Think you’re ready to take the jump and design your own website? What’s next? Choosing a color palette! This is a much more important step to designing your website than you may think. Arguably, one of the most important aspects of any design is its colors. Sure, you want to gain some attention with your color choices but, you also want to make sure that it’s positive attention.
It’s important to choose colors that you believe are significant to your target audience, colors that get your point across, and that convey the mood on the site that you’re going for. Keep in mind that people are so very visual. When they go to your site, the first thing that they’ll notice is the color. And no matter what color choice you make, be sure that the color is enhancing the content and purpose of your site instead of taking attention away from that. If you think that big bold colors is the way to go on your site then, by all means, go with it! Just be sure that your color choices aren’t diverting the eye in such a way that it becomes distracting or obnoxious to the customer.
If you’re trying to incorporate your logo colors into your site just make sure that you’re doing it in a way that compliments your content. Bottom line, this is all about enhancing your site. There are several ways to accomplish this. I feel, especially with color, that there’s no cut and dry method. You have to evaluate your own business and choose the palette that works best for you.
Here are some ways to group your color selections:
Warm Colors: These include the reds, oranges, and yellows. Warm colors are thought to evoke a sense of warmth. Yellows and Oranges are not overly serious colors so they lend themselves to a friendly feeling without being overbearing. Reds can also be associated with passion and power.
Cool Colors: These colors include blues, grays, greens, and purples. These colors (especially blue and gray) are used as symbols of strength, trust, and consistency. They are also found often in social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. Financial institutions often use blue.
Neutral Colors: Grays, Browns, and Creams are often very neutral colors. They don’t evoke as much emotion from the viewer as other colors might.
Once you’ve decided what mood/emotions you’re going for on your website, you can pick the colors that you think can best get your point across. Feel free to mix and match from different categories. Just be sure that your colors look good together. I recommend testing out your color selections on a few people before the site goes live so that you can get some input on your choices.
Depending on the kind of site you have, here are a few tips:
· If you have an online store (such as Amazon for instance), it’s a good idea to use white to provide enough contrast and readability that people can read about the products your selling and see the products themselves.
· If you’re selling a product that require strength and confidence, consider blacks and grays. Sites like Nike and car manufacturer websites tend to use dark colors to convey power and confidence. It also helps their images to pop.
· If your website is all about ‘going green’, there is no simpler way to get that message across by using GREEN! Green coupled with neutral browns and creams gives a very natural and organic look to the site.
The best advice I can give is to trust your gut on this one. You have the tools and you know what the different colors can stand for. Heck, you’re a visual person too –how does the site make YOU feel when you see it? It might be a good idea to research a few companies similar to your own to see what the different moods on the different sites are. See what speaks to you and go from there.
Crazy with color questions or concerns? Let me know!