Choosing your website’s color scheme is an important decision to make. Not only does your website represent the digital identity of your company, but it’s one of the first things a potential customer will notice. This means that you’ll need to make an excellent first impression. With this said, your website’s color scheme will typically need to follow your brand’s style guide. If you don’t have a brand style guide, then we encourage you to use the color wheel while taking into account your product’s packaging as well as your industry. 

What is a Color Scheme and How is it Used?

A color scheme is a collection of colors, or a color palette, selected used to design or create something. In your case, these are the colors you or your web designers will use when choosing and coloring elements on your website.

You may be wondering: what does the color wheel have to do with the color scheme of my company website? Isn’t that something I learned about in grade school art class? In short, it has everything to do with it. It’s certainly funny how things have a way of becoming relevant again! 

Typically, color palettes are split into two categories: primary and secondary colors. As their names might suggest, primary colors are generally front and center and used for large website elements. Secondary colors, however, are usually used sparingly and for accent elements.

Choosing a Color Scheme for Your Website

color wheel umbrellas

Photo by Malte Bickel on Unsplash

Understanding the color wheel is a great place to start when choosing a color scheme for your website. The color wheel is divided into three categories: primary, secondary, and tertiary colors. Primary colors include red, yellow, and blue. These are the foundational colors of the color wheel. Secondary colors are any combination of the aforementioned primary colors, and include purple, green, and orange. Tertiary colors are any combination of a primary color and a secondary color, and include blue-violet, yellow-green, red-violet, yellow-orange, etc.

color scheme donuts

Photo by Heather Ford on Unsplash

Understanding color combinations is the next step when choosing an appropriate color scheme for your website. Depending on the color combinations you choose, you’ll be sending a very particular message to your website visitor. We’ll make sure that you’re sending the right one. The relationships between colors are sorted into three different categories: analogous, complementary, and triadic. An analogous color combination is comprised of colors that sit side by side on the color wheel, and tend to convey a contemporary and modern aesthetic. A complementary color combination hinges on the logic that opposites attract. When you select two colors that lay on opposite sides of the color wheel, you create a complementary color combo! Finally, a tertiary color combination is probably the most flexible of the color combinations we’ve discussed so far. Any colors that sit at a 120-degree angle from each other are considered tertiary color combinations.

blue green color scheme

Photo by Quinton Coetzee on Unsplash

Color psychology is also an important factor to consider when deciding your website’s color scheme. Because many believe that every color triggers a different emotional response, it’s no surprise that color does 50% of the heavy lifting when it comes to brand perception. Having a good understanding of the meaning behind each color, you can choose them we much more confidence. We recommend checking out this blog for additional information regarding colors and their meanings.

What do you want your website to convey?

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