What makes website colors so important? The answer is easy – colors are the first thing a user sees on your site when the landing page opens and they influence his/her mood. You have probably already learned by now how much emotions and mood matter when it comes to marketing.
Website colors – tools
Colorcombos is a great website with many useful tools for web developers who enjoy testing a large number of color combinations and color schemes. The tool that I like the most from it is Grab Website Colors. If you like a website on the web and you want a quick look at all the colors in it, all you need to do is to type the website’s url, press enter and have them all displayed displayed immediately in one page, ready for you to combine, test, add and replace.
4096 Color Wheel – a very simple tool. There are only 3 things you can do with it as they reveal: “Hover over the wheel to view colors.Click to choose a web-smart color.Reload to clear.”
If you want to discover more simple and advanced tools for website colors, you can access this article called the 28 best tools for choosing a color scheme.
Rules for website colors
1. make sure that the text color is in high contrast with the background, so that your pages are easy to read
2. combine vibrant colors with a neutral background. Exposing your users to very bright colors cause them headaches which might further trigger a high bounce rate, short sessions and a low number of returning visitors.
Website colors – how should you use them?
Red – the color of passionate love, triggering excitement(for your brand) and energy, but also the color of blood, warnings and anger, attracting immediately your attention. This color should be used for online shops selling food as it is proven that it can increase the appetite, but also in websites selling objects related to risk, seduction and power such as antiviruses, perfumes, cosmetics. Be careful though to combine it with some complementary colors to limit the impact of red(increases heart rate, makes you breath faster), reducing in this way the feeling of anxiety and overstimulation.
Famous brands using red: Coca Cola, Google+, Pinterest, Vodafone, Bitdefender.
Yellow – a warm, fun, friendly and optimistic color and at the same time the color of jealousy and impulsivity. Bright lemon yellow is the most irritating color for your eyes, so NEVER use it for backgrounds because people will hurry to leave the page. Yellow in combination with black is used for danger signs because yellow is the first color that a human eye notices and also provides a quick brain stimulation. Yellow develops the critical and analytical parts of you, while also providing a feeling of happiness, peace, confidence and relaxation. You should use this color for websites related to entertainment, food and fun, or on websites selling items for kids as it stimulates play and creativity. Fast-foods for example, use yellow to attract attention in combination with red to increase the appetite.
Famous brands using yellow: McDonalds, Ikea, Shell.
Blue – the safe bet, given that it’s the most popular color. Blue is a calming, neutral color, decreasing heart rate and and increasing relaxation. Because blue is associated with trust, responsiblity, community, unity and wisdom, it is often used by the most conservative companies or by brands that rely on customer loyalty. Too much blue can give a feeling of coldness and rigidity. Blue is the recommended color for restaurants, airlines, banks, insurance companies, forums and social networks.
Restaurant owners use blue because it has a relaxing effect, increasing the likelihood of customers to liger longer and consume more. Still, blue should be used in moderation unless the restaurant is an all-you-can-eat because too much blue reduces the appetite.
Famous brands using blue: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Intel, Gilette.
Green – usually associated with growth, nature, health, healing, flexibility, adaptability and regeneration. While the light green creates a calming effect, both the dark green and too much green is associated with money, prestige, selfishness, greed and envy. Green is an appropriate color for financial institutions websites, environmentalists, websites related to health, cosmetics and brands selling healthy, organic food.
Famous brands using green: Starbucks, Garnier Fructis, Sprite, Heineken, Evernote.
Orange – for the adventurous, optimistic, sociable and enthusiastic. It’s a fresh color preferred by young people. For conservative or financial institutions websites orange is not a good idea because orange also means superficial and cheap. Orange fits best on websites related to social networks, restaurants, music and cleaning products.
Famous brands using orange: Orange, Fanta, Mozilla, SoundCloud, Tide.
Purple – royalty, luxury, decadence, mistery and creativity. Most people who use purple on their website have a particular purpose: attracting attention on their best premium products and services. Purple is perfect for beauty websites, perfumes, clothes, chocolate, antique shops.
Famous brands using purple: Yahoo, Cadbury, Milka.
White – clear and simple, often used as backgrounds for websites because, except for yellow and extremely light/fading colors, makes every text color easy to read while at the same time providing a calming effect. White is neutral and cold. Too much white on a website feels empty, boring and you risk creating for your business an image of amateur in your users eyes. The majority of websites using white are using it with a contrasting color to communicate things like luxury and simplicity which is specific to websites like sports, journals, clothing, cars and technology.
Famous brands using white: Dell, Puma, Toyota, The New York Times, Chanel.
Black – the ultimate mistery and class! Using the right amount of black is tricky because instead of elegance and luxury you might transmit depression, too much power, control and negativity when used in excess. For websites, black is often used for rock band sites, expensive cosmetics, but also for coffee, tech and blogs.
Famous brands using black: Asus, Lavazza, Loreal, Sony.
Grey – a very appreciated color for backgrounds and headers because it’s classic, neutral and refined. Darker nuances of grey can be perceived as rigid and depressing. Websites preferring gray are usually related to established brands of alcohol, blogs, cars and shoes.
Famous brands using grey: Jack Daniels, Forbes.
Website colors – the scientific approach
In „The Louis Cheskin Animal Coloring Book” by Jack Szwergold the author reveals:
“We associate red with festivity, blue with distinction, purple with dignity, green with nature, yellow with sunshine. Pink is generally associated with health… White is a symbol of purity. Black expresses evil.” Preferences for pure colors are often associated with the poor. The rich tend to prefer tints. And while women generally prefer tints and men deep shades, both are attracted to fleshtones.”
Your website color has a very important impact on how users perceive you as a brand, the success of your marketing campaigns and strategies. Picking the right color for your brand and website can make the differences between a star and a nobody. If you think about a brand right now, the first thing that comes to your mind is their colors, their logo shape and their website colors and structure if you visit it often. Do not underestimate the power of the colors!