Website Design

How to Choose a Color Scheme for your Website Design

There are many design elements to consider in website design including page symmetry, font type, font color, use of headlines and calls-to-actions, and of course color.

Choosing the right color scheme that will resonate with your target market (ideal customer) is an important consideration.  The strategies for logo color are different than for the website, yet both must complement each other on the website page.

First step is to choose a website color that will work well with your logo, and allow colors in the logo to be used as accent colors for borders, button colors, etc.  If you plan to drop your logo into a header or footer that has a background color, then you will have to choose a contrasting color so the logo is not lost in the background. Here are three examples of the same logo with three different Header background colors.

Whatever background color you adopt, it should be consistent across the website. The dominant color in the logo is usually used for the dominant accent color on website page. In the above example, blue is the dominant color, which used throughout the site.

The likeability and effectiveness of color or color scheme on a website design is dependent on many factors including age, gender, education and location (culture). Secondary factors like how color is used to mitigate the busyness of a page or to draw attention to headlines or calls-to-actions can influence a viewer’s perception of the page’s likability and readability.  Together website design likeability and readability can influence behavior and perception.

“Demographic variables play a significant role in supporting the prediction of visual appeal. These include age, gender, education level and geographic location,” according to a 2014 study Quantifying Visual Preferences Around the World; by Katharina Reinecke, University of Michigan and Krzysztof Z. Gajos; Harvard University. The study also concluded “A visual analysis of our websites suggests that a moderate complexity results in highest appeal ratings when achieved with a good balance between text, color, and images.”

The study analysis concluded the preferences of various subgroups found “females liked colorful websites more, and colorless websites less, than males. For complexity, both genders reached their peak appeal at a similar low to moderate complexity level, but females disliked simple websites more. Adults aged 41 years and above liked websites with a higher colorfulness and complexity than younger age groups.” The study also found “a negative correlation between education level and colorfulness, as well as between education level and complexity. Independent of age, highly educated users prefer less complex and less colorful websites than others.“

But color choice is not just about demographics of your target customer. It also has to do with context of your brand image.  Green might work well if you are in financial services, but also works well if your brand stands for environmentally friendly.  For more insights into color strategies for website design this Psychology Today article, Color Psychology: How Colors Influence the Mind: The psychology of color in persuasion; by Gregory Ciotti, references several research studies that  can be used to guide your color strategy.

To learn more about the importance of color click here to read our blog.