10 Colours to bring your website to life

By Lynne

When you consider that 85% of consumers make a purchase decision based on the colours of a product it won’t come as a big surprise that colour choice is one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make when creating your brand and website. (Keep in mind that if you’re not actually selling a physical product but a service, that too constitutes a product in this context.)

The psychology of colour is a great starting point when faced with the task of creating your website. What feelings and emotions do you hope to awaken in the consumer? What state of mind would help convert your product into a sale/appointment/download?

Let’s take a look at the possibilities:

Primary Colours

  • Embodies precision & warmth
  • Reflects cheerfulness & optimism
  • Portrays energie
  • Stimulates mental processes
  • Can cause strain on the eyes
  • Embodies security and safety
  • Implies open communication
  • Stands for trustworthiness
  • Often used for corporate sites
  • Curbs appetite
  • Creates energy and excitement
  • Increases heart rate
  • Catches attention
  • Portrays passion
  • Increases appetite

Secondary Colours

  • Fertility symbol
  • Calming effect
  • Indicates nature & growth
  • Alleviates depression
  • Donates health & security
  • Embodies royalty & wealth
  • Indicates spiritual wellness
  • Stimulates creativity
  • Portrays sophistication
  • Associated with success
  • Reflects warmth
  • Signifies playfulness
  • Promotes enthusiasm
  • Portrays caution
  • Good for e-commerce
  • Signifies femininity
  • Associated with nurturing
  • Indicates softness & tenderness
  • Reduces aggression
  • Portrays innocence
  • Portrays strength
  • Associated with resilience
  • Down-to-earth
  • Inspires warmth & comfort
  • Signifies durability
  • Portrays edginess
  • Stands for strength & power
  • Sign of prestige
  • Linked to elegance & luxury
  • Timelessness
  • Portrays virtue
  • Associated with happiness
  • Sincerity
  • Inspires safety
  • Signifies purity
The psychology of colour in web design is not only about choosing the right colours for your website, but also about using them effectively. This involves considering factors such as contrast, balance, harmony, and hierarchy.

The types of colours you use also play into the psychology of your web design.
Cooler colours (blues, greens, purples) often provide an inviting, professional and relaxed feeling. In contrast, it can be used to give a very cold and unfriendly feeling as well. Warmer colours (reds, oranges, yellows) can evoke excitement, passion and energy. However, they can also be associated with danger, anger and stress.

It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. It depends on your target audience, your brand identity, your product or service, and your goals.

A few tips to help you along the way when making your colour choice(s):
  1. Start with your brand identity: What is the message, tone, and personality of your brand? What are the values and emotions you want to convey to your audience? Choose colours that align with your brand identity and communicate it clearly.
  2. Know your target audience: Who are you designing for? What are their preferences, needs, and expectations? How do they perceive different colours? Consider factors such as age, gender, culture, and context when choosing colours for your website.
  3. Use a colour wheel: A colour wheel is a tool that shows the relationships between colours and helps you create harmonious colour schemes. There are three basic types of colour schemes: monochromatic (using different shades of one colour), analogous (using colours that are next to each other on the colour wheel), and complementary (using colours that are opposite each other on the colour wheel).
  4. Choose a dominant colour: A dominant colour is the main colour of your website that sets the mood and attracts attention. It should be consistent with your brand identity and appeal to your target audience. You can use tools such as Adobe Color or Coolors to find a dominant colour that suits your website.
  5. Choose accent colours: Accent colours are secondary colours that contrast with your dominant colour and create visual interest. They can be used for elements such as buttons, links, headlines, and icons. You should limit the number of accent colours to avoid clutter and confusion. A good rule of thumb is to use no more than three accent colours on your website.
  6. Use white space: White space is the empty space between elements on your website that creates balance and clarity. It can also help highlight your colours and make them stand out. White space is not necessarily white; it can be any neutral or light colour that complements your colour scheme.
  7. Consider contrast and readability: Contrast is the difference between light and dark colours that affects how easy it is to see and read text and images on your website. You should use high contrast between your background and foreground colours to ensure readability and accessibility. You can use tools such as Contrast Checker to test the contrast ratio of your colours.
  8. Test your colours on different devices and browsers: Colours can look different on different screens and browsers due to variations in resolution, brightness, and settings. You should test your colours on different devices and browsers to make sure they look consistent and accurate across platforms.
  9. Be flexible and willing to experiment: Colour is not a fixed or static element; it can change over time depending on trends, preferences, and feedback. You should be flexible and willing to experiment with different colours until you find the ones that work best for your website.
  10. Follow the trends but don’t copy them blindly: Trends are popular styles or preferences that change over time and reflect the current culture and mood. Following the trends can help you create a website that looks modern and relevant. However, you should not copy the trends blindly without considering your brand identity, target audience, and goals. You should also be aware of the potential drawbacks of following the trends, such as losing your uniqueness, becoming outdated quickly, or alienating some users.
Still looking for inspiration?

Check out our colour palettes

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