How To Pick The Right Color Scheme For Your Website

Nicole Krosnowski

Senior Designer

Color is so much more than a visual element. It impacts everything in our world, whether it’s changing actions, causing reactions or influencing perceptions. You may be somewhat familiar with color psychology and how marketers use specific colors to keep people on their websites.  

When Coca-Cola picked the color red as their brand color, it wasn’t accidental. The brand chose this color because it was vibrant and stood out on the store shelves. It also had strong emotions tied to it, such as excitement, boldness and love. Today, you probably can’t think of Coca-Cola without thinking of the iconic fire engine red color.

If color can get you to spend your hard-earned money, it’s clear that you can’t second guess the color scheme of your website. To ensure that your website’s colors are working for you and not against you, follow these tips below.

Start with Your Dominant Color

The dominant color is your brand’s main color. It has a job to do. It should bring out the emotions that you want people to feel when they arrive at your site. Do you want visitors to feel hungry? At ease? Trusting?

If you already have a logo, make sure that the primary colored used on it is one of your dominant colors. If you don’t have a logo, you’ll need to strategically pick a color that your audience will respond well to. Refer to this guide on color psychology to help you pick the perfect dominant color for your brand.

Choose Your Accent Colors

As important as your dominant color is, it would be pretty boring to have the same color throughout your website. That's why you need accent colors. These complementary colors make your website more interesting and also improve its functionality. Using color, visitors know what parts of your website are most important, what buttons to click and so on.

Selecting accent colors that enhance your design is made easier with a color matching tool like Adobe Color CC. You can test out various colors that look good with your dominant color. I recommend choosing just one or two accent colors, otherwise your design may end up looking like a jumbled mess.

Select a Background Color

Your background needs some love, too. Now that you have your dominant color and accent colors, you’ll need to be thoughtful of your background color. You don’t want too much going on! Fortunately, backgrounds tend to be clean and simple. A subtle cream or neutral gray add taste while keeping users focused on the main elements.

Although some websites perform best with a simple background, others offer more freedom. Websites in creative industries (i.e., fashion, design, beauty) have more room to play around with shapes and colors. As long as the content is easy to read, your industry may allow for a more creative background as well.

By following the tips above, you can put together a color combination that works for your brand, just as Coca-Cola’s fire engine red has worked for its products for over 100 years.

 
About the Author: Nicole Krosnowski

Nicole is a Designer at SEMGeeks. She is a Jersey girl who loves to “go down the shore” and spend her time at the beach. Nicole is a creative thinker, fueled by iced coffee and innovation. She loves to stay up to date with the latest trends in fashion and technology and uses this as design inspiration. With experience in web design, digital design and advertising, she approaches each project with a designer’s careful eye and a marketer’s strategic thought process.

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