How to Choose the Right Color Palette for Your Next Website Design

Designing your website can be quite a bit of fun - yet it can be a little overwhelming as well. Not only do you have to take into consideration the many different elements needed in a functional, successful site - but you have to also consider things such as the proper optimization of your design, how users will navigate your site, and even what type of color palette you’ll use.

While color may seem like a minor aspect of the design process, it actually has a very powerful effect on the psychology of your consumers. When it comes to websites, color can be the difference between a consumer making a purchase or clicking away to another website. Before you start your design process, it is crucial to understand how color affects your consumers, which colors are best for certain types of sites, and how to choose the right color palette for your website.

Is There a "Right" Color Palette for Web Design?

Choosing the right color palette for your website is about more than just aesthetics. It is also about the psychology of your customer. Color has been proven to affect how consumers see products and services, how they feel about them, and even how they feel about your brand. Choosing a color palette is not just a matter of deciding which colors look best together - it is also a matter of selecting colors that will positively affect your brand and your consumers while helping you reach your business goals.

So, is there any one "right" color palette for websites? 

The short answer? No - there really isn't any specific color palette that is best for an website. 

However, some are more effective than others. For instance, many brands find that a simple black and white color scheme is the most practical option because it's not only simple, but you don't have to worry about colors not appearing correctly across devices.  

It also allows your products to stand out from the rest of your design, especially if you are selling physical items that are made up of different colors. 

Now, if you are looking to add color to your website, then you'll want to consider using a color palette that follows a specific scheme - such as a complementary color scheme or a split complementary color scheme. That's because these schemes work together to create an appealing, cohesive look - ensuring that your site will be consistent and pleasant to look at. 

While there are hundreds, if not thousands of color palettes that can be created for your brand, it's best that you choose one based on the primary six types of color schemes:

Monochromatic Color Scheme

A monochromatic color scheme is when you use different values of the same color. This is one of the most common color schemes used on websites since it is easy to create. It is also very effective in creating a cohesive, professional look. 

Analogous Color Scheme

An analogous color scheme is when you choose colors that are next to each other on the color wheel, such as orange, orange-yellow, and yellow. This is a great way to create a color scheme that is both bold and vibrant, yet still professional and cohesive.

Complementary Color Scheme

A complementary color scheme is when you choose colors that are directly across from each other on the color wheel, such as purple and yellow. This is a great way to add some color to your website without overwhelming your consumers.

Triadic Color Scheme

A triadic color scheme is when you choose evenly spaced colors on the color wheel, such as red, blue, and yellow. This is a great way to bring color to your website without having your colors compete with each other. 

Split-Complimentary Color Scheme

A split complementary color scheme involves choosing two colors that are directly next to one another, along with their complementary shades. For example, you could choose a blue and violet and their complementary shades, orange, and orange-yellow. 

Tetradic Color Scheme

Tetradic color schemes are much more complex than other types of color schemes - but they are also very effective. A tetradic color scheme involves choosing four colors that are evenly spaced apart on the color wheel. 

This type of color scheme is very bold, but it is also very effective - particularly if you are trying to create a high-impact look for your website. 

Understanding Color Psychology

Knowing the different primary color schemes typically used by designers is only one step in choosing the right color palette for your website. The next step is understanding how color psychology affects your consumers - and how you can use that psychology to your advantage.

In general, color has the following effects on consumers:

Cool Colors

Cool colors are those that are found in the blue and purple-ish family of colors. They tend to have a calming effect on consumers, which is why they are often used to create a relaxing environment. 

However, they can also be used to create a feeling of professionalism and luxury. Many luxury brands use cool colors in their designs. 

Warm Colors

Warm colors are those that are found in the red and yellow family of colors. They tend to have a more energizing effect on consumers, so they are frequently used to create an exciting environment.

However, these colors can also have a dominating effect, so they are often used to create a sense of urgency and authority.

Neutral Colors

Neutral colors are those that don't typically appear on the traditional color wheel. These colors typically include black, white, gray, and even brown.

Neutral colors don't usually have a major effect on consumers. However, they do tend to have a calming effect and allow consumers to focus on the product being sold. 

4 Tips for Choosing the Right Color Palette for Your Website Design

Now that you understand the different types of color schemes and their effects on consumers, you can start thinking about how to choose the right color palette for your website.

While there is no one right color palette, some general tips can help you choose the right colors for your brand.

1. Consider Your Company's Personality

The colors that you choose for your website should reflect the personality of your company. If you are a luxury brand, then your colors should reflect your company's luxury, elegance, and sophistication - such as cooler colors, like blues, purples, or even greens.  

If you are an edgy brand, then you'll want to use colors that match your brand's personal expression - such as more vibrant, warm colors, like reds, oranges, and yellows.

Of course, you can use neutrals to help complement almost any color you choose for your palette, so don't be afraid to throw some of those in when necessary.

2. Consider Your Consumer's Personality

The colors that you choose for your website should also reflect the personality of your consumer. If you are selling to an older demographic, you'll want to choose more calming and relaxing, cool colors.

Alternatively, if your target demographic is younger, you'll want to choose more vibrant and exciting colors from a warm color palette.

3. Consider Your Brand's Tone of Voice

The colors that you choose for your site should also reflect the tone of your brand. If you want to create a fun, youthful brand, you'll want to choose colors on the warmer side.

However, if you want to create a more professional and serious brand, select colors on the cooler side.

4. Use Your Colors to Create a Sense of Urgency

One of the best ways to use color psychology to your advantage is by creating a sense of urgency in your consumers. This is particularly effective when you are selling a product that is time-sensitive - such as event tickets or products that will expire.

Colors such as red are a great way to make specific items or calls to action stand out from the rest of your site design. However, depending on the color scheme you are using, you may want to use a complementary color that appears across the color wheel from the rest of your site's color palette - that way, it stands out without becoming an eyesore.

Web Design Done Right with Jax Digital 

Choosing the right color palette for your website isn't as easy as just picking your favorite colors. 

Sure, you can start there, but you’ll want to take into consideration a variety of different factors. If you're unsure how to choose the right color palette that sparks action from your audience, then let the team at Jax Digital help! 

Whether you need help creating a color palette for an website, developing a well-put-together website, or implementing proper SEO to help your newly designed website thrive – we’re here for you.

Contact us today for more information regarding our web design services!

Hero Photo by David Pisnoy on Unsplash

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