Web design is as much an art as it is a science. Every choice you make will play a role in who you attract to your website and how it performs. From the text and images you use to the colours you choose, it’s a careful mix that, when done right, can deliver the results you need for your business.
This is especially true when it comes to the colours that you choose for your website. Colour isn’t just a creative choice, but a practical one too. For example, choosing clashing colours for a background and some text could leave these illegible.
So, to ensure that you can colour (or not) your way to success, here is everything you need to know about colour and web design.
Basics of Colour Theory
In a nutshell, colour theory explores the way that different shades of colour interact with one another. You don’t need to be an expert in this, in fact, a grasp of the basics is all that you need. For your website, your goal should be to choose colours that work together, and creating a colour wheel can help.
There are two main colour wheels that you can choose from Red Green Blue (RGB) or Red Yellow Blue (RYB). The wheel that you choose will determine what colours complement others and which do not. Given that websites are viewed on screens, we recommend beginning with the Red Green Blue colour wheel.
Psychology of Colour
The next to consider is the meanings, feelings, and thoughts associated with certain colours. Thanks to generations of conditioning and context, it will be near impossible for you to try and set the tone for a particular colour (see what we did there). The most obvious example of this is how certain colours are associated with different holidays or seasons – like pink and red for Valentine’s Day or yellow and orange for summer.
The colours that you choose will convey a certain meaning to your customers – whether you like it or not – so it’s important to be deliberate in your choices. The colours you choose should match your brand and reflect the personality that you’ve carefully created through your marketing and any other branding.
Like every other aspect of your web design, the colours you choose will send a message to your customers. This is why you need to consider the colours that you choose carefully.
How to choose your website colours
When it comes to your branding, it’s recommended that you choose 3 colours, with a ratio of 60/30/10. This means a primary colour (the one you’ll use the most), a secondary colour, and an accent colour. Don’t worry, black and white count – so long as you use them in a meaningful way. Once you’ve locked down these colours, you’ll be able to integrate them into various aspects of your brand, including your website.
Now that you understand how to choose the right colours for your website, we’ll explore some common colour palettes and combinations to give you some inspiration for your website.
Common Colour Combinations used in Web Design
To help with your colour choice, there are main colour palettes to choose from, they are:
For an analogous scheme, you will need to choose 3 colours that are located next to each other on a colour wheel. The colour wheel that you choose will determine the colours – for example, you could choose colours from a wheel that has shades of green or a wheel that contains different colours – such as reds, yellows, and pinks.
An analogous scheme is a happy middle between a complimentary and monochrome scheme as you get the best of both worlds; cohesion and contrast. If you want flexibility in your colour scheme, this is probably the best choice for you.
Ever heard the phrase ‘opposites attract?’ This is true for a lot of things, including complimentary colours. These are colours that rok because of their differences. If you don’t want to be limited to one colour or certain shades, choosing complimentary colours will allow you to create the contrast that you’re looking for.
A common example of contrasting colours working is red and green – especially around Christmas time. These are two colours that would be found on different sides of a colour wheel and complement each other nicely.
The third option available to you is a monochrome colour scheme. This is when you use one single predominant colour or a few shades of the same colour. Whilst complimentary colours can be bright and exciting, a monochrome scheme often comes across as calming and professional. If this is the tone that you wish to achieve, then perhaps a monochrome theme will suit your website the best.
Choosing the right colours for your website
Like every aspect of your website – and your wider branding for that matter – you need to choose your colours carefully. They should reflect certain emotions and ideas that align with your brand and your business. Choosing a colour scheme that matches your brand values will not only help you to design a better-looking website but a website that performs better for your website too.
So, take the time to consider your brand and your company values and determine what colours best align with these values.
If you’re looking for support with web development, you can depend on the team at Zudu for support.