Color Psychology in Web Design

Marketing, Responsive Web Design | posted on October 18, 2016

Color is a powerful element that can make or break a design for websites or print. When you’re using a color palette that does not compliment each other or causes a negative reaction, you are risking not making a conversion.

The color spectrum is separated into cool (blues, purples and greens) and warm (yellow, orange and red) tones. Depending on the tones you are using, this can cause reactions such as excitement, confidence, anger or discomfort. Due to this, the overall idea and goal of the project should be taken into consideration when choosing your color palette. You should always ask your self: what are you wanting your audience to feel when they see your design?

What Colors Mean

color swatches for web design and digital art

Cool Tones

Green – Commonly associated with money, green is a color that symbolizes growth. A yellow-green can indicate illness while an olive-green is usually a color of peace.
Blue – Blue conveys sadness, calm, secure or professionalism. This color works well as an accent color but can also be used as a main color.
Purple – Many will associate this deep color with royalty, wealth or luxury.

Warm Tones

Red – Using reds are going to bring in strong emotions, usually associated with either anger or love. It is a fine line when using this color, but when used correctly it can be very impacting.
Orange – Orange is a warmer tone that draws attention to specific areas of your website, it brings forth emotions of excitement or enthusiasm. Website examples:
Yellow – If you’re looking to bring a cheerful color palette to your design, yellow is the way to go! (Although, it can also have the same effect as the red tones and cause anger.) Yellow is similar to white, in that it is going to be harder on the eyes so this color should be used sparingly.
Black – Although this color is usually thought of as grief, mystery or the unknown, black is a great formal and elegant color perfect for galleries or portfolios for videos, photos, digital art or web.
White – Cleanliness, innocence or purity are what come to mind if you ask someone their opinions on white. White can be harsher on the eyes, so it is important to have a nice balance of contrasting colors.

Our Favorite Color Resources

Kuler – Choose your color rule, analogous, monochromatic, triad, complementary, compound or shades so select a color palette perfect for your project!
Colour Lovers – Using Colour Lovers, you’re able to find palette for your home, web, print or digital art. You can even build your own color palette and share them with the design community.

Other resources include Paletton – and Coolors.

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