Choosing a website color palette can be a daunting task. That’s why I wanted to share some tips on how to select and use colors on your website.
A website color palette is an incredibly important part of your website design and the colors you choose actually say a lot about your business. Your color choices need to represent your brand personality.
If you’ve worked on your brand, then chances are you already have your colors chosen. Congratulations – you’re all set! The colors you select for your brand and that you use in your logo should be the same colors you use on your website and all of your other marketing materials. This creates consistency.
Here are a few points to consider when selecting a website color palette:
Think carefully about your brand.
You should start by thinking about what your brand personality is, what kind of business you are, who your target audience is and what you want to convey about your business.
A good place to start is with color theory and learning about the psychology of colors. Did you know that colors actually represent certain traits? So, what do colors say about you? What emotions do they evoke? Here is a simple breakdown:
Blue – trustworthy, dependable, secure, responsible, calm
Black – glamour, exclusivity, sophistication, power, luxury
Red – excitement, energy, passion, courage, bold
Yellow – cheerfulness, intellect, energy, spontaneity, warmth
Green – health, freshness, serenity, wealth, balance
Orange – enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, strength, friendly
Brown – natural, simple, earthy, durable
Purple – nobility, mystery, wisdom, spirituality, creative
Pink – feminine, sweetness, innocence, fertility, romance
Gray – neutral, simplicity, calm, futuristic, logic
When you think about the personality of your brand, you’ll want to choose colors that align with that personality. Are you trying to attract younger, more energetic customers? Or sophisticated individuals with more disposable income? Are your services catered more to male or female? Are they more suitable for a certain age group?
For example, if you’re an interior designer, maybe you may want to attract a high end client, so perhaps black is a color you’d want to use in your brand and on your website because it symbolizes luxury.
Once you've selected your website color palette, now you need to use those colors correctly in your design. Here are some basic rules to follow for how to use color on your website:
Pick a dominant color
The dominant color should be your primary brand color. It’s the color people would most associate with your business and what they’ll remember when they think of you. Your dominant color should POP. It should be used when you want to highlight something your visitors should focus on. Some good places to use your dominant color are:
- Your main menu
- Call to action buttons
- Titles and headlines
- Highlighting important information
Pick an accent color
It can be pretty boring to have only one color on your website so it’s a good idea to choose an accent color or two. Try to limit it to only one or two accent colors thought because more than that can get overwhelming. You can use accent colors in the following ways:
- Current menu tab
- Secondary information
Choose a background color
The color you choose as the background color will completely depend on the purpose of your website.
For example, if the focus of your website is on content or products, the background color should be white or neutral because the focus should be on the content or products.
If your website is corporate/business website, your background color will be different. When you want to build a strong brand identity, you should use various shades of your dominant color as your background color. That helps to reinforce your brand.
Finally, if your website is for a service or you’re showcasing a portfolio, you’ll want to use a white or neutral background color. Just like content intensive and e-commerce websites, you don’t want your background color to take the focus away from your content or message. By choosing a neutral or white background, your content will naturally become more attention grabbing.
Remember, a clever combination of colors can have a powerful effect on your website’s design. Your choice of colors says a lot about your business, so choose wisely. When searching for a color, a great place to start is by looking at the color wheel.
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