How to Use Color In Web Design

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People are influenced by color in a number of ways, including psychologically and socially. With colors, you can make a statement, set a mood, and attract attention. This is why choosing the right color scheme is particularly important in web design. Various pages will play a different role in making a statement, and getting visitors to take action. If done correctly, color can be used to energize your message, and lead visitors down your conversion funnel. Whether you are aiming to create an ambiance of warmth or professionalism, you will need to understand color theory to create an effective website.

Color in web design

Color Psychology

Understanding the psychological influence colors have on people can be a significant advantage to designers and marketers alike. Although attaining an in-depth understanding of color psychology takes time and experience, there are a few simple guidelines that will help you understand the concept and meaning behind each color. Meanings of color can also vary based on circumstances and culture, be sure to keep that in mind when designing your websites.

color in web design

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BLACK: Black is associated with power, elegance, formality, death, evil, and mystery. Black is a great example of how a color can be used to depict different meanings, depending on the circumstance. I have always enjoyed using black throughout a website to maintain consistency and elegance. It is also a great way to bring attention to other elements of a page. Try using black for generic information, and use a color like Green or Red to bring attention to headlines or call-to-action buttons that need to be more prominent.

RED: Red is the color of fire and blood. It is typically associated with energy, power, determination, and passion. In some cultures, Red is also associated with danger and war. When designing websites, I try to use red as an accent color only. It is a very powerful color that can play an important role in driving conversions and drawing attention. Red is also used for error messages, so keep in mind that it carries a negative connotation in many circumstances. That being said, it will draw a reader’s attention quicker than any other color.

GREEN: Green is the color of nature which symbolizes growth, well-being, freshness, and fertility. On websites, Green is the color most often used to guide visitors through a sales funnel. People are predisposed to relate Green to positivity and are most likely to click buttons that are green. I like to reserve the color Green for call-to-action and submission buttons, this helps establish a pattern in the website’s UX.

ORANGE: Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It is associated with tropical landscapes, elation, joy, and sunshine. Orange is among the most used colors in website designs of 2016. It is such a vivid color that it is not surprising that we’ve seen it become such a trend over the past year. I like to use orange as a focal point in a design, particularly if you can tie it in with brand colors.

YELLOW: Yellow is the most luminous of all the colors of the spectrum. It is the color of sunshine, often associated with intellect and energy. Yellow does a great job producing a friendly and breezy feel to your website. When used correctly, yellow can shine its optimism and happiness on your audience.

BLUE: Blue is the color of the sky and sea. It is often associated with depth and stability. It has long be a symbol of trust, heaven and loyalty. Since gaining a customer’s trust is crucial to the success of a business, it is no surprise that blue is the most popular color to use in logos and branding. You really can’t go wrong with blue, so I would always recommend making it a starting point for a website’s color scheme. Try some variations of blue to make sure your website is unique and memorable.

PURPLE: Purple is a combination of blue and red, depicting stability and energy in one. Purple is also associated with royalty and power. Many luxury brands are known to use purple in branding colors. The FedEx website does a great job of using purple throughout their brand and website, while maintaining a light feel.

WHITE: White is associated with light, purity and innocence. People relate white to cleanliness and purity. It also serves as a fantastic canvas for other colors and works well in any combination. Almost any website you see will contain white throughout their pages. If you are looking to create a clean layout and user experience, keep as much white space as possible. It will make navigating your website’s elements a breeze.

web design color

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Create Your Color Scheme

Now that you have a better understanding of color theory, you need the tools to create a color scheme for your next website. Choosing your color scheme needs to go hand in hand with layout and font choices. Thanks to a selection of free online tools, you can create a color scheme to suit your needs in minutes. Sites such as Coolors and ColourLovers allow users to create color schemes easily. They will provide you with a range of palettes to fit your requirements. Play around to discover some beautiful combinations.

If you need some further inspiration, check out these beautiful pre-created color palettes.

Also check out:

Colorblindness & Graphic Design: Will We Ever See Those Two As a Matching Couple?

This post was written by Evan Fraser, a web marketer with 10+ years of experience in web design. He helps companies create intuitive user experiences and build memorable brands. When Evan is not hard at work, you can find him listening to some 50’s blue or traveling southern Europe.

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