Humans love color. They assign favorites, wear only certain colors and agonize over what to paint their living room walls. This is because color is an essential part of vision and an essential aspect of visual appeal. This affects many aspects of human life, from the clothes they wear to the websites they visit.
Over the centuries, people have assigned meanings and importance to different colors, which make your web design color scheme an important element of the design. Your web design company should be able to guide you through the basic palettes and the emotions they evoke. Red, for example, invokes a sense of urgency and energy. White, on the other hand, evokes a sense of neutral space.
Color wheels and palette creation websites like kuler.adobe.com can help you create a unique palette that not only evokes your brand identity but is easy on the eyes. Palettes come in different color harmonies and allow you to create different moods simply by choosing the right combination.
Your palette is determined by a few main elements: your branding, the website's goals and your overall marketing campaign. By sticking to these tried and true design elements, you can easily create a website that is visually appealing and easy on the eyes.
Monochrome color schemes play on the different hues and saturation levels of a chosen color. The lack of contrast is easy on the eyes and by using clever combinations of different colors; you can end up with an interesting color scheme indeed. Monochrome colors can give off a sense of unity and depending on the hue, can reinforce a website's look and feel.
In order to avoid looking plain, look for saturations that play off one another, for example, a light robin's egg blue subtly accents deep cobalt or a navy.
Play off contrast by creating a palette that focuses on complementary colors, which is great for creating a sense of action, urgency, energy and play. Look for ways to invoke contrast through use of accents, such as in headers, headlines or sidebars. Too much contrast can be visually confusing and can hurt the eye. Think subtle, streaky, and sporty.
The three-color scheme is extremely popular for website use simply because it allows the designer to divide spaces into three different sections for color or three colors that complement each other. When choosing this type of color scheme, cool colors are often chosen as the main hue to draw the eye, with hotter or brighter colors as accents to allow the design to pop.
This involves using three different color families that complement each other to create a harmonious feel and look for the website. This type of color palette can be mistaken as monochrome because many designers use dominant colors and accent them with similar shades.
Hues and Saturation
The lovely thing about color is you literally have millions of shades to choose from and you can go as bold or as subtle as you like. Colors can not only help create the mood of your website, they can distinguish your brand from others.
Combinations to Avoid
In some cases, compound colors are difficult to manage on a website simply because they confuse the eye. It also takes a very experienced web designer to pull off a four sided color scheme. In many cases designers will choose a dominant color (like red) and use the other three as complements or contrasts.
Avoid glitter, moving type or colors unless your website is geared towards a demographic that appreciates them. Your favorite colors may not always be the best choice for your brand either.
Your brand identity and logo are usually a source of inspiration for many web design companies. They create a color scheme to complement the logo, for a sense of cohesiveness. This makes your brand easier to recognize. If you do not have a logo yet, take inspiration for your logo by reading up on graphic design, from your favorite architecture or graphic design magazines or from the current interior of your existing physical store.
As a final note, do not be afraid to experiment with color. Design decisions for websites, especially in the early stages are easy to fix and are not final. Test your color palette on your users and see which they prefer. Color is never finite, nor is it final. You can do so much with it and it can do so much for you.