How to pick a colour scheme for your website 

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Author: Cariad Web Design Date: 28 Feb 2022

When it comes to building the perfect website for your business, never underestimate the importance of choosing the right colour scheme. Whether we realise it or not, we subconsciously allow colours to influence our opinions and emotions. This is why it’s essential that you choose a colour scheme that suits your brand and the services you offer. 

Psychology of colours 

Different colours have been proven to trigger certain emotions, so have a think about which emotions you would like website visitors to associate your brand with, and choose your colour scheme accordingly. 

For example, research has suggested that the colour red can increase the viewer’s blood pressure and heart rate, and that people tend to associate it with feelings such as passion and energy. Red is a great colour to use when you want to instil a sense of urgency, for example on a limited time offer on your website. However, if you want to calm and reassure your website visitors, red might not be the best choice. 

If you run a medical or dentistry clinic, you may wish to choose a website design with lots of white space, light colours and not too much crowded content. Users will subconsciously associate this with the clinic itself and think of it as cleanly, hygienic and uncluttered. Here are some of the other colour associations that people make without thinking: 

  • Green is a calming colour which is associated with the environment, growth and nature. 
  • Light blue and other cool light colours tend to be associated with peace, comfort and trust, making it a good colour to use if you want to reassure and relax your potential customers. 
  • Yellow and orange tones are often interpreted as cheerful, exciting and creative. 
  • Pink is associated with femininity and romance. 
  • Purple represents luxury, success and wisdom. 

Think about your target audience, what kind of emotions you want them to feel on your website and what is most likely to appeal to them. Studies have shown that women tend to prefer warm colours with a high value and high saturation, while men prefer cooler colours, lower value and lower saturation. 

Reinforce your brand

If your business is already up and running, you are likely to have certain colours associated with the brand, such as your logo colours and other design assets. Try and stick with a similar colour scheme for your website, or start with your logo colour and build from there.

Call to Action colours 

Research has shown that the colour of the Call to Action (CTA) buttons on your website can have an impact on conversion rates. Choose a colour that stands out and contrasts with the other colours on the webpage. Another tip is to make sure that your call to action buttons are the same colour throughout the website – consistency is key!  

As mentioned, red is a good colour to use to invoke a sense of excitement and urgency in order to get visitors to click on your CTAs. Hubspot carried out an A/B testing experiment to see whether a red or a green CTA would perform better, and found that the red button outperformed green by 21%.  

If red is a little too aggressive for your brand or clashes with your colour scheme, a lot of websites use orange for CTAs as it gives off a sense of warmth and positivity, while still having that sense of urgency that is associated with a red tone. 

Colour combinations 

So now you have a vague idea of which colours are most appealing to your target audience and are likely to increase your conversion rate. But how exactly do you choose a set of colours that compliment each other? There are a range of specific combinations on the colour wheel that are guaranteed to go well together: 

  • Complementary – two colours that are on opposite sides of the colour wheel.
  • Monochromatic – three shades, tones and tints of one base colour.
  • Analogous – three colours that are side by side on the colour wheel.
  • Triadic – three colours that are evenly spaced on the colour wheel.
  • Tetradic – four colours that are evenly spaced on the colour wheel.

If this sounds like a lot of work to figure out by yourself, the Canva colour wheel might make things a bit easier! Alternatively, give us a call and find out how we can help you with website design and choosing the perfect colour scheme. 

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