There is a whole psychology behind why certain color choices work on a website and others don’t. Website designers consider a variety of objectives when choosing color schemes, ranging from brand reinforcement to emotional response.
In fact, researchers report in their “Impact of color on marketing” study that up to 90% of all snap judgments about products are made based on color alone. That is why color choices should be considered carefully when designing your website, and why you should rely on your website designer for his or her professional advice in this area.
Colors can truly affect how visitors view and react to your website. Here are some ways colors are used in website design:
- Color Reinforces Brand Familiarity
Colors symbolize and reinforce your brand. A website designer will often select the colors from your logo to create instant visual recognition. Examples of popular brand colors include: Target’s red, Shell Oil’s yellow, IBM’s blue, and Yahoo’s purple.
- Color Creates Visibility
Bold and dynamic colors, like red, pop off the page. They are generally used for headlines and important information. Used sparingly, they lead the eye where you want it to go, like to the logo, titles and call to action. Softer colors, like a light green, are more subtle and serve best as a background color.
- Color Inspires Emotions
Colors create emotions, and emotions inspire action. Food service businesses use red and orange because those colors are scientifically proven to stimulate appetite. Think of McDonalds with their yellow arches or Burger King with its red and yellow logo. On the other end of the spectrum, you’ll often see banks, schools and institutions using more calming colors such as blues and greens; these colors are known to create a sense of security and trust. Red creates urgency, like a fire truck or passion, and black represents luxury and power.
- Certain Colors Appeal to Certain Audiences
Colors should appeal to your audience, not be chosen for your personal preference, so it is important that your website designer knows who will be visiting your site. Are you reaching out to a younger audience or are your customers more sophisticated? Are they male or female? Gender, age, profession, and many other factors all affect how visitors react to your website colors.
- Color Choices Depend on your Objective
The type of website you are developing is important. Is it a dynamic sales website or informational? Is it a retail site or corporate? Is your website graphic-based or text-heavy? Different uses of color can contribute to the effectiveness of each.
How Your Website Designer Chooses Colors
Color theory, or the interaction of colors, comes into play when designing a website.
Many website designers ascribe to the rule of three—a Triadic color scheme— and select a trio of colors that complement each other, contrast for emphasis, and provide vibrancy for heightened emotional response.
The base color creates the overall theme for your website, such as its background color. A contrasting color, often chosen from the opposite side of the color wheel from your primary color, creates a visually appealing color scheme. The accent color is used sparingly, mostly for headlines and to create interest in elements on the page.
In selecting colors, your designer may want to begin with an image that sets the tone for the page design. Photographs or logos are common inspirations for choosing colors.
Content is Still Most Important
When designing your website, remember that content is still the most important element. Make sure that your colors don’t overwhelm your central message.
As you can see, a lot goes into the choice of colors when designing a website. You want your site to be appealing, memorable, and one that sets you apart from your competitors. But most of all, you need a site that reinforces your brand and inspires confidence in your prospective customers.
Orpheus Can Help You Design the Ideal Website