How Color Influences Your Website Design

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How Color Influences Your Website Design

Designing a website for your company often means looking into which features will make it more functional, where everything will be nested in your navigation, how the site will appear when shared, and a thousand other factors. One of the most overlooked is the color palette of your site, and the psychology behind it.

Color psychology, also known as color theory, is the body of perceptions and associations we have culturally to different colors, and how they can be used to influence your audience. By creating an attractive color palette for your website, you can increase your traffic, drive conversions, and build your brand’s identity.

Here’s what you need to know about color psychology when it comes to web design.

Color Plays A Big Role in Great Web Designs

Studies have shown that implementing the right color palette for your site can increase conversions significantly, as color is an influential factor for up to 90% of purchasing decisions. Having a select, dedicated color palette across all of your business’s branded properties, from website design to social media marketing and beyond, can help increase your brand’s recognizability and identity.

It’s also important to note that having a consistent color palette can make your site more memorable and can attract more attention to your ads and copy by catching the eye as early as possible during casual viewing. This means that a potential customer is more likely to stop long enough to read your copy and even click through to your website or products if they see sharp, well-balanced colors.

By choosing a standard of colors for your website that are consistent across all pages (especially in the headers, borders, banners, and text), you can build your brand’s identity and trust in your customer’s mind before they even begin to shop or browse consciously.

Color Theory and the Emotion of Colors

In terms of psychology, color theory is the term used to describe how colors interact not only with each other, but with the eyes and mind to elicit certain emotions and associations. It’s difficult to say exactly why we hold these associations, but research suggests that natural and historical availability of the color may have something to do with it.

The main associations for each color in the typical rainbow are as follows:

  • Red is a passionate color associated with either love or anger, depending on its placement.
  • Orange is generally associated with energy, happiness, and vitality.
  • Yellow is often associated with happiness and hope, but can also represent deceit and illness depending on context.
  • Green is associated with the natural world, growth, new beginnings, and abundance.
  • Blue is a calming color that is associated with responsibility; it can also be associated with sadness.
  • Purple is associated with wealth and royalty, but also with creativity.

There are also associations with neutral colors:

  • Black is either associated with mystery or evil, and almost always with elegance.
  • White is associated with purity, cleanliness, virtue, and holiness.
  • Grey is associated with moodiness and formality; it can also be associated with conservativeness.
  • Brown is another color often associated with nature and the natural world; it can also represent wholesomeness or dependability.
  • Beige is also a conservative color, but is more often associated with moral piety and dullness or boredom.
  • Cream or ivory can be associated with a sense of calm and elegance, and again with purity.

How to Choose a Good Color Palette for Your Website

To create a color palette for your site, decide first how you would like your target audience to react to your brand. Do you want to be perceived as inviting and relaxed, or passionate and energetic? Are you aiming for sophistication and modernism or rustic approachability? Choose colors that evoke the emotions you want to see in your audience.

Start with the basic 12-spoke color wheel to choose your palette base.

  • Monochromatic schemes work with different versions of the same color, by either adding white (a tint), adding black (a shade), or adding grey (a tone).
  • Analogous schemes work with three colors directly beside each other on the color wheel. They can also be adjusted with tints, shades, and tones.
  • Complementary schemes take colors from the opposite sides of the color wheel in various tints, shades, and tones.
  • Triadic schemes pick colors equally spaced apart from each other on the wheel to add more visual variety.

Add neutrals into your palette to make your brights stand out further. Warm neutrals like brown and beige can make your site feel more inviting. Cool neutrals like grey can give your site a more calming feel. Try to keep the feeling consistent across brights and neutrals; use cool neutrals with blues and greens and warm neutrals with reds and yellows.

Finally, be consistent with the use of these colors. Make sure that some elements remain the same, whether that’s in your header, background color, text color, or banner color choices. This consistence will make your site feel more cohesive and will help you reap the benefits of color psychology.


Color psychology is a vital part of good web design. By specifically choosing colors that will positively influence your target audience, you can build up your website in their subconscious so that your copy and other branding techniques land more smoothly. It pays to pay attention to color psychology.


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