The Best Color Schemes for Your Website

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Colors. They control so much of the way we view our world. Not only do they help us recall memories, but they have a psychological draw. After all, there’s a reason that energetic red and yellow hues are McDonald’s calling card, whereas many financial and insurance agencies prefer a dependable blue shade.

Sometimes, the color scheme for a website is determined entirely by personal preference. Other times, it’s a drawn-out process of trial and error. At the end of the day, you want your website to speak to your visitors in a visual “voice” that encourages them to trust your company.

How to Use Color on Your Website

To help you use color schemes on your website, first think of all the adjectives you want people to feel about your business. For instance, do you want people to say that your company is fun and lighthearted? Serious and educational? Trendy and young? Sophisticated and elegant?

Your answers will reveal a lot about the colors you should consider for your site.

Check out these generalized descriptions of colors:

  • Red: Use reds to convey energy, spirit and passion. Examples: Target, LEGO, TLC.
  • Pink: Who doesn’t think of femininity, softness, and sweetness with pink? Examples: Barbie, Hello Kitty.
  • Orange: Orange is a warm color, showing boldness and sportiness. Examples: Nickelodeon, The Home Depot, Harley Davidson.
  • Yellow: The color yellow is friendly and welcoming. Examples: Cheerios, IKEA, Best Buy.
  • Green: Not only does green tend to indicate wealth, but it also has an eco-friendly, nature-inspiring appeal. Examples: Starbucks, BP, Animal Planet.
  • Blue: You can depend upon blue, which tends to make people feel relaxed when buying from companies that use predominantly blue color schemes. Examples: Ford, HP, Dell.
  • Purple: Imagination and purple go hand-in-hand. It’s wisdom in color form. Examples: Hallmark, Cadbury.
  • Black: This is a serious color, and it shows intelligence and exclusivity. Examples: Nike, Under Armour, Gucci.
  • White: White is the color of calm and serenity. It also indicates purity and confidence. Examples: WWF, Shell.

Using this knowledge, you can begin to explore colors that would be useful for your company’s needs. Be sure to consider any colors you have already been using as well, such as the shades and tints that appear in your business logo. You want your logo to stand out on your page, so if it’s red, you don’t want to put it against a red background. At the same time, you may want to echo the same red hue on other areas of the site.

For a site in action, head to Cleveland Brothers Equipment Co., Inc. Yellow and black are the predominant colors, emphasizing a willingness to work with clients and a seriousness about the quality of the product.

Understand the Usefulness of Complementary Colors

If you haven’t taken a course explaining how to contrast colors, you can still understand complementary colors fairly quickly by examining the color wheel.

Complementary colors are those that fall on the opposite side of the wheel from one another. As an example, purple and yellow are opposites, which is why they are often paired. The same is true for blue and orange, a very popular pairing among logo designers and collegiate sports teams!

Not sure you want to use complementary colors? You can also opt for analogous colors.

Ways to Use Analogous Color Schemes

Analogous colors are those that are side-by-side, usually on a color palette that’s limited to about a dozen colors. For instance, you may want your website to have a blue analogous color scheme, which means you could choose a combination of colors like royal blue, aqua blue and purple tone across your site. The visual significance will create a harmonizing effect.

See Which Color Schemes Your Competitors Are Using

Have your competitors all been using the same basic color schemes in their website designs? This tells you that either they are simply emulating one another or that you need to consider the color scheme because it performs best in your market.

On the other hand, if you’re in a field where uniqueness is highly valued, you may want to stray from the ordinary and adopt a color scheme that sets you apart from your competition. This is something you should discuss with your web designer, web developer, and marketing team.

By taking the time to seriously consider a color scheme that resonates with your organization — not to mention creates specific responses in site visitors — you will have a much better chance of seeing excellent analytics results.

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