When the time comes to create or re-design your company’s website, the overall color palette of the site is an important decision that requires some careful consideration and isn’t always as easy as you might think.
When choosing the color palette for your website, first ask yourself the following:
- Are you starting from scratch or do you already have a minor color scheme you would like to continue with based on your signs, advertisement, or company logos?
- What is the purpose of the website? If you’re selling something, you need to invoke an emotion to act!
- What kind of photos and graphics do you plan to use on your website?
A psychological study in the 1980’s concluded that blood pressure and aggressive behavior can be controlled by simply altering the lighting spectrum within a subject’s environment. Over the years, market researchers, brand managers and product designers have used this information to effectively solicit favorable business understanding and influence initial product interest.
Colors obviously have different meanings across the span of different knowledge bases, and among different cultures and demographics, so ultimately it is most important to know your audience psychology first and foremost.
So – it really just depends on the tone and mission your company would like to convey. Do you want welcoming and friendly, bold and powerful, serious and to-the-point, technical and straightforward, imaginative and inspiring, or some combination of those? First determine the overall “feeling” you are going for and then you can play around with the colors based on that.
(Do you have a mission statement? Do you want one? If not and if so, this might be the best time to create that.)
Below are some examples labeled by tone. Colors have the power to alter the physiology and mental state of a person, therefore it is strongly suggested that they also play an important role in business marketing, too.
Some color psychology to consider:
Red– evokes speed, energy, heat, passion, excitement, etc.
Orange– color of vitality and warmth, but also evokes reliability and playfulness.
Yellow– color of optimism and creativity, bright yellow is cheery and happy.
Green– evokes a sense of serenity and health. Emits a sense of growth, nature and freshness.
Blue– often regarded as the color of truth, stability, and security. Implies loyalty and reliability and open communication.
Purple– color of spirituality, wealth, intelligence, and power.
Pink– youthful intensity, energy, fun and feminine.
Brown– thought to be the color of durability and class-represents age, stability and relaxation.
Black– color of power and drama, evoking a sense of seriousness, boldness and strength.
White– simplicity, minimalistic, and cleanliness…plain and simple.
Another key thing to consider is the compatibility with the major images that will be on your site. What color do you think they will be, mainly? I know they will vary, so you need to decide on a neutral background that doesn’t clash with them while incorporating the mission/ mood/ psychology to it all.
It is recommended to use only 3 main colors on your website, following the 60-30-10 rule of ratios. 60% being the primary color of your site and the main influence in setting the overall tone of the design, 30% as a contrasting color to the primary color to make the site visually striking. And then 10% as an accent color and a compliment to both the primary and the secondary color.
It’s safest to make the primary or the secondary color a neutral color to allow for the maximum number of options when choosing the other two colors. So begin with either a white, gray, beige, black, or muted version of brown or tan.