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Color Schemes for Web Design


Color Schemes for Web Design

(Photo : pexels)

Our preferences are often based on color. Its influence on our behavior is examined by psychologists and employed by marketing specialists and designers. Color is perceived differently across cultures, by various age groups, and opposite sexes. For example, white is considered the color of innocence in western cultures, while it's the color of mourning in Asia. Different individuals and languages are not equal in their ability to name colors as well.

Web designers from a studio based in Seattle explain how color combinations are used in graphics to catch our attention, to make information look attractive, and to create a credible impression of a product or a company.

The Basics of Color

The theory aims to advise people on creating a sense of harmony when combining colors. Three primary colors are red, blue, and yellow. Their combinations make 3 secondary colors - green, orange, and purple. The theory suggests artistic combinations of the shades by placing them on a color wheel and explaining which of them work together.

An effective color scheme can be created with 2 colors only. Matching 3 or 4 different shades is more complicated as well as more rewarding. Occasionally, graphic designers rely on a monochromatic color scheme to make a statement.

The color context shows how colors are perceived when placed next to each other. Objects of the same size look different depending on their tone. And a tone changes the way it looks when placed next to a different color.

The colors are divided into warm (those which have a lot of yellow in them) and cold (those with a blue undertone). Neutrals are different shades of black and white.

Modern Color Trends and Psychology

We associate colors with emotions, and we recognize the message a designer sends us through the combination of tones. Color choices raise some expectations about the content.

Natural, earthy, muted tones make us believe that a product is organic. A company with a website styled in the shades of green cares about sustainability. Bright colors will not only cheer us up but prepare us for fun content. A traditional dark blue will make us feel calm and secure.

With the development of advertising and marketing, some tones became strongly associated with different industries or particular brands. Psychology of color says that turquoise is preserved as the tone of light-heartedness. Many western people see it as a symbol of luxury since it has been used by Tiffany.

The ideas that shape society come and go. And colors come into and fall out of fashion.

Color trend predictions are made annually for fashion and interior design purposes, but they inevitably influence the graphic design world.

There are numerous shades of each color. The Panton company, started with the idea of coding colors to explain the shades, lists more than 1,000 different tones.

A website color combination talks clearly about the brand's identity and values, aiming to be aesthetically impressive and trendy at the same time.

Color Schemes' Dos and Don'ts


  • Before adopting a color palette, decide what emotions and feelings you want to create with it. Do you want to surprise? Impress? Make a viewer feel comfortable and secure? How much drama do you want to deliver? What audience do you want to address?
  • Use a color mood board, pictures, and paintings as sources of inspiration. Take a look around. An exciting, vibrant color combination might come from the place you least expect it to find.
  • Rely on the golden rule applied to a color mix: let your main tone get 60% of space, second -30%, and third accent color - 10%.
  • To understand what resonates with your client, you might check how a color scheme is perceived through a focus group.


  • Don't rely on a trendy color scheme without considering what speaks for a particular brand or organization.
  • Don't make a brand color decisive for a website but take it into consideration.
  • Never sacrifice the accessibility, visual clarity, and readability for a color scheme.

There are rules for dealing with color; however, new color schemes are created in web design every day. Don't believe somebody who says that you need to use two colors because they are complimentary. Or make a free white space of a website black because it is trendy. Working with color is art, and art and beauty can't be calculated. The eye of a professional designer sees the future artistic effect of a certain combination of shades. Address a professional if you want the best website color decision. Designers at Alice Wonder will be happy to advise you on choosing the right color scheme for your website!

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