Colour is an important factor in our everyday life. Whether we are choosing an outfit to wear or deciding on how a room in our house should look like, we focus on the colour combinations they will have. Research proves that a human eye can roughly distinguish between 7 million different colours. This does make the task of choosing a good colour scheme and mixing colours together harmoniously quite challenging, however, not impossible.
Think of all the famous brands you know. What is the first thing that comes to mind? Bet the colour you associate it with. Coca Cola, Facebook, McDonald’s, Ikea, and Apple all have a colour that represents them and that is interlaced into all of their visual material. That’s why when you choose a colour for your website, you are creating a visual memorable brand.
According to Kissmetrics, colour increases brand recognition by 80%! Start off with choosing the dominant colours and the 2 main accent colours. Together these will make up the colour scheme that your brand will revolve around. Think of this strategically and think of what message you want to send out with the colours you choose.
The easiest colour for eyes to process is Green, as it is the colour that represents tranquillity. Blue is a colour often associated with trust and security. Orange creates a call to action and is very attractive for impulse shoppers. Black is usually used for luxury branding, while red is an aggressive colour that highlights the urgency of your message. The most neutral colour is grey. It has little emotion and is simple and calm.
Base your choice around your audience. Understand what type of people would be interested in buying your product. Do not choose your colours based on your personal preferences. Try to think out of the box and consider what other people would be attracted to. Even if it is tempting to choose your favourite colours as your brand colour, try to be neutral or you might end up losing potential customers and leads. A study by the University of Toronto called “Colour Compatibility From Large Datasets” revealed that most people prefer a small range of simple colours, typically 2-3, that are light or gradients of each other. This corresponds directly to the current colour trends in the web design industry:
- Soft Tones – muted colours, pastels, lots of white space, minimal text. Simplicity is key here.
- Grey tones – majority of grey, pops of 1 bright colour, professional yet still simple.
- Gradient cooler-toned colours – shades of one colour detected via a gradient scale, modern and slick.
- Retro tones – popular colour combos from the 80s and 90s, warm colours, toned down for a softer feel.
- Bright and vibrant – one vibrant colour balanced out with more muted neutral tones, for a bold and daring look.
- The classic Black on Black – gradients and different shades of black, with a pop of white here and there. Luxurious and mystical.
Remember that the dominant colour should only be used for the places you want your visitors to pay attention to or for action calls. To find accent colours that compliment your main colour you can use colour wheels or colour matching tools. Accent colours help to highlight secondary information on your page. For a background colour, it is always better to go with a neutral tone or white tone as its main job is to make the content more readable. The most popular formula for the percentages of your colour scheme is the 60-30-10 rule. Accordingly, you should use 60% of your dominant colour, 30% of your secondary colours and 10% of an accent colour.
Choosing your colours isn’t as easy as you may think and does require thought and analysis. Look at what the other websites are using. Understand how you want your website to look and what story you want it to tell. Keep your palette simple. Don’t overuse bright colours but at the same time don’t be scared to add bold pops of colour here and there. Experiment and let your creativity come out. And if you don’t have time to do this yourself, why not get a team of professionals to do it for you?
At QoboWeb, we make sure to stay up to date with all the new web design trends and implement them in our work. We can help you choose a colour palette for your brand, and make sure that your website looks unique, sophisticated and represents your company in the best way. Check out our portfolio for examples of our work or get in touch by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author: Nadia Ivanova, PR & Digital Marketing Manager at Qobo Group Ltd