choosing colors for websites

Choosing colours for your website

Colours create moods for your website.  Without the viewers being conscious of it, the colour scheme of a website can communicate certain moods and impression. It is part of good web design to choose a good colour scheme with colours that complement each other.

Usually, there are about 5 colours to decide on :
Background, text, links, and two others used for final touches. One of the two will be an accent colour to give the site and pages a lift.

The first thing I look at when trying to come up with a colour scheme is the logo, if there is one already made.  If there is only one colour, then either the client or I will choose another colour to complement or accentuate the colour.  If there are more than one colour on the logo, then I’d pick out two of them.

If the client has no logo and is having the website and branding built from a clean slate, then I’d look at what line of services or products the website is going to represent. We could work based on the psychology of colours, such as:

Blue – the most popular colour, agreeable to both men and women.
It is the colour of trust, authority, stability, and intelligence.  It is also calming and soothing and could also represent depression and sadness.

Green – the second most popular colour, agreeable to both men and women.
It is the colour of nature, environment, youth and growth. It is restful. It can also represent envy and jealousy.

Red – the colour of passion, excitement, power, good luck and danger. It catches our attention and is stimulating. It can also be the colour of aggression. Red is a good colour for buttons and links on a website. It is not a good colour to use as the background for green text (and vice versa).

Yellow – the colour of optimism, confidence, emotional strength, and creativity. It is also a good colour for grabbing the attention of website visitors. Too much of the colour yellow could provoke anxiety or fear.

Purple – A popular colour for women but not so much for men. It is the colour of spiritual awareness, luxury and vision. It could also be the colour of being introvert and the feeling of inferior. It encourages contemplation. The wrong tone of purple could make a website look cheap. It is an unsettling colour for some as it is the combination of blue which is a cool colour and red, a warm colour. Purple hangs in the middle between cool and warm.

Orange – the colour of comfort, food, passion and fun. It could also be the colour of frustration and immaturity. It is stimulating physically and emotionally, being the combination of red and yellow.

Pink – is a nurturing colour; also the colour of femininity and love. It is also the colour of physical weakness and inhibition. Light pink is soothing. Hot pink, being closer to red is stimulating. Too much pink is emasculating.

Grey – is neutral and is a very useful colour on websites. A darker shade of grey can be used for text and a light shade as a background colour, perhaps for a section if not the entire page. An accent colour should be chosen to complement and lift the colour of grey. It can also be a colour of depression, weakness and lack of confidence.

Black – is the colour of security, seriousness and elegance. It could also be oppressive, mysterious and cold. Often, it is the background colour for photography or artwork websites as it receeds and lets the photos or artworks take the attention.

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