How to Choose Colors for Your Website

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Analogous color scheme

Image via Wikipedia

While everyone has favorite colors, these are not usually the best choices for a small business. The colors that you use on your website, use of color in your logo design and other visual parts of your business should be suited to the type of brand you are trying to convey. Color can communicate emotion, and it also can be used to convince customers to delve further into your business. Here are a few tips for choosing website colors.

Make good branding sense.

Your business already has a brand and a logo design—if not, why are you wasting time with extras like designing a website instead of talking to a consultant about these basics? Your website should be complementary to your brand, using colors that are used in your logo design to create a sense of continuity. You also will want to look at your logo design for inspiration regarding images, fonts, and the general tone of your website. For example, for one of our clients who is a bespoke suit maker, we used subtle colors to connect with the audience.

Avoid sensory overload.

Red, orange, and yellow are all attention-getting hues, but is this really the type of attention that you want? All three create a sense of aggression and are hard on the eyes. If you want to make sure visitors take a little time staying on your website, then make it easy on them. Keep background colors simple, write in black or another very dark color, and keep bright and/or blinking elements to an occasional pop.

Keep cultural significance in mind.

Not only are certain colors easier on the eyes, many have emotional or cultural significance—that is, they have a meaning to the people in your area. Red in Western culture means aggression and passion, but it can mean very different things around the world. Greens and browns are fairly universally associated with nature and earthiness, while blues are calming and reminiscent of water. These associations will color the way people see your website and affect whether they choose to do business with you.

Use contrast.

The contrast will make your site more readable, and it will help to guide your visitors by showing them which elements are important and worthy of their focus. However, because you want for your color scheme to have only two or three colors, you will have to carefully consider your logo design and brand when choosing even contrast colors.

Add other colors in moderation to create special effects.

If you are having a sale, bright red will make sure that your customers can’t miss it. If you are making an announcement or dealing with the general business that demands less attention, choose a cool color. In general, warm colors advance and cool colors recede. Use this principle (in moderation) to add or subtract importance.

Your customers will notice your website’s colors before they notice any other element, including what you write or what you are selling. This means that your color palette deserves attention both from you and perhaps a professional branding or logo design consultant. Don’t be afraid to have someone who works professionally with color help you in using your website to obtain maximum success.