the use of images in visual communication. The data for the study were gathered by creating an Internet based survey and distributing it through email and social media to various Finnish nationals in the age group of 20-29-years-old. The survey respondents were asked to identify their personal color preferences and several color associations. Furthermore, they were asked to visit six different websites and describe their reactions to their visual communication.

Findings and Conclusion The findings supported the previous studies of Finnish color perceptions, although some differences occurred. The study implies that all three charity organizations are identified in a very distinct manner based on the visual communication on their local and global websites. The results of the study show that young Finnish adults who participated in the survey prefer clear and simple visual communication on websites. These website visitors are more likely to become interested in the site if the images portray people in action. Static images were preferred to rotating ones, as the study shows that rotating images contribute to the perception of “messiness” on the site.
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