How to Choose Colors for Your Website

It is easy to get overwhelmed when coming up with ideas for how your website and other visual marketing materials will look. One of the first questions we pose to our clients is, “Do you have a preferred color scheme or have colors associated with your brand?”

For many, color is an afterthought. You know you want your website to look beautiful and professional. You know you want users to click on certain areas and to understand how information is organized and laid out. You know you want users to quickly get an idea of who you are when they first visit your website. Color rarely comes up in our client design discussions without being prompted by questions.

What many of our clients don’t initially realize is that color is one of the key visual attributes and is the first element of a brand or design your brain processes. Think about the bold red and yellow on a McDonald’s sign or the blue of Facebook, Dell, HP, Twitter, and all things tech. In most cases color is the first thing your audience sees when they visit your page or see your logo. Often, color is your next client’s first impression that they will have of your brand and identity.

When the eyes see color, signals are sent to the pituitary gland and eventually cause the thyroid glands to signal the release of hormones. This is why color has the potential to impact the feelings of your clients and instantly affect the way they feel about your brand. It is key to understand your demographic as well as your own values when determining colors that will represent your business and what colors will exist on your website.

Color can mean something different to everyone. There are general feelings and values associated with basic colors that can often help simplify selecting colors for your branding. For example, blues tend to project trust, red screams excitement, and green promotes growth and health. Experience and context also affect what people feel when they see a color. This explains why yellow can mean caution or warning on a wet floor sign, but can still project positive feelings in the McDonald’s arch or in an IKEA logo.

There are many color properties that can affect the way a user is affected by color. Contrast can draw attention to important buttons or information on a webpage. White is often disregarded as a background color, but careful use of white space can make or break a website or promotional flyer. Apple is a perfect example of how white space with occasional striking imagery and color can express quality. Once you begin to experiment with hues, tones, shades, and tints one can expand the basic color wheel into an infinite group of colors.

There are many tools to help you select colors for your branding. A color wheel is a great tool as it breaks down colors and shows their relationships to one another. From a color wheel you can identify complementary or analogous colors to create color harmony.


Software has become a tremendous asset for designers with tools like Adobe’s Kuler automatically generating simple color palettes from photographs.

Orlando Web Design

At authenticWEB, we can help you define and tell your story. Through a clear understanding of your authentic story, your values, and your ideal clients we are able to to advise you on brand colors and implementing them into your website.

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