choose a great color palette for your web design and branding to customize your website
Choosing a great color palette can be a really complex process and it’s definitely one of the biggest challenges in branding — especially if you don’t have any knowledge of or aptitude for design…
What colors to use for your branding? Do you know how to choose colors that combine well for an elegant and impactful look? Which part of your website should have which color?
Choosing and combining colors can be a very tricky game. The result can look harmonious, or it can look like a scene directly out of a horror movie! If you decide to avoid all colors, the website could look empty and flat. On the other hand, if you use too many colors in your web design & branding to craft your custom website, it could make it look… like a hot mess.
After designing several websites with WordPress and Genesis framework for solopreneurs and artists who didn’t have their branding figured out, I thought I would share three easy steps to help you determine your own color palette to use with your web design & branding to craft your custom website. These three steps are:
- 1. Choosing the right dominant color for your web design & branding to craft your custom website.
2. Combining colors that work well together to create your perfect color palette.
3. Choosing a background color that suits your branding.
And as a bonus:
- 4. Few examples of the use of colors for your custom website.
let’s take an example: coca-cola
If I ask you to think about Coca-Cola, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?
It’s pretty hard to think about Coca-Cola without thinking about the red color of the logo, which is as much a part of Coca-Cola as the famous soda itself.
image via unsplash
Since the beginning of its history, the Coca-Cola logo has had several variations, but bright red and brilliant white have always been part of it, and for a good reason: Coca-Cola’s goal is to attract young consumers by distinguishing itself from its competitors with its bright colors.
Coca-Cola’s intense red has two main objectives: it’s a way to distinguish itself from its competitors, but also it triggers specific emotions (as every color does). For example, when people see the color red, it triggers emotional reactions related to excitement, boldness, love and passion. And, as you might have guessed, these are precisely the feelings Coca-Cola wants people to feel when they think about its famous product.
In the same way, when you choose the right color for your web design and branding to craft your custom website, you are doing more than just making it attractive: you are creating an unforgettable branding that will capture people’s imaginations. In fact, no matter what studies you read, everyone agrees that the color of a branding increases its recognition considerably and this recognition is directly linked to consumer confidence in your branding, and therefore in your product.
Now you’re probably thinking: “Wow! This is magic! Why don’t we use color more to our advantage?”
Well, because most people just don’t know how.
So in this blog post, I’ve decided to write about how to use colors to your advantage while crafting your web design and branding for your custom website.
1. choosing the right dominant color for your web design and branding to craft your custom website.
In web design and branding to craft your custom website, there are three main colors to consider:
- (1) A dominant color for your branding
(2) One or two secondary colors to create a color palette for your web design and branding to craft your custom website
(3) A background color to complete your design
And that’s about it!
The dominant color is the color of your branding – like bright red for Coca-Cola. It’s the color that will bring out certain emotions when users come to your website – like the passion, excitement, boldness and passion that Coca-Cola brings.
It’s the color you want your audience or customers to remember when they think of you.
You probably already know this: large companies don’t choose their dominant color for their logo and branding by chance. This color is strategically chosen for marketing purposes. Also, these same companies know that colors have the ability to attract specific types of consumers and can even change their behavior. You too can use different colors to your advantage to attract the type of customer you want.
Here’s a graphic to help you understand a little bit more about the psychology of colors.
image inspired from digital synopsis
Once you have a good idea about psychology of colors, you can take the time to select the one that best suits your business or decide how you want your website visitors to feel when they see your branding. If in doubt, I advise you to think it over and brainstorm or even work with a specialist to determine your branding, the image you want to project and also, the type of clientele (persona) you want to attract. (You want to you define your own persona?
Is your persone young and energetic? Or more sophisticated with a higher budget? Is your product or service for men or is it for women? From which age group?
The answers to these questions help you determine your persona and how to orient your branding and, in turn, help you determine the dominant color of your branding. Because, as you can see, not all colors are suitable for your business. For example, if you are a lifestyle photographer specializing in families and you emphasize on creativity and energy, yellow (optimism, passion), purple (creativity, imagination) or blue (confidence, reliability) are sure-fire.
Take time to think about your persona – your target audience – and their aspirations. What do they want and how are they perceived? Here is aa guide to help your build your persona. Because in choosing your dominant color and persona, you also need to consider the market segment of the product or service you are offering, as well as common practices and follow the appropriate codes – not just create emotion. Colors must also correspond to social codes and accepted business practices. Finding a persona is a strategic work that deserves careful consideration.
In other words, the color you choose is the color of your persona. If you want to attract people who love nature and tranquility, use green; if they want to be seen as young and bold, go for red; and if your target audience likes luxury products, go for black.
It’s a lot of psychology, but it’s a crucial step in your Web design and branding to customize your website.
how to use your dominant color on your website
Well, now that you have a dominant color for your branding, it’s time to use it on your website. But where? It’s really crucial to plan where to draw the attention of your website users, so don’t apply your dominant color randomly.
Here’s a general rule of thumb: your dominant color should only be used in a limited number of places where you want your website visitors to be really attentive. Or in places where you want users to perform certain actions (like following you on social networks, contacting you by email, viewing your portfolio, etc.). In principle, your dominant color is supposed to “shine”, i.e. to highlight the strategic places where you want your visitors to linger and to do so in a consistent way, without stunning them.
2. combine secondary colors to create your perfect color palette
For someone visiting your website, it’s a bit monotonous to present them with a single color on your entire site.
To make your Web design and branding more appealing (and also more professional) to craft your custom website, it is engaging for users to use secondary colors to highlight certain parts of your website that deserve attention, such as quotes, buttons or subtitles.
Well, let’s face it, combining colors for Web design and branding to create a custom website is not easy: you want to make sure that the colors match each other, you also have to keep in mind all the color theories and make several tries. It’s a long and precise step and I won’t hide from you that I’m super gigantic grateful to know that there is an indispensable tool to help me combine colors well (and also explore and discover trends): Adobe Color.
Of course, it’s a tool and it certainly doesn’t replace all the knowledge of a professional designer, but it can help to select secondary colors once your dominant color is established.
how to use your secondary colors on your website
So, now that you’ve selected your secondary colors, it’s a matter of determining where to strategically highlight them on your custom website. Since they are secondary colors, to be consistent, it’s quite simple: use them for content or elements that are not the focus of your website, but that you want to highlight nevertheless. For example, this could be the subtitle, information boxes, footer, etc.
The most important thing to remember is to limit yourself to one or two secondary colors. If there are too many, it becomes stunning and creates too many points of interest that may confuse the users of your custom website.
3. choose the background color of your website
Have you ever painted the walls of a house? If so, you’ve probably had to choose a color for the walls and you know that choosing the right color can be a real challenge! You want the color of the walls to make the room comfortable and enjoyable; it should be soothing enough that you will enjoy spending hours in it.
You’ve understood that choosing a background color is a bit like choosing a paint color for your walls at home! You want users of your website to feel comfortable and enjoy browsing it.
In order to properly select your background color, you must once again keep in mind the persona of your target clientele. If you had to choose the colors of the walls of a hip boutique or a cottage, would you choose the same colors?
Probably not, because these two spaces have two different objectives.
For example, in a clothing store, it’s a good idea to use bright colors to draw customers to the shelves while keeping the color of the walls neutral to create a contrast so that shoppers are instantly directed to the right place when they enter the store. On the other hand, in a cottage, you want to relax and they are looking for an overall soothing effect so that everything harmonizes: in fact, we are there for the breathtaking view of the landscape that we observe through the bay window, that’s for sure!
It’s exactly the same for the background color of your website: it all depends on what you want your users to see, and therefore on the objective of your website.
4. Few examples of the use of colors for your custom website
As I just explained, depending on the type of website you are shaping, colors are used in very different ways.
Here are a few examples:
content-driven information websites and online stores (e-commerce)
If you take the time to browse the Web a little, it’s quite striking that most information or e-commerce sites generally use white or a neutral background color.
In fact, the purpose of these types of websites is to promote ideas or products, so the focus is on content or products rather than on the design of the site. The background color is used to highlight the content and make it more readable.
In my humble opinion, the color palette to use for content-driven information websites or an online store is a white or light background with bright secondary colors that give the website its personality or a neutral color such as black to keep it low profile. In both cases, the light background color allows users to focus on the content or products.
my new roots‘ website (content-driven), where all the space is left to the colorful photos.
malai‘s website (boutique), where a lot of white is left to attract the eyes to the colored products.
Corporate websites generally have two purposes: to promote a product or to promote a service. The background color will therefore be different depending on the purpose of the website.
When designing a website that promotes a service or product, white or a neutral background color should be used. As with content-driven websites and boutiques, you want to draw attention to the content. By choosing a neutral or white background color, your content will naturally be highlighted.
paprika‘s website (portfolio), which emphasizes on a portfolio of projects arranged in colored boxes.
elegant websites and creative design-oriented websites
For websites used in the fashion, design, photography, restoration, beauty sectors… In fact, for any website coming from the creative world, there is no rule: anything goes. You can break all the rules of color and go your own way by keeping one thing in mind: don’t choose a background color that makes your text or content difficult to read.
peak’n film‘s website, which emphasizes on design and photos.
nate denton design‘ website emphasizes an art director’s sense of design.
The ideal background color, in my opinion, is the one that allows your content to be the focal point while harmonizing with your dominant and secondary colors, making the visual pleasant and memorable for your website users.
My tip: when in doubt, use white or very light gray as a background color; even if they are neutral colors, you can be sure that your content will always be highlighted.
As you create your color palette for your web design and branding to craft your custom website, always keep these important points in mind:
- (1) Choosing the right color palette for your web design and branding to craft your custom website should never be based on your favorite color or intuition.
(2) A good web design and branding design to craft your custom website is one that always puts your persona first.
(3) Choose a color and design that appeals to your target audience to create a striking association and set you apart from your competitors.
(4) The choice of colors should not be random at all. On the contrary, it should be a series of organized exercises with targeted objectives.
Then the 3 key steps:
- (a) combine your web design and branding to craft your custom website with the right dominant color ;
(b) associate the dominant color with the secondary colors using the Adobe ;
(c) associate the background color with your dominant and secondary colors.
This way, you can create a good color palette with your web design and branding to craft your custom website – even if you think you don’t have a design sense!
The right website color schemes give your brand and design energy and life. PikWizard’s Website Colour Schemes For Web Designers In 2021 explains how colors drive your message home and make your brand more memorable. To make the best impression, you need to choose the right color scheme for your website.
Don’t be afraid to use color in your web design and branding to craft your custom website!
Here is the color palette of Geneviève Fournier Design.
coaching you to define your branding and crafting custom websites for creative minds, that’s what i love!