When you create a website, one of the first things that you need to focus on is web design. Aside from picking the right layout for your pages, your choice of color schemes can make or break the whole package.
Color scheme is about considering the interplay of colors in three major aspects: complementation, contrast, and vibrancy. Choosing the right colors is one of the most difficult phases in web designing and the process can be very challenging especially for those who are new in the field. You should not worry too much, though, because there are available online tools that you can use to help you select the perfect color schemes to use for your page.
What is the importance of colors in websites?
Here are some of the reasons why choosing the right color schemes is extremely important:
1. Creates an emotional connection
Colors generally trigger moods or emotions to your target audience or market. Therefore, whatever color scheme you choose makes all the difference.
2. Sets your company’s direction
A good website design is grounded on the use of the right colors. For example, picking too many colors for your site might create an image that your company is too informal and might not be taken seriously by your target market. Meanwhile, using conventional color schemes might make your website too forgettable like the others.
3. Establishes branding
Your website is an effective representation of your company, and the colors you choose for your website create your company or brand identity. This goes without saying that websites play a major role in online marketing and branding, and colors put life to whatever information you put.
When choosing a color scheme for your website, always put in mind that the right one leads to a strong brand especially when a certain color gets associated with your company.
4. Creates a visual statement
Words are powerful, but colors make your catchy phrases livelier as they emphasize words and statements with the right tones and hues.
Colors are not only a requirement in web design. They also serve are the soul of your website: they create a mark in people’s minds that will later on set the difference of your company from all others who offer similar services or products.
Colors create character and personality—two of the most important factors in branding. Web design, therefore, puts stress in the importance of choosing the right color schemes especially with the idea in mind that the game of online marketing is quite competitive.
If you want to leave a mark on your market and audience, make sure that your goal is supported with meaningful colors that represent who your company is.
Factors in Choosing Website Colors
Selecting color schemes is not considered as one of the pillars of web design for nothing. Colors are carefully and intricately selected depending on the need, style, and image being conveyed.
Here are the common factors that website designers consider in choosing between color schemes:
Demographics and the product you are selling
The demographics of your target audience plays a major role in analyzing what types of information you wish to convey through your color schemes.
For instance, your website sells organic products, and your target audience are people who are health conscious. The best color scheme to use in this product line revolves around green and other earth colors to convey the message that you support your clients’ advocacy or their goal of living a healthy lifestyle.
In the example above, it would be inappropriate to use shades of black and gray, or red and yellow in this type of website. That will definitely blow your target market away, and might even give them the impression that you do not understand the products you are selling in the first place.
It is always helpful to base your color scheme on the gender of your target market. If your company is selling cosmetic products or clothes for women, there are certain colors and shades that will easily draw their attention to your website. Take the time and extra effort to research on the usual colors that men and women dislike because their initial take on these things matter a lot.
Kissmetrics released an infographic showing some of the color preferences by gender:
- While blue is the most preferred color in both genders, men like bright colors while women opt for soft or pastel colors.
- Men like black, white, and shades of gray more than women.
- Men like brown the least, while women generally don’t prefer orange.
Similar to gender, age groups have varying tastes in their choice of color. There are studies proving that a person’s taste in color changes with age. Website designers should also pay attention to this and must consider doing their research, especially if the websites that they are trying to cater to a specific age group.
How long the website will be used
Choosing from a wide array of color schemes should always consider how long the website will be used. Will it be for a specific season or will it be for long-term project duration? Seasonal usage will require color schemes that will speak of the events being celebrated, say orange and black for a Halloween-themed page.
Your company profile
Your website is for the consumption of your target audience, and it is just right to consider the background of your clients. However, you also need to consider the profile of your company. Once you get to know the objectives of your company through the products or services you are selling, then it will be easier for you to understand how you can build a connection with your market.
How to Choose the Right Color Schemes
After you have put into consideration the factors for the possible color schemes that you will be using, make sure that you create a shortlist of the ones that could possibly work for your company’s website.
Here are three things you should do to ease your selection process:
1. Decide what dominant color you will use.
Your dominant color is your company or brand color. This is what makes a mark among your clients. This is where the factors for choosing website colors (e.g. age group, gender, company profile) become crucial, because your dominant color keeps your company standout as it creates the first impression.
In choosing your dominant color, you need to know that different colors and shades have their own meanings. Before choosing which one to use, make sure that you strategically pick the best one that will effectively represent your brand.
2. Pick the accent colors that will blend and go well with your dominant color.
Website design becomes equally exciting and challenging when you are already in the process of picking the colors that will go well with the dominant color you have chosen to use. Of course, it will be really dull to stick to just one color all throughout. Accent colors will solve that.
You may use your accent colors for your tabs, subheadings, or information boxes, depending on which ones you want to further highlight. Using accent colors is a fun way of making your page livelier, but do not overdo it. Make sure that you choose one to two accent colors for page to avoid confusion.
3. Choose a good background color.
One of the most challenging tasks in choosing the right color scheme for your website is picking the background color to use. Before choosing a background color, know first the purpose of the website you are designing or developing to easily pick the best one to use.
Online Tools to Generate Color Schemes
There are a number of good online tools that you can use in selecting the right color schemes for web design. Here are some of the tools that are highly recommended:
Also known as Adobe Color, Kuler is a reliable online tool that can help you decide on the color palette to use for your pages. It is Adobe’s color theme application that allows users to sync the color palettes they have created in other Adobe applications like Photoshop and Illustrator.
If you want an app that comes with an advanced but user-friendly features and interface, then Kuler is for you. However, this app can only be enjoyed by iOS users.
Color Rotate is similar to Kuler, only that it looks like a 3D version of the latter. The way humans interpret colors is a complex system, and Color Rotate is an effective tool that puts your choice of colors in 3D space to create a representation that will show how human minds perceive color combinations. This app helps the website designers find the right color scheme that will suit that taste of the target market by showing how colors mix and match in a three-dimensional perspective.
There are times when it becomes difficult to look for the right hues or tones to use for a single image in mind. If you have the same issue in the process of designing your website, then this app can help you in resolving that.
Instant Color Schemes allows the user to type keywords and will instantly suggest the top colors that are commonly associated with the keywords typed.
As one of the most commonly featured apps online, Color Explorer offers advanced features that allow the user to try different color palettes in convenient ways. The app also allows the user to search for color schemes that can be directly used or edited based on the needs of the website.
If you already have an advanced knowledge in mixing and matching colors in web design, then this app is highly recommended for you.
While there are a lot of online tools that can be used in selecting the perfect color schemes for websites, the number one rule is to know the taste of your target audience to make your strategy work.
Pay attention to details like how your company profile and your target market can relate through catchy phrases, icons, and colors. Put in mind that although your website is just part of the equation to make your product or service memorable, it pays to maximize its use.
It is highly recommended that before you select the possible colors, make sure that you have tried the abovementioned online tools and similar ones that you can access online.