1 September 2023 • 3 minutes

How to choose colors in web design [ 2023 ]

— In web design, the choice of colors is an extremely important thing.
This is how you can assess and choose colors that fit the project's theme. —

DESIGN
Decorative banner with colors
Dotted background pattern
Dotted background pattern

Introduction

Appropriate color selection is crucial across various domains, from graphic design and marketing to interior decor. Color has the potential to impact our emotions, behavior, and perception of our surroundings. It's important to consider color psychology; for instance, warm shades like red can evoke feelings of energy and passion, while cooler shades like blue can have a calming effect.

The color scheme should also align with the project's intent. If designing a website for a financial company, subdued colors can convey professionalism and trust. On the other hand, for a youth-focused brand, adopting bright and vibrant colors might catch the attention of younger consumers.

Colors in psychology

Creating a color palette

A color palette is nothing more than a collection of colors that blend well together and resonate with the project's theme and overall brand.

Defining the appropriate color palette for a project is one of the most crucial steps in the process of designing and creating websites. Colors influence the style and mood of the project, establishing the so-called "look & feel," and they are highly memorable.

A simple color palette should include neutral, primary, and accent colors. It's also a good idea to incorporate feedback colors (green for success and red for failure) - especially if forms are a significant part of the functionality.

Must have colors in web project

Neutral colors

Gray is a neutral color and serves as the foundation of a color system. Nearly everything in user interface design - texts, form fields, backgrounds, dividers - is often in shades of gray.

Gray color example

Gray can be combined with various other shades, such as red, pink, orange, and yellow, to create a subdued yet attention-catching design.

Primary colors

The primary color is the "brand color" and is used across all interactive elements like buttons, links, text fields, etc. This color defines the overall atmosphere of the design and has the most significant impact on evoking emotions in the viewer. You can have more than one primary color, but it's recommended to start with just one.

Primary color example

The choice of the primary color for our project will mainly depend on its theme. For instance, if our project is related to an eco-friendly company, we would likely opt for a green color scheme. On the other hand, if it's a project for a luxury handbag brand, we might consider using a shade of purple, as it's associated with luxury.

Accent colors

These function as "secondary" or "supporting" colors in relation to your brand's primary color. They are useful for drawing attention or enhancing the perception of the primary color.

Accent colors example

Accent colors are highly useful for elements like labels and badges, which, despite their small size, play a significant role in adding flavor and vitality to your website or application.

Feedback colors

Feedback colors underscore various meaningful states. They serve to provide visual feedback or warnings that inform the user about the current state of the interface.

Feedback colors example

Red color is used in the case of action failures or errors on a website, as well as during "destructive" actions. For instance, a reason for such a color to appear on our site could be an incorrect user password or removing a person from a team.

Orange or yellow colors can communicate that a given action might be potentially destructive or is in a "warning" state. These colors are often used during confirmation processes in applications or websites to better capture users' attention.

Green color conveys positive action, a positive trend, or successful confirmation. If you're using green as your primary color, it can be helpful to introduce a different shade for your success green.

Feedback colors usage example

Summary

Choosing the right color scheme and the proper combination of colors when embarking on the design of a new project is a crucial factor that will impact how the product, service, and overall brand are perceived by users of the website or application.

At IslandHouse, the team primarily conducts research online before beginning the design process. This is done to understand the color palettes commonly used for a specific project type and to determine which color to employ on the website to maintain consistency. Based on this research and our experience, we select appropriate colors from the color wheel, ensuring that our project harmonizes perfectly with the project's thematic colors.

Dotted background pattern

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