Building a website is not an easy job. You need a plan, a strategy, plus lots of knowledge and skills to put to good use. So while you’re building your strategy and choosing your techniques, it’s also equally important to focus on choosing instruments like your colour palette.
Using colour and other design elements like buttons and menus will help you to create an attractive design which is one of the principles of great website design. Learn more about the principles of good website design.
Seems too complicated? It’s not if you understand a bit of colour theory.
Emotions and Colours
Colour is almost like its own separate language. It can evoke meaning and convey emotion, so it’s important to understand the meaning of each colour you’re using. Once you’ve figured out which emotions you want to stir up, you’ll understand if a certain colour is attractive to your audience.
Coca-Cola and Facebook use the psychology of colours. Their logos are easily recognisable and relatable, with colours that evoke love (Coca-Cola) and connection (Facebook). So the logo’s colour is one of the basics of logo design that is important, considering that it’s a declaration of the brand’s philosophy.
Once you try various options, you can select the dominant colours, which are the ones your audience recognises and associates with your brand. These are the colours you’ll use for everything starting with your website, offline stores and business cards.
You should only choose one or two dominant colours that are complementary and create a good contrast, without overshadowing each other. More than two colours will confuse your online visitors and distract from the main point you want to convey.
This is an important step you need to take in choosing the colours that define your website. Once you have selected the dominant colours, you can play with them to find more tones, tints and shades that can be used for defining your brand.
For that, you can mix the pure colour you’ve selected with grey to obtain a tone, with white to obtain a tint and with black to obtain a shade. These are the technical terms, but you get the drift: you just have to explore different hues of the same pure colour.
Accent colours have the role of emphasising something, of drawing the viewer’s attention to the focal point of your web page. If you choose accent colours poorly, your key elements aren’t underlined at all. Therefore, make sure the accent colours are bolder and more vibrant than the dominant colours, which should define the background elements.
The 60-30-10 Rule
Now that you’ve chosen your colour palette for your website, you also need to apply it. The best rule of thumb for this is the 60-30-10, which refers to the proportion in which you use these three colours we’ve talked about: 60% dominant colours, 30% secondary colours and 10% accent colours.