In various aspects of life, colour appeals to our senses. Whether consciously or subconsciously, we are attracted to certain colour combinations while others have the opposite effect. When designing your website, it’s extremely important to use the right colour design theory in order to appeal to your visitors. By making your site more visually attractive, your visitors will be more inclined to stick around and this will give you more of a chance of converting them into paying customers. Of course, it’s important to understand colour theory and how you can make it work for you.
Understanding Colour Theory
Much can be said about colour but, for the purposes of this article, we will discuss three main points:
Contrast refers to colours that are located directly opposite one another on the colour wheel. These two colours are in direct contrast of one another. Complementation refers to the way in which colours are perceived in relation to one another. Complementation is commonly used in triadic and compound colour schemes. Vibrancy relates to the mood evoked by each colour. In other words, it’s about how the colours make you feel.
Emotions Associated with Different Colours
As previously mentioned, different colours have different effects on the way we feel. Red is associated with importance and power. When you use red in your design, it helps increase blood flow and it attracts attention. So, if you have a particular menu, heading or logo you wish to highlight, red could do the trick. Orange is representative of energy and it has a friendly feel to it. It can be used as a primary or secondary colour on your website. Yellow is associated with happiness and eagerness. Darker shades give your site a more antique and timeless feel.
Green is often used by financial and environmental websites since it is associated with stability and growth. It forms the bridge between warm and cool colours which helps create a sense of balance. Blue represents safety. Lighter shades are a symbol of honesty while darker blues represent dependability. In history, purple was often associated with royalty as it was seen as a luxurious colour. Today it is still seen as a symbol of luxury as well as romance.
Black and white are neutral colours. Black represents sophistication and power. It can also give your website that modern appeal. Black is often used in moderation and to compliment other colours. If you use too much black, it may overpower the entire design. White is commonly perceived as the colour of purity and cleanliness. By using white, you will allow the other colours on the page to take centre stage and stand out as much as possible.
Gray is often used to create a formal or neutral appearance. It might be seen as a bit of a “sad” colour but it is a popular choice for those looking to create a strictly professional impression. There are many different hues to choose from which makes it a highly versatile colour option. Beige, like gray, helps place emphasis on the other colours on the page. It is a rather dull colour all on its own but this is exactly what many designers seek as a background. Ivory and cream are all slightly varied shades of white. These colours are generally easier on the eyes (when you’re staring at a glaring screen for hours) which makes the whole page and website more pleasant to explore.
Different Colour Schemes
Different websites have different colour schemes but they all have a few things in common. They all have primary colours used in main areas as well as secondary colours that help balance the colour scheme and highlight the most important areas on each page.
Triadic colour schemes use vibrancy and complementation to create the perfect blend. Each of the three colours you choose should be located 120 degrees from one another on the colour wheel (to form a triangle). They should be equally spaced apart and you should decide which one will be used for the background as well as two other colours that will be used for navigation and content.
Split complimentary, or compound, colour schemes make use of four different colours – a pair of contrasting colours and a pair of complimentary colours.
Analogous colour schemes focus solely on complementary colours and this means that it focuses on the aspect of vibrancy. You will use colours that are located next to one another on the colour wheel and, in most cases, you will choose about three colours like red, orange and yellow.
Tools to Get the Job Done
Not everyone is an expert in terms of pairing up colours so it’s understandable that you might need some help. There are, however, various tools available to help make this whole process that much easier!
Some top choices include Colorable, Kuler, Colour Contrast Check, Check My Colours, Color Safe, Flat UI Colour Picker, Paletton, Adobe Colour CC and Luminosity Colour Contrast Ratio Analyser. Of course, you can scour the web for even more colour tools.
The more attractive your website is and the easier it is on the eyes, the more business you will attract. Remember that brighter colours require the visitor to use more mental energy. If you subconsciously tire your website visitors out, they could end up leaving before you are able to convert them. Contact our team at Gilmedia to get the most out of your website through professional web design and development.