Choosing your website colors is one of the most important things you will do when designing your website or working with a web developer. Your web developer will assist you in choosing these colors but having an idea of who you want to target and what colors represent your brand will help tremendously.
Make your website colors match who you want to target.
Knowing your target market and the type of people you want to sell your products or services to is key in developing any kind of marketing strategy. Once you nail down your target market, start thinking about the colors that your ideal customer would like or dislike. Colors evoke emotion in people and assist them in making purchasing decisions. This knowledge of design and color theory is important when choosing your web designer.
The first step in developing your target market is thinking long and hard about who will be purchasing and using your goods or services. Try to picture that person in your head. How old is your target customer? Are they male or female? What are their interests? Why would they want to purchase your product or service?
Once you have an idea of who you want to target in your head, refer to this list of colors and the emotions their representations. Decide on your website colors based on your target market and what you hope to accomplish.
Represents health, wealth, tranquility and nature. Green is the easiest color for the eye to process so it has a relaxing effect on those who see it. Businesses that use green might include accountants, health and wellness clinics, or retailers specializing in natural goods.
These companies below chose green for a reason. Try to think about their decision and then look at the potential color palettes that you could use on your website.
Represents youthfulness, optimism, and cheerfulness. Yellow is the most straining color on the eyes, but it is useful when trying to draw attention. Use yellow sparingly to make sure you don’t drive away your customer. Any business trying to grab the attention of customers would benefit from incorporating yellow in to their website design. It is best to use yellow in logos or as a secondary color rather than using it as a dominant color.
By looking at the company logos and color palettes below, you can tell that these companies used yellow to draw your attention but there are complimentary colors to ease the eye and accomplish other goals. Study the color palettes below and decide if you should use yellow in your website design.
Represents friendliness, enthusiasm, and creativity. Orange attracts impulse shoppers and drives people to make snap decisions. Orange is best used by retailers and marketers looking to sell services or products. Any website focused around getting their customers to subscribe, download, or buy would benefit greatly from using orange. According to Neil Patel, orange is hated most by both men and women so choosing orange as a dominant color should be thought about thoroughly. Orange is a perfect complimentary color.
All these brands below used orange to push their customers to do something. Fanta wants you to choose their soda at the vending machine, Amazon wants you to purchase as many items as your credit card can handle, and Mastercard is a credit card company, so you think about that one. Notice how orange is a complimentary color in the palettes below.
Represents passion, energy, urgency, excitement, vibrancy, and danger. Red is oftentimes used when companies want to create an urgency to buy or want to evoke some sort of strong emotion. For example, restaurants use red to stimulate their customer’s appetite. Red is a very powerful color and one that any business looking to create a strong emotional response can use as their dominant color. Almost any business could benefit from using red in their website design, especially those looking to create urgency like restaurants and retailers.
Kmart, CNN, and Heinz are all internationally recognized brands. Based on the information you know about red, try to put yourself in the shoes of their brand designer. Red is a great dominant color when used tastefully with contrasting colors.
Represents feminine, sweetness, innocence, fertility and romance. Pink is oftentimes used to market to women and young girls. Companies who would use pink might include retailers targeted towards women, toy companies that target young girls, or non-profits focused on women related issues. When it comes to choosing your website colors, you might benefit by using pink as a secondary color, not your main color. Using too much pink can come across as tacky. Use this color tastefully in your website design.
Pink is a tricky one. If you are using pink as your dominant color or even a secondary color, you should have a specific reason to. Pink can drive away men or anyone who sees the color as tacky. Check out the logos and color palettes below to get an idea of when using pink is a good idea.
Represents royalty, wealth, success, and wisdom. Purple is a soothing color making it useful for companies selling self-care products. This color can also be used by companies that wish to offer their customers comfort. Noctem Media did a project for Probst Law Firm in Winston Salem, NC. The idea behind using purple in the website was to convey that their company is there to ease the minds of their clients when dealing with legal matters. Companies that benefit from purple are focused on easing financial burden, giving advice, offering therapeutic services, or retailers selling high-end, luxury goods.
Purple can be a great option for your company website depending on your goals. These internationally recognized companies had a plan for this use of purple. Try to think about what the reason is and get some inspiration from the color palettes below.
Represents trust, security, stability, peace, and calmness. According to Neil Patel, blue is the most popular color among both men and women so it is an all-around good color to consider for your website. This color is best used by companies who want to build trust with their clientele. Companies that might use this color as their dominant website color include technology companies, financial institutions, or brands that people rely on daily. Just about any company could benefit from using blue in their website design.
Personally, my favorite color to use in design is blue. Women and men both love blue, making it an extremely versatile color. I think it is clear as to why Dell, American Express, and ADT chose blue as their dominant color. What do you think?
Represents neutral, calm, simplistic, futuristic, modern, and logical. Companies who specialize in futuristic products and services use grey. Companies that sell technology, modern equipment, or offer logical services like engineering, development, or design benefit from grey. Grey is emotionless and is associated with technology, industry, precision, control, competence, and sophistication. For most businesses, grey serves as a great complimentary color when choosing website colors. Maybe the background color of your website could be a light grey, or you could have grey accents. It’s best to choose a color that strikes emotion and a sense of urgency when trying to sell something.
We all know grey is boring. It is emotionless but it works for certain companies. Using grey in the right color palette can really set your website apart. Unless you are going for a very minimalist design, you will want to find some colors that go well with grey.
Represents power, sophistication, luxury, and elegance. Black is a multipurpose color if you use it in a smart way. Any business can benefit from using black when trying to convey a sense of power or elegance in their brand. Companies with a well-known name oftentimes use a simple company logo with black as the dominant color. When choosing website colors, make black your complimentary color. You don’t want your entire website to be black and dark. That will oftentimes drive people away. Use black against stark white backgrounds or with lighter, complimentary colors.
Black is a very bold color and it should be used correctly. Think about why the brands below went with black as their dominant logo color and then imagine how you might want to incorporate black in to your website color palette.
Now that you have an idea of what to do with your website colors, lets create something great.
With this new knowledge of basic colors, try to think about that target customer again. What would appeal to them? Whether you are trying to create a sense of urgency, ease the minds of potential clients, or sell high-end products, choosing your colors wisely will be a very important step in the website design process.