This guide has everything you need to know about color schemes.
Many people fail to apply the right colors to their website, brand logo, and other online and offline brand elements. Consequently, they are less appealing to people. It can even cause user-friendly issues like being unclear or provoking mixed feelings.
Don’t panic! In this guide, I’ll explain from the most basic to the most advanced color scheme techniques. Once you finish reading it, you’ll be such a color scheme expert. So, you would be able to apply my proven tactics and succeed in choosing your color schemes.
Sounds interesting? Let’s jump right in!
What is a color scheme?
A color scheme consists of a combination of colors. A color scheme includes one or more of the twelve colors of the color wheel. You can create many different color palettes by combining colors.
It’s up to you whether to choose analogous or contrasting colors. There exist some color combinations that tend to work well in most cases. However, you must be extremely careful with your color choice because it will affect how others perceive your brand, products, website, etc.
Yet, the correct color combination and how to use it is not an easy decision. Colors will significantly change how others interact with you and what they think about your brand. So, it’s critical to choose them wisely.
If there is a color you use in your logo or one that represents you as a brand, you have to include it on your website. Good color choices imply careful planning. Remember that colors have an impact on what others think about your brand.
We associate some colors with trust, such as blue; others foment excitement like red, etc. I’ll talk about that later in more detail. Choosing the right color combination can make a difference in how others feel about your brand.
Color schemes matter because they represent your values. Thus, how others see you and what they think of you can be affected by the colors you choose. What’s more, lots of buying decisions are influenced by colors. Some color schemes are more appealing than others.
Anyway, there are several types of color schemes:
This color scheme offers lots of possibilities and can end up being very pleasing to the eye. Though, you should make sure your design doesn’t end up being too flat.
What is a complementary color scheme?
A complementary color scheme consists of a combination of colors opposite to each other in the color wheel. For example: yellow and purple, red and green or blue and orange. Indeed, complementary color schemes tend to combine a primary color with a secondary one.
It’s a compelling color scheme. But, you need to be careful not to make it too much overwhelming. It needs to provide contrast, though. It’s advisable to use tints, tones, and shades. This way, it’ll be more eye-catching.
What is a split-complementary color scheme?
A split-complementary color scheme is not as intense as a complementary one. That’s to say, it uses complementary colors too, though it uses neighboring hues.
For instance, if you choose to combine yellow and purple, you will use yellow and red-purple or blue-purple.
What is an analogous color scheme?
An analogous color scheme is the one that works with colors that are next to each other in the color wheel. There needs to be a dominant hue and its analogous counterparts.
This color combination is not only harmonious but also pleasing to the eye.
What is the triadic color scheme?
A triadic color scheme uses a color combination of three colors equidistant from one another in the color wheel. There needs to be a hierarchy of colors. Otherwise, they will all fight for attention.
As with any other color palettes, it is a must to use hints so that the triadic is not too vibrant. You can use primary, secondary, or tertiary color combinations.
Different colors send different messages. So, you will probably need to test which colors cause a more significant impact and positively affect your audience. Let’s learn a bit about color psychology!
There are specific meanings that can be given to each color. These color meanings or the emotions that colors provoke in others are not the same in all cultures.
What is color psychology?
Color psychology is the study of colors as regards human behavior. Color psychology tries to explain how colors affect our attitudes, reactions, emotions, feelings, behavior, decisions, etc.
Different people perceive colors differently according to their personality, age, gender, culture, personal experience, and more.
Color psychology is somehow ambiguous. However, there is no doubt that colors affect us. When we go shopping, we feel more attracted to items due to their color. But, others don’t tell us anything and don’t call our attention.
Colors are a communication tool. There somehow exists a color symbolism that dramatically affects feelings, mood, and emotions. For this reason, you need to familiarize yourself with the color theory, which I’ll explain in more detail in the second chapter.
The fact that colors are emotion-provoking is no doubt relevant for marketers. But, what emotion or feelings each particular color provokes is open to debate.
How each person perceives colors is something subjective. However, there are some general guidelines as regards color effects that have a broad meaning. Let’s have a look at them!
Cool colors are those that make us feel calm and have a soothing effect. Blue, green, and purple are typical cool colors. More often than not, these colors remind you of water and the sky. It is worth mentioning that cool colors tend to recede in space.
Warm colors are more vivid and can be a bit overwhelming at times. Examples of warm colors are red, yellow, and orange. These colors can remind you of sunlight and heat. Warm colors give the impression of coming closer and advance in space.
While warm colors call people’s attention and advance to the eye, cool colors recede to the background. However, there are exceptions to this rule. A vivid cool color may appear to advance a specific warm color. Thus, you should never take things for granted!
Not all colors have the same effect on people. Some relaxing colors exist, such as blue, green, pink, white, violet, yellow, and grey. Still, not all hues have a shooting effect. For instance, pink can be a shooting color, though only if you use the right shade. If you go for a bright version, it won’t be so relaxing. The same is true for other colors. Above all, blue is the most peaceful, calm, and gentle color. It will no doubt help you to reduce anxiety.
Happy colors are warm and bright colors such as red, pink, orange, and yellow. Though green and blue are examples of happy colors too. Each of these colors may well have an uplifting effect upon you. It is a well-known fact that bright and light colors make us feel more optimistic and happier than before.
More than one color can provoke the sensation of having fun, though orange is believed to be the funniest one since it’s flamboyant and can make us feel happier and more energetic. Other colors are associated with fun, like yellow, pink, red, and even purple or blue. It’s up to you how to combine them so that they make a fun color scheme.
Sad colors tend to be dark and muted, for instance, grey. Yet, some hues of blue, green, and brown can have a similar effect. Sadness, as it happened with happiness, is closely related to culture as regards colors. Some cultures consider black as a mourning color, whereas, in other cultures, the mourning color is white.
It is believed that blue, blue-green, violet and purple can generate a negative feeling. These colors may make people feel sad or depressed. Unlike positive colors, negative ones are defined by their low brightness and saturation.
Colors like red, orange, and yellow are considered to be lively and energetic. They give you positive feelings and can bring joy and excitement. Positive colors are characterized by high brightness and high saturation.
Power colors are rich and dark hues of red, green, blue, brown, and black. These colors are used when you want to convey authority. That’s why they are broadly used in business.
Though not profoundly explored yet, color psychology has to be recognized as a significant factor that causes different reactions among people. Thus, you will need to choose your colors carefully, or else they won’t cause the effect you want to.
Color scheme statistics
- 80% of consumers believe that colors are vital for brand recognition. (Forbes)
- Approximately 85% of consumers believe that color is the main reason why they buy a specific product. (Shopify)
- 93% of shoppers concentrate on brand colors when they’re about to buy a product. (Small Business Trends)
- 80% of buyers believe that brand colors boost brand recognition. (Small Business Trends)
- Less than 50% of marketers use their brand colors on their presentation slides. (Venngage)
- 21% of marketers use their brand colors on most of their presentation slides. (Venngage)
- When buying a product, people make quick decisions (within 90 seconds). Between 62% to 90% of those decisions are based on color alone. (Touro College)
- 90% of the information that reaches our brains is visual. (Hubspot)
- We understand visuals up to 60,000 times faster than text. (Hubspot)
- Color can boost comprehension by 73%. (Colorcom)
- Color can improve readership by 40%. (Colorcom)
- Most people prefer simple color combinations, 2 to 3, no more. (University of Toronto)
- The colors men love most are: blue, green, and black. (Neil Patel)
- The colors women love most are: blue, green, and purple. (Neil Patel)
It is an undeniable fact that color conveys meaning. Some meanings are related to natural associations, while others have more to do with cultural ones. Colors remind us of certain objects, sensations, emotions, etc.
It’s key you become familiar with what meanings colors have if you want to succeed in the design of your color scheme. Some colors have universal meanings. Yet, the emotions other colors convey are more complex.
For example, most would agree that green is the color of vegetation and blue is the color of water and the sky. These two meanings are somehow universal.
Green is the color of money in the US and fertility in Celtic myths. Still, these are just cultural associations that are not shared worldwide.
Let me outline the symbolism of colors in more detail:
Red – The color of passion and danger
Like any other color, red can have both positive and negative effects on people. Red is the color of passion and power, but it can also make people feel they’re in danger, alertness, and awareness.
What’s more, red is suitable for detailed-oriented tasks. However, it’s not adequate when you need to come up with creative solutions.
Yet, on clothing, it has a positive effect as it’s generally associated with not only feeling but also appearing more attractive in the eyes of others.
As regards marketing, red is considered to be a dynamic and powerful color. It can also convey friendliness and strength. It’s ideal if what you want is to call someone’s attention quickly. Yet, it’s advisable to use it moderately to avoid its negative effects.
What colors go with red?
Red goes well with green, for instance, as they are complementary colors and opposites attract.
Yet, you shouldn’t use 50% red and 50% green as it could be annoying for people’s eyes. You could also use shades of blue to add a third color. Remember the 60-30-10 rule!
It’s also a great idea to combine red and pink with a light gray background. Thus, giving the impression of being not only creative and fashionable but also more lively. Another good idea is to combine red with black and white.
Orange – The color of encouragement and enthusiasm
Orange is connected with security, passion, fun, and warmth. What’s more, orange is also associated with ambition and energy.
Regarding its marketing meanings, orange is an excellent choice to represent food, shelter, and warmth. Most people agree that it’s also a great motivation color as it conveys enthusiasm and a positive attitude.
What colors go with orange?
Well, orange can be used with a black background as it calls people’s attention. It’s a perfect option for your CTAs, and it’s widely used on many websites.
In the previous combination, you can also add yellow. I mean, black, yellow, and orange usually work well together.
If you want to convey energy and optimism, you can also combine shades of blue and orange. This combination is quite powerful.
Yellow – The color of optimism and positivity
Did you know that yellow is the most visible color for the human eye? However, it’s also associated with a depressing effect. And, it can be overwhelming if there is too much yellow.
Yellow is also considered a youthful and optimistic color. It is good to convey friendliness and creativity too.
Regarding marketing, yellow is generally good to encourage inspiration, boost confidence, and lift someone’s spirits. You need to be careful with this color as too much yellow can cause fear and anxiety.
What colors go with yellow?
Yellow is usually mixed with a black background, the same as orange. Both orange and yellow go well with black.
You can also use yellow with blue and pink if you want to create a positive image. Just remember not to use too much of it as a considerable amount of yellow can be annoying for people’s eyes.
Green – The color of eco-friendly, growth and health
Green is the color of plants, trees, and leaves. It’s the color of nature. Green is usually associated with ecological products and services.
As to marketing, green is the color of money and wealth. It also promotes the idea of health, balance, and refreshment. It conveys peace too.
Among its negative meanings, it’s worth mentioning that it is associated with materialism. Though, its positive effects outweigh the negative ones.
What colors go with green?
It’s relevant to mention that green goes well with blue and several shades of brown. These three colors can easily represent a natural environment.
Sometimes blue, green, and brown are also used to convey trust. Indeed, blue and green combined with white can give the impression of fresh, clean, new, etc.
It’s also possible to combine green, yellow, and black. This mix is used to provoke a sense of adrenaline and excitement typical of sports.
Blue – The color of trust and intelligence
Not surprisingly, blue is said to have a calming effect. It’s usually identified as the color of water and the sky. Thus, it has a calming effect.
Among its negative feelings, blue can mean coldness, lack of emotions, sadness, or depression.
Regarding marketing, blue is widely used as it conveys loyalty, sincerity, and trust. It is also perceived as an intellectual color that is good for communication, logic, and coolness.
On top of that, blue is a well-liked color by both women and men. It’s great for building relationships, most of all, in marketing.
What colors go with blue?
There are lots of colors that work well with blue. For example, the color combination of blue, green, and brown. But, you can also combine blue with red and green. It is also a great idea to mix it with gray to create a more conservative design.
Besides, blue and purple also combine well. You can even mix blue and orange to add the idea of high energy.
As you can see, there are lots of colors that go well with blue. So, it might be the right candidate due to its easy combinations. Yet, you shouldn’t choose a color just because of that.
Purple – The color of mystery, spirituality, and luxury
It is usually connected with the idea of luxury, quality, and truth. It’s generally used for beauty products. It can also mean magic, mystery. It is no doubt associated with the imagination and the spiritual.
As to marketing, purple is an intriguing color. It is good to convey new ideas and creativity. Yet, if you use it too often, it can cause distraction as people could start wondering.
What colors go with purple?
Purple goes well with blue. Together they can have positive emotions like energy and peace. You can also combine purple with gold and black to convey luxury, fashion, and being extravagant.
What is more, purple can mix well with blue and pink too. You can even mix brown, red, and light purple, which is an elegant combination full of energy.
Pink – The color of femininity and playfulness
Pink is usually associated with femininity and with what is romantic. It gives people a sense of compassion and true love. It can be linked to playfulness too.
As regards marketing, pink is identified with love, warmth, tranquility, and sexuality. It is also the color of empathy and sensitivity. Yet, too much pink is generally related to a lack of power and even immaturity.
Pink is a good choice for fashion. You can use it with red, black, and gray to convey luxury and great sophistication.
What colors go with pink?
Red and pink with a light gray background are a lively color combination. Pink, purple, and blue are typical too. Bright pink with pastel blue and pastel purple, to be more specific, go well indeed.
It is possible to combine pink and green or pink and yellow. Yet, these last color combinations are more tricky, and if you decide to use them, you will need to be extra careful.
Brown – The color of the earth and stability
Brown is probably not one of the most visually appealing colors. But, brown is a color that can be related to security and protection. Many people believe that brown brings constant support.
As to marketing, brown is a serious color. It is connected with the idea of being down to earth. The downside is that if used too often, it can be a boring color. Then, make wise use of it!
What colors go with brown?
You can use brown with blue and green. This way, you will get an eco-friendly and natural mixture.
Brown can be used with yellow, black, and grey too. In this color combination, yellow should be highlighted against the rest of the colors. So, brown would be just one more similar or color alike participant.
You can also use a combination of different shades of brown and blue to give the impression of comfort and peace.
Black – The color of elegance and sophistication
Black makes people feel confident and booming. It is also linked with the idea of something being either expensive or sophisticated. It is a timeless and elegant color.
As regards marketing, black is a serious color. It implies control and independence. The downside is that black is the color of death, evil, depression, and mystery.
Black is a fantastic color to cause a high contrast. But, be careful as too much black can have a negative impact. Black goes well with almost any other color unless this one is too dark. You can combine it with white, red, yellow, pink, orange, etc.
What colors go with black?
There are many great color combinations using black. For instance, you can use a black background with red and green, as these two would be highlighted by contrast.
Likewise, it’s also possible to have a black background and then use gray, pink, and red. You can also use a black background but mixed with blue, gray platinum, and orange. This last color combination can be quite futuristic.
White – The color of purity and minimalism
White is connected with the idea of being calm and feeling good. It usually transmits the idea of freshness and cleanliness too. Still, too much white can give the impression of ignorance and coldness.
As regards marketing, white is linked with new ideas or even new beginnings. It’s great if you want to convey simplicity, creation, or a new beginning. Yet, too much white can transmit loneliness and emptiness.
What colors go with white?
What colors don’t go well with white? Well, not too many. The ones that are very similar or too light, it would be better to avoid them. If you are going to combine 2-3 colors, you would want to show contrast, at least with white.
Thus, you can mix white with red and black, for instance. Or, you can mix white with pink, black, blue, purple, and gray. There are many color combinations. Indeed, you can also use it for the background too.
Gray – The color of conventionality and professionalism
Gray is usually related to the idea of being conservative and serious. On the other hand, these days, it’s also used to convey the idea of high-tech, sophistication, and it gives an advanced image.
As to marketing, it’s relevant to mention that light grays are feminine in nature, whereas dark grays are masculine in nature. It is also a timeless and efficient color.
What colors go with gray?
But, what colors can we use with gray? You can mix gray with blue and even black. These three colors are typical of more conservative designs.
Indeed, you can also mix blue, gray, and orange to give the idea of sophistication. Another example would be black, gray, brown, and yellow.
Why are color schemes important?
There are many reasons why selecting the right color schemes is essential. Color schemes not only matter because they are visually appealing, but they are also valuable because they represent your brand both online and offline.
So, coming up with the right color scheme for your brand is detrimental. You will need to consider several aspects when choosing your color scheme. For instance, whether your color scheme is appropriate for your brand identity and/or your target market.
Besides, there needs to be somehow a consistency as regards your color combinations. So, this makes your color scheme important too. If you’re always changing from one color scheme to another, it will be more challenging to identify your products, services, ads, website, etc.
Color schemes cannot contradict your brand’s philosophy. Basically, because colors affect how people perceive your brand. Failing to choose the right colors could cause confusion. Or even worse, send the wrong message.
So, you must devote some of your time and effort to think about what colors would work best for you. If you happen to find a great color scheme, you would engage better with your audience as well as catch their attention more easily.
Color schemes are used for more than just making your designs beautiful. From all of the forms of non-verbal communication, color is the most instantaneous way of conveying messages and meanings.
Colors play an important role in the identification process, like symbolizing complex concepts and producing emotional responses. Since colors get consumers’ attention to your brand, they will unconsciously trigger an automatic association in their minds.
So, the importance of picking the right color scheme for your brand should not be underestimated. It could help your business make it or break it. It is not just for aesthetics. There is a whole world of reasons behind it.
Let’s have a look at some aspects you should consider when selecting your color scheme!
Depending on your personality, you feel more or less attracted by specific colors. Why some people choose a red car instead of a black one?
Easy, red cars are generally preferred by those who want to show off and call others’ attention. In contrast, a black vehicle denotes a certain kind of luxury and elegance. Yet, what feeling each type of car color provokes on you will depend on your personality.
What’s more, some colors are generally used by brands that want to transmit security as insurance companies. These brands, most of the time, choose blue as their primary color.
Yet, if you want to sell chocolate, it would be better to go for red and gold. Red usually creates a sense of passion, while gold denotes quality and exclusiveness.
So, some colors might work better than others, depending on what emotion you want to provoke in your customers/clients.
There is no doubt that you need to choose a color that represents you as a brand. Generally speaking, most brands go for the same color they have selected for their logo.
You have to carefully think about it since the color you choose would be the one most people would think of when they hear about you. Or maybe this color would remind them of you, like red and coca-cola, for instance.
Yet, just because you have previously chosen a primary color for your logo, it doesn’t mean you should always use it for your website, ads, or products. It’s usually the case, though.
But, there might be occasions when it isn’t the best option. It’s advisable to base your color scheme on several aspects like research, conversions, and more.
Certain colors might provoke prompt reactions among users, usually bright colors. On top of that, you should choose those colors that your audience prefers to generate more engagement.
Remember that choosing the right colors implies not only creativity but also experimentation. The best option to choose the right colors is to know your audience.
You should know who they are, what they do, where they come from, etc. Generally, women do not like the same colors as men do. For example, most women tend to fancy blue, green, and purple. But men prefer black, blue, and green instead.
But, as regards the colors each of these groups doesn’t like, there are some differences. Men hate orange, purple, and brown. But, women hate gray, brown, and orange. Still, these are just general characterizations, and they may not work for your audience.
Anyway, you will need to A/B test which color combination provokes more user engagement and go for it. Indeed, opposite colors can evoke different feelings as they differ a lot.
But, similar colors can give the sensation of not making a significant difference. So, changes would happen smoothly.
How do colors alter your conversions? The truth is that colors have a lot to do in purchasing decisions. Colors do influence us. Some colors make us feel calm and safe, while others provoke excitement and give us a sense of urgency.
All these matters for choosing the right color schemes. It is not that easy to pick color combinations that will help you to succeed. Yet, if you devote enough time, research your audience and target market and bear in mind your brand identity, you’ll make a better choice.
That’s all for color scheme fundamentals. Now you know the basics, so you’re ready to move on and get more specialized knowledge. In the next chapter, I’ll talk about color palettes and color combinations. Keep on reading to get the most out of your color schemes!
What is color theory?
Color theory is a science that explains how we perceive colors. It focuses on how colors mix, match, and contrast. Not to mention the fact that color theory is critical to understand the messages that colors communicate.
As you may well already know by now, colors are organized in a color wheel. I’ll tell you all about it in the next section. Yet, understanding how colors are organized in the color wheel is not enough. You’ll also need to learn about color harmony and the context in which colors are going to be used. That’s to say, color combinations.
Anyway, why color matters? We perceive things differently depending on colors, and many purchasing decisions are based on color alone. Color also matters for your brand identity. People will either love or hate your brand, products, website, and ads based on their colors.
So, color matters for branding, marketing, and sales. You need to learn about color theory to make better branding decisions. You must know what emotions colors evoke in your customers. This way, you’ll be able to create better marketing strategies.
So, there are many reasons why you should learn about color theory. When you see a color, there is an instantaneous reaction towards it. This reaction tends to be the same for many people. Yet, this doesn’t entirely work among all cultures.
Thus, it is vital that once you have chosen your brand colors, you use them consistently. I mean, not only on your logo and your website but also on your staff uniforms, ads, stores, products, etc.
Since your brand will widely use these colors, you will need to think about your brand identity. That’s to say, what kind of personality you want to convey such as serious and trustworthy or playful and energetic, etc.
Under any circumstances, should you choose a color just because it’s your favorite. This color might not be a great choice for your brand personality or for the product/service you sell, etc.
Your color choice should be based on the message you want to communicate. To be able to choose your colors correctly, you must focus your election on the color theory.
Take into account visibility when selecting your color scheme. Do not choose colors because they are pleasing to you. You must choose colors that together have a contrasting effect. Though, be careful not to pick too many main colors, or else you’ll spoil the mix!
The color theory is the one that explains to you that some colors work well together while others don’t. I mean, now that you have clear that each color provokes specific reactions, it’s fundamental to be careful with which colors you mix.
You will need to pay special attention to the color wheel. There, you will find primary, secondary and tertiary colors. Understanding the color wheel is fundamental as there are colors that can be complementary, analogous, etc., according to their position on the wheel.
What is a color wheel?
The color wheel is a circle whose aim is to help others understand color relationships and how colors can be combined. It illustrates each primary, secondary, and tertiary color and its corresponding hues, tints, tones, and shades.
Thus, it’s a color circular graph that will help you to choose your color scheme better. Why? Because the color wheel not only shows you pure colors, but it also portrays how they would be if they were lighter, darker or if mixed with other colors.
So, for choosing a color scheme, the color wheel is essential to check combinations in advance. It consists of the following components:
- Hue is a pure color. A hue is a color without a tint or a shade. So, hues are all the primary and secondary colors, but without adding either black or white to any of them. This means that tints, tones, and shades are somehow a variation of hues.
- A tint is the combination of a hue with white. A tint makes the color lighter, but not necessarily brighter. A tint desaturates the hue so that it becomes less intense. Tints are also known as pastel colors.
- A tone is the mixture of a hue with gray. To get a tone you have to add not only black but also white to a hue. It’s also called saturation. This way the color will be less intense.
- Shade is the combination of black and a pure hue. Thus, a shade makes a color darker and more intense. Yet, it is advisable to be careful when you create the shade of a color since adding black to a hue can be tricky at times.
What’s more, there are several types of color wheels you need to know about: the RGB color wheel, the CMYK color wheel, and the HSL color wheel. Let’s have a look at them in more detail!
RGB Color Wheel
The RGB color wheel is also known as the additive color model. In this color wheel model, red, green, and blue light are added to make colors become brighter. This model is widely used in electronic devices such as TVs, screens, projectors, computers, mobile phones, etc.
Not all devices will reproduce colors or display images as you wish unless you apply some color management. You wouldn’t want to have your images represented with the wrong colors on your website or social media networks, for instance.
It is for this reason that you need to know how to use the RGB color wheel. This way, you’ll be able to manage how visuals appear on electronic devices. As to computers, RGB uses scales from 0 to 255.
It is worth mentioning that most web programs use RGB values or HEX code. If you want to design digital images, you will need to familiarize yourself with the HTML color wheel and the HEX color wheel.
CMYK Color Wheel
The CMYK color wheel or subtractive color model is used to reduce the light of a usually light background. White is formed by the addition of red, green, and blue. What this model does is subtract red, green, and blue to get colors such as cyan, magenta, yellow, or key (black).
The subtractive color model is the one we use in printing, for example, in the production of brochures. If you were to use the RGB color model instead, it would end up being not only too expensive, and you would not get the results you wanted.
HSL Color Wheel
HSL stands for hue, saturation, and lightness. This color model uses numerical color specifications. That’s to say, the hue is represented in degrees from 0 to 360. Red is 0, 120 is green, and 240 is blue.
As regards saturation and lightness, they both use percentages. 0% saturation is a shade of gray, and 100% means full color. Likewise, 0% lightness is represented by the color black, whereas 100% is white.
This color model matters since it is more intuitive than the RGB one. However, it is not fully representative of how the human eye perceives color.
Color harmony – Models of color schemes
Color harmony means organizing colors so that they are pleasant and appealing. If your website colors are organized, users will perceive them as pleasant and attractive. They will get a positive impression.
Color harmony can only be achieved if color combinations create a pleasing contrast. There are lots of color combinations, such as complementary, analogous, triadic, and more. I’ll comment on them in a moment.
So, color harmony is achieved if you use colors that match. Colors relate to one another. Yet, not all color combinations have a nice effect. Whether you should choose one combination or another depends on many factors, such as how others perceive emotions or their culture.
For example, bear in mind that if your site’s color distribution looks chaotic, visitors will feel uneasy. Thus, a certain type of color balance is necessary. Below, you will find models of color schemes that work effectively, but before, it is necessary to explain some key terms:
What are the primary colors?
The primary colors are red, yellow, and blue. They are pure hues since these colors cannot be created by mixing other colors. On the contrary, we use primary colors to get other colors. That’s why they’re considered as the parents of all colors.
Primary colors are the basis of the color theory. Each combination of primary colors will give you a different result. It is for this reason that color mixing is so interesting. When you combine primary colors, you get the so-called secondary colors.
What are the secondary colors?
The secondary colors are orange, green, and violet (purple). That’s to say, if you mix yellow and red, you get orange. When you combine blue and red, you get purple. And if you mix blue and yellow, you’ll get green.
To obtain a secondary color, you’ll need to combine two primary colors in equal measure. The colors you get will vary depending on how much a primary color is used.
What are the tertiary colors?
The tertiary colors are the ones you get if you combine equal parts of a primary with a secondary color. They are yellow-orange, red-orange, blue-violet, red-violet, yellow-green, and blue-green.
As you may well have noticed, you can make all the colors with the primary ones. Yet, some people prefer to purchase both primary and secondary colors and make their own tertiary colors. It’s up to you whether to combine them or get them done.
What are the complementary colors?
Complementary colors are those colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. For example, red and green or blue and orange. This kind of color combination is ideal if you want to show high contrast and opposition with your colors.
Still, it is worth mentioning that complementary color schemes are good in small doses. They are great to draw attention to an element and make it stand out. It is for this reason that complementary colors are so effective. But, it is not advisable to use them for text.
What are the analogous colors?
Analogous colors are those which are placed next to each other in the color wheel. What’s more, analogous color schemes are harmonious and quite pleasing. Not to mention the fact that they are often found in natural environments.
Yet, analogous colors won’t give you a lot of contrast. Analogous color schemes consist of three colors. Make sure you choose one color to dominate while the other two work as support.
What are the triadic colors?
This color scheme is formed by three colors that are equidistant in the color wheel. As it happens with analogous colors, it is advisable to choose one as the dominant color and leave the other two for accent.
Triadic color schemes are, no doubt, quite vibrant. This kind of color combination is, more often than not, pretty lively and harmonious, even if you decide to use unsaturated versions of your hues.
What are the tetradic colors?
A tetradic color scheme consists of four colors. So, combining them would be challenging. The colors you choose have to create a rectangle on the wheel. Indeed, these colors need to be complementary pairs.
This type of color scheme will give you lots of possibilities for color combinations. Still, it is preferable to choose one color as dominant. And, do not forget to balance warm and cool colors in your design.
Color symbolism and color combinations
There are one thousand reasons why you should learn about color combinations. As I explained in the previous chapter, where I talked about color symbolism, colors have certain meanings associated with them.
Knowing what colors go well together is a must these days as colors can positively or negatively impact how others perceive you. For this reason, you need to learn about color symbolism so that you can use them for your own benefit.
No matter whether you’re choosing color combinations for your website, a flyer, your latest product, a business card, or a photograph, among others. There should be somehow a bit of consistency to reinforce your brand message.
Still, this can only be achieved if you select the right color schemes for your logo, website, social media, and marketing materials. More often than not, you’ll need to mix two or three colors.
I’ll comment on some of the best color combinations for 2021 below:
Your primary color + White + Gray
Once you decide on your primary color, you may want to combine it with white and gray. This color scheme is not only great if what you are seeking is simplicity, but it will also help you to highlight your primary color.
This way, your primary color will stand out, which is why it’s usually a very effective color combination. White and gray are neutral colors, so how others perceive this color scheme will depend on your primary color’s symbolism.
The same color but desaturated (same color but less % of it)
It may seem that using the same color is too simplistic and boring. However, such a monochromatic color scheme can end up being quite a lot compelling indeed. It will depend on the color you choose and what shades, tones, and tints you decide to employ.
If done correctly, you will have contrasting tones that will help you to draw attention. At the same time, you will give the idea of cohesion, which will help you support your message.
Pink + Violet + Blue
This color combination is no doubt lively and fresh due to the color symbolism of these colors. Besides, it is a bright and colorful mixture. Thus, it will end up being not only eye-catching but also somehow sophisticated.
Green + Yellow + Brown
Such a combination of colors will remind you of the earth. Not to mention the fact that this color scheme is, no doubt, energetic and thought-provoking. So, if you want to give a great impression, this is the perfect combo.
Besides, the color symbolism of these colors is so positive. If your dominant color is one of these three, you should try it!
Gold (dark yellow) + white + Black/Gray
Unbelievable as it may seem, this could be a fantastic color combination. You can use it to convey extravagance, luxury, high-quality, or even a new style.
This is due to the fact that gold is associated with wealth, glamour, and prosperity. However, black and white have different meanings across cultures and religions.
Blue + Green
Green is the color of growth and balance, while blue conveys trust. Together they are an ideal combination if what you are looking for is a more conservative design. It is because of the color symbolism that they work well together.
This color scheme is practical and positive. It transmits the idea of being down-to-earth and trustworthy. So, many businesses choose it. Though, it won’t work for you if your dominant color is not one of these.
Violet + Yellow
Violet combines well with its complementary color, that’s to say, yellow. This color scheme may seem a bit riskier than the previous ones. Yet, there is no doubt that these two colors work well together.
If what you want is to convey contrast, this is an ideal color combination. It will help you to highlight key elements. Besides, yellow and violet express optimism and confidence. So, they’re a positive color mixture.
Red + Blue + Yellow
It comes as no surprise that using the primary colors for your color scheme is a wonderful idea. They no doubt fit well together. On top of that, they are great to provide contrast.
Besides, red will help you to draw attention, and it’s a very vibrant color. Not to mention that yellow encourages others to make decisions since it stimulates the nervous system. And blue, well, blue is quite a trendy color this year. It helps others to relax and feel calm.
A well-chosen palette of shades of gray
If you want to use this color scheme, you’ll have to select the gray shades wisely. If done properly, it can convey the idea of being classy, timeless, and sophisticated. It can also be quite appealing to the eye.
Though gray is a neutral color, it also symbolizes stability, maturity, reliability, and more. So, if these are the values you want to communicate with your business, a palette of gray shades could be a great choice.
Dark blue + Nude/Baby color (pink, blue, yellow, red…)
This color combination can be a good option if you want to show a big contrast with your colors since dark and nude shades are totally opposite. Thus, you would be able to highlight those elements you want to stand out while, at the same time, you could give a relaxing break thanks to a nude color.
All the saturated or desaturated colors (big palette) – use with caution
Either one option or the other can be quite shocking and provoke striking effects. An oversaturated color scheme can be too bright. So, it can be annoying to the eye.
Whereas a desaturated color scheme can be too dark. Thus, the main elements won’t stand out from the background. That’s why you must be careful if you go for any of these options.
I hope the above-mentioned has been useful to you. Now, you know all about color theory and how to combine colors. But what about brand colors? Which are the best practices?
Do not panic! In the next chapter, I’ll help you make the right decision. Keep on reading to learn more!
Unsurprisingly, brands and colors are inevitably linked. This is due to the fact that color is the best way to convey a message without using any words. Color increases brand recognition by up to 80%.
You must combine the color theory with your business to come up with your brand colors. I mean, branding colors matter so much these days. As you know, there is somehow a link between colors and emotions.
Though there are some cultural associations as regards colors, it is undeniable that the same color tends to provoke similar reactions among people. So, you must select your brand colors wisely because they will have an impact on your sales.
What’s more, using the same color/s consistently is positive to strengthen your brand awareness. If colors become part of your brand, people will associate them with you. So, you’ll need to use the same branding colors in your logo, website, products, staff uniforms, advertisements, storefront, etc.
Choosing your branding colors carefully is key, as they will no doubt influence your brand identity. You shouldn’t choose your brand colors because they’re your favorite, but because they match your brand personality.
Color plays an essential role in consumer perception. In other words, lots of purchasing decisions are based on color alone. Colors convey emotions that can make others feel identified with your brand. And this would make them purchase from you.
Yet, colors are not only a key factor for brand awareness; they’ll also help your target audience to categorize your brand, products, and services. That’s why you must use colors consistently. So, it is vital to pick your brand colors carefully.
But, before you decide on your brand colors, you’ll need to define your brand personality. As well as humans have a personality, so do brands. There are loads of human traits you can use to describe your brand personality.
Still, you must ensure the characteristics you choose to differentiate you from your competitors represent you as a brand. So, each brand will have its own unique features. Once you have them clear, you’ll be able to start figuring out your color palette.
Otherwise, you’ll have to try countless color palettes till you find one that resonates with your brand. And this will make the process not only more complicated but also more time-consuming and expensive.
To identify what kind of personality you want for your brand, you’ll need to do some research. You can analyze competitor brands within your niche. It is also advisable to ask your customers what’s what they think about your brand.
This will help you to discover what key qualities characterize you as a brand. Thus, it is fundamental to explain your brand vision to your target audience.
What is brand personality?
Brand personality refers to all those characteristics that define a brand. That’s to say, a brand’s personality is what sets it apart and makes it recognizable. Your brand’s character must resonate with your customers.
Brand color palette
Choosing your brand color palette is not at all easy. We all have colors we like and colors that we do not feel attracted to. But, your brand color palette must be appealing to your audience.
How do you know which colors would be the perfect fit? The answer to this question is not that easy, but what’s unquestionable is that it’s critical to do some audience, competitor, and market research.
Since colors affect how others perceive your brand, you need to know about color psychology and brand color combinations. In the previous chapters, I talked about color symbolism and color combinations. Do not hesitate to go back if you need more information!
Colors have some universal meanings with which most people feel identified. However, the key is to identify the right color combinations. Whether to choose one color combination or another will depend on your brand personality and the emotions you want to transmit.
There is no doubt that you should find the right brand identity color palette if you want to increase sales. People prefer easily recognizable brands. And they also fancy brands they can feel identified with.
This has a lot to do with color and your brand personality. So, you need to pick a color palette that matches your brand identity. You can use a brand guide template to ensure your logo, website, products, and more follow the same guidelines.
I mean, it is of vital importance to use a brand guide template for consistency. And consistency is critical for brand awareness. So, make sure all the people in charge of improving your brand awareness are familiar with it.
You must try some branding color palettes and pick the one that best represents your brand. It is advisable to keep it simple as regards your branding colors. Most brands choose either one, two, or three branding colors.
You should start by selecting your dominant color first based on your brand personality. And then, you’ll be ready to try some branding color schemes till you find the one that best suits you.
How to choose brand colors?
Brand colors are those colors that represent your brand. You must use them consistently since they can strengthen your brand awareness and recognizability. But how many colors can you have in a brand? Keep reading.
Most brands use five to ten colors, including primary, secondary, and neutral colors. And how can you know what brand colors are best for your brand? You need to search your competitors to look for inspiration and try to set your brand apart.
You should use your brand colors in your website color scheme, brand logo, social media channels, ads, staff uniforms, product packaging, and more.
So, it is pivotal you learn how to pick your brand colors. Let’s talk about it in more detail!
1. Define your brand identity
Before you pick your brand colors, you need to determine what qualities you have as a brand. I mean, you need to think about your brand identity. It is a must you devote some time to analyze how your customers, shareholders, and investors perceive you.
Once you have some brand personality traits, you would be able to go through color symbolism and examine what colors could be great for your brand. Though colors have universal meanings, those can change when you combine them with other colors. So, it’s key to draw your attention to possible color combinations too.
2. Carry out an extensive research
No matter whether you aim at increasing your brand awareness or if you’re unsure what shades to use for your brand color palette, you must do extensive research. You shouldn’t only analyze your competitors, but the market and your audience are also critical.
You should know if there are certain colors that are generally used in your industry. And if your brand colors will have a different impact due to geographical location. Not to mention that knowing what colors your customers prefer and feel identified with is key to success.
3. Look for inspiration
Regarding inspiration, well, you can search for your competitors’ brand colors and try to determine how others perceive them. Just because your competitors have chosen certain colors, it doesn’t mean you should pick the same ones.
It would be better to select a brand color scheme that is unique or at least one that sets you apart from your competitors. And this won’t happen if you use precisely the same colors. Indeed, many people will confuse you two.
So, you should try to learn from your competitors, but you should not copy them. You can get lots of creative ideas not just from your competitors but from brands in other industries too.
4. Go through colors that resonate with your corporate identity
There is no doubt that you need to find colors that resonate with your brand identity. So, it is necessary you know the color theory, color symbolism, color combinations, and more. But, you must apply this information to convey the message you want.
I mean, you mustn’t pick colors because you like them. You should choose colors that match your brand personality. This way, people will be able to understand your brand better. And, if they feel identified with your brand, chances are you get more sales.
5. Choose your primary, secondary and neutral colors
It’s time you choose your brand colors. You must start picking your dominant color. Most of the time, this color is a primary color, but it needn’t have to be. For instance, red in Coca-Cola or blue in Tiffany’s.
Your dominant color has to be the most representative color of your brand. Still, most brands complement it with secondary and tertiary colors. There are so many color combinations you can choose from – analogous, complementary, monochromatic, etc. Most brands choose from two to four secondary colors.
Though you shouldn’t underestimate the power of neutral colors either. They are the ones that may appear in your written text or the background of your assets. Thus, they matter too. Neutral colors are white, black, and gray.
How many colors should you use then? It depends on what message you want to convey. Most brands keep it simple and choose only a few colors as their brand colors. Though depending on your business, you may need to select a few more.
6. Test your brand colors before making a decision
It is common sense to test your colors and possible different combinations before making a final decision. Besides, you should make sure your color palette is accessible. There are some colors that, together with others, are not legible.
You must ensure this is not the case with your brand colors. There are tools such as Contrast checker that can help you with this task.
Your brand logo is critical since it is the visual representation of your business and your brand values. When creating your brand logo, you will have to make many critical decisions. And one of the most important ones is the color of your logo.
Your logo’s color matters because many people judge and make important purchasing decisions based on color alone. The color of your logo can make you gain or lose a client in a matter of seconds.
So, you must bear in mind your audience’s values and personalities when designing your brand logo. I’ll talk about logo colors more in detail in the fifth chapter. If you can’t wait to know more about this topic, you can go straight away into it!
Colors are so important on your brand website. They can draw attention, drive conversions, convey meaning, and more. You may need to come up with several color schemes for your landing pages.
But, your homepage and logo need to use your brand colors consistently. Colors can help you increase your brand awareness and loyalty online. So, you must use brand colors that match your brand identity and personality.
Not to mention that colors can help you guide your online users towards where you want them to go. I mean, help them through the user journey. Colors are detrimental to make users take the desired action thanks to your CTAs.
Anyway, I’ll talk about website colors later on in this post (Chapter 6). Keep on reading to find out how to choose your website color scheme.
Online brand colors
Brand colors are crucial for your online presence. In other words, there needs to be some consistency as to how you use colors on social media, digital advertising, emails, and more. What’s more, you can not use some colors here and others there.
There would be times when things could be misleading, so make sure this doesn’t happen because you didn’t familiarize yourself with color symbolism. You shouldn’t use colors without analyzing what emotions they may convey.
Offline brand colors
Likewise, there has to be consistency with the colors you use for brand offline elements such as stores, events, business cards, documents, uniforms, merchandising, goodies, etc. This will help your customers identify you more easily and better.
Both online and offline brand colors need to go hand in hand. No matter whether your business is big or small, brand colors are critical to increasing your brand awareness, sales, and loyalty, among others.
Create brand guidelines! As your business grows, more people will need to know your brand color guidelines. It is for this reason that you should create a brand-style guide. There, you must include guidance on how to use form typography and colors to logos and imagery.
Brand colors best practices
- Familiarize yourself with how colors affect emotion.
- Consider your target audience and their color preferences.
- Use your brand colors frequently and consistently.
- Carefully decide on how many colors you want to use as your brand colors.
- Contrast and compare some color schemes before you make a decision.
- Apply the 60-30-10 rule in your designs (60% neutral color, 30%secondary brand color, and 10% dominant accent color).
- Analyze your competitors’ brand colors.
- Test, test, test.
And that’s all for brand colors. Now you know about the importance of brand personality, brand color palette, and how to choose your brand colors. Thus, you’re ready to move on.
In the next chapter, I’ll tell you all about how to choose your color schemes. Carry on reading to find out the latest advice!
What color schemes to use for your designs
Now that you know how each color influences emotions and why you should consider color combinations, it’s time to sharpen those color schemes that work well together.
Unbelievable as it may seem, you need to consider lots of things before deciding your color schemes:
Check out colors referring to your industry
Most industries have colors that are preferred as they convey the messages they usually want to communicate. Let’s have a look at which industries match with which colors!
Red: Entertainment, Food, Sports, Retail
Red is an excellent choice for food as it’s eye-catching and whets the appetite. As regards entertainment and sports, red is great since it encourages motivation and raises the heart rate. And for retail industries, it’s good too as it evokes warmth, passion, and power.
Orange: Entertainment, Food, Health, Transportation
As to entertainment and food, orange is a fantastic option because it combines the effects of yellow and red. That’s to say, it’s exciting and drives appetite.
Indeed, orange is adequate for health too since it gives the sensation of having a lot of energy and being optimistic. For transportation, orange is ideal as it transmits the idea of being affordable.
Yellow: Food, Sports, Transportation, Travel, Leisure
Like red and orange, yellow is a pretty good color for food as it drives appetite. For sports, it’s ideal because yellow is an attention-grabbing color. And for travel and leisure, it’s a good choice since yellow portrays the idea of happiness and warmth.
Green: Environment, Banking, Real estate, Farming, Non-profit
Green is typically associated with the environment and being eco-friendly. This idea of what is natural and healthy is the main reason why green is suitable for farming too.
What’s more, non-profit organizations aiming to help others tend to use green as one of their colors.
But, what about banking and Real estate? Green is the color of money. So, it’s a great option to represent any of these two.
Blue: Technology, Security, Finance, Health care, Accounting
There is no doubt that blue is ideal for security, finance, and accounting, as it is a trustworthy color that has a calming effect. Health care industries also use it because blue is connected with the idea of cleanliness and health.
And in technology, blue is linked with the idea of clear communication and mental clarity. Thus, it seems to have a more reliable effect on people.
Purple: Humanitarian, Psychic, Religion
Purple is a spiritual color. So, it’s often used in religion. Likewise, it’s a color that fits well in whatever business that is related to psychic issues. Besides, humanitarian organizations also make use of it since it conveys warmth and confidence.
Pink: Women targeting, sweets
Pink is generally used by industries targeting women because it’s a color that portrays the idea of what is feminine. Yet, it’s also great for sweets because many people connect pink with what is innocent. Thus, with children.
Brown: Agriculture, Construction, Transportation, Legal, Food
Brown is widely used in construction enterprises due to its connection with utility. In agriculture, brown is believed to be natural and earthy. In the food industries, brown is used for being connected with what is natural too.
As to transportation, brown is somehow connected with the idea of comfort, maturity, and safety. So, for legal businesses, brown is fantastic too.
Black and White: All industries
The combination of black and white matches almost any industry. White is the color of freedom, cleanliness, purity, and simplicity. Black is the symbol of elegance, sophistication, efficiency, authority, seriousness, seduction, etc.
Thus, together they could do wonders for your business. These days, many well-known brands use them.
Understand the color preferences of your target demographic
Not everybody perceives colors the same way. That’s why you will need to know your audience preferences. Two main factors affect people’s choices depending on demographics: gender and age.
Men’s favorite colors are blue, green, and black. Though they dislike brown, orange, and purple. However, women’s favorite colors are blue, purple, and green. And, they hate orange, brown, and gray.
Yet, this information is not enough because you also need to consider their age. As people become older, they tend to like blue more and more. Younger age groups like green quite a lot. But, as people get older, they prefer purple instead.
Orange, brown, and yellow are the colors people like the least. The older people are, the more they dislike orange. As to yellow, it becomes less and less popular as people get older. Thus, you will need to be careful if you happen to choose any of these colors.
Get inspiration for your color schemes
If you do not have a clue where to start, do not panic! Some websites can help you find out great inspirations for your color schemes.
The following are some of my favorite websites and tools to get inspiration and get ideas for your color palette combination:
Spy your competition
Given that you will be compared to your competitors, it would be wise to spy on them a little bit. Not to copy, of course. But, to see what they are doing, if it’s working, and how you can do it better.
Remember that it is not at all advisable to use precisely the same colors as your competitors use even though you work in the same fields and form part of the same industry. You might be wondering, why not?
Well, if you use the same colors to sell similar products or services not only on your website but also on your products, logo, advertising, etc., you will be at risk of being confused with them.
This is quite negative as you will lose prospects if they confuse you with your competitors. What’s more, for your brand identity, such a thing can be contradictory too. Most brands want to stand out and differentiate from their competitors, which you should try to do.
It’s advisable to try to use different color schemes. I’m not saying you can not share some colors. But you shouldn’t use exactly the same. And, if you use different colors, it would be a lot better.
Yet, you can observe how they’re doing with their brand color scheme design and how their audience, probably yours too, is reacting to these brand color combinations.
Take Grasshopper’s Branding Color Quiz
If you do not want to spend a lot of time discovering what color matches your brand best, Grasshopper Branding Color Quiz might be the best choice for you.
To put it shortly, you will just have to answer seven easy questions, and they will tell you which color works best for your brand. The answer is not random, but it is based on color preferences, context, research studies, marketing articles, etc.
The downside is that it only tells you which color would better represent your brand. It would have to be you who decides on whether to use hues, tones, and accent colors. On top of that, it just gives one perfect match. Yet, more often than not, you will need to use more than one color.
So, this quiz is great to get started and get some advice as to what color goes best with your philosophy. This information is not enough to help you find the magic color combination you need for your brand.
Now that you got ideas as regards what color schemes to use for your brand, it’s time to choose yours!
How to choose a color scheme
There are several aspects you must consider as to how to create your ideal color scheme. It’s vital you make the right choice if you want to succeed. But, don’t worry! It sounds more tricky than what it really is. I’ll guide you through the process with these key steps:
There are several aspects you must consider as to how to create your ideal color scheme. It’s vital you make the right choice if you want to succeed. But, don’t worry! It sounds more tricky than what it really is. I’ll guide you through all the process with these key steps:
Pick a primary color
Based on the colors that work well for your business that I explained in the previous section, it’s time you choose the primary or dominant color of your designs. This will be the color your audience will identify as your brand color.
It’s utterly important that you select this color wisely, and you use it accordingly. If you make a mistake here, like choosing purple for a fast-food brand, you might have problems selling your products and/or people identifying your brand as what it is.
Indeed, your primary color should also form part of your logo. When people think about your brand and what you sell, they should think about this color. So, it’s pivotal you come up with a good option.
Apart from the colors that work best for each industry, remember to take into account your audience and their preferences as most people base their buying decisions on colors.
Determine your color combinations
Once you have your primary color clear, it’s high time you decide on what accent color/s you are going to use. It’s not necessary to use many colors to create an awesome color scheme. Remember the 60-30-10 rule.
Most of the time, it’s better to use a simple combination. You can always use different shades and tints if you want to be more creative.
Do not forget that your accent color/s are the ones you use to highlight the relevant information. For example, sidebars, headings, captions, buttons, etc.
Choose your background
Selecting your background color is an important decision too. This is the color that has to contrast with your primary color. They must fit well together.
Contrary to what many people believe, the background color is not there just to calm down viewers because too much of the primary color could be annoying.
But, your background color is there as it matches well with what you want to say. It’s there to highlight important information and make it easier for your target audience to understand what is relevant.
You can either decide to use a light or a dark background. Still, choosing the right background color matters as it will have to create harmony between your dominant and accent colors. And, at the same time, create a good atmosphere.
Important note: Light background vs. dark background.
Sometimes it is better to use a light background. This is because the aim of the background color is to make the rest of the content readable and more visible.
If what you want to do is to show you’ve got a powerful brand identity, you should use a dark background. Indeed, it would be great to use different shades of your brand color.
Wireframe your design
Wireframes show where things go in a design without giving too many details. They represent a general idea of what the final project intends to be.
Wireframing is great as it saves time and money. It’s an easy way to share ideas before the project is finished. It also gives you the chance to try different possibilities.
The main drawback of wireframes is that they can’t show how colors contrast content, nor do they show you the impact of brand design. Yet, they are useful to get an idea of how your design will look in terms of form or what goes where.
Play with some different color schemes
The same as you would’ve played with wireframes to check what looks better where you will need to play with some different color schemes once the rest is ready.
It is advisable to test how each color scheme works in different scenarios. For instance, imagine you want to create printed ads. Will this color scheme work well? You should also check how your audience perceives it. Does it have the effect you thought it would have?
If you have more than one option and test them, you can always go for the most effective one. But, if you decide on one without having tested any other, you would never know whether you could have selected a better choice.
Color palette generator tools
Not sure what color palette to use yet? Don’t worry! Every cloud has a silver lining. The websites below will significantly help you to identify which color palette would work best for you.
These are my top seven websites to decide on color schemes and succeed. They will help you analyze from color palette choices to text readability. So, they would make things a lot easier for you. Why don’t you click on them and see for yourself that they can work wonders?
Dos and Don’ts of Color Schemes
Do you find it difficult to come up with the right color combinations for your projects? No matter whether you’re trying to design your website color scheme, a graphic color scheme, or your logo color scheme, choosing colors is not a piece of cake. Deciding on your brand colors is not easy either.
There are so many aspects you have to consider to choose the best colors for a project. Here are some do’s and don’ts that will unquestionably help you with this task:
Do take your time and plan your color scheme in advance
If you do not want to waste your time and have to overdo a project several times, it’s key you plan certain aspects beforehand. You must know what’s what you want to achieve with your color scheme.
Not to mention that you need to decide on how many colors you want to use together with other aspects. So, it’s mandatory you create a list with the general guidelines of your plan. This won’t only save you time but also money.
Do not use boring colors
More often than not, and depending on the project, it is advisable to select colors that, one way or another, create contrast. If your color scheme is too boring, it won’t probably have the desired effect, neither will it catch people’s attention.
Do use brand colors in your color scheme
This one is obvious since you must use your brand colors consistently. However, many people overlook it, which is a mistake. Why should you be trying to discover new color schemes once and again if you know your brand colors work well and transmit the message you want to convey?
Do employ tints, tones and shades in your color scheme
Once you have decided on your color combination, it would be wise to experiment with tints, tones, and shades. There are occasions when just a simple variation can make a great difference.
Do not stay away from the color wheel
Learning about the color wheel is a must to find a compelling color scheme. Becoming familiar with color harmony will help you too. You shouldn’t make decisions at random but base them on facts.
Do use a color generator if necessary
Color generators can help you find the perfect color combination. They are good at identifying colors that look well together. So, if you run out of ideas, do not hesitate to check them!
Don’t use too many colors
Most of the time, it is advisable to keep color schemes simple unless you need to convey several meanings all at once. You can apply the 60-30-10 rule to ensure your color combination doesn’t get too complicated.
And that’s all for how to choose your color schemes. Now, you know what features you need to bear in mind to make the right decision.
But, you still need more as regards color schemes. In the next chapter, I’ll tell you how to apply your color schemes to your logo
What are logo color schemes?
Logo color schemes are the combinations of colors that brands use in their logos. They are critical these days. You mustn’t pick your logo colors just because you like them. You need to select your logo color/s based on your brand identity.
Each brand must have its own brand personality, as I told you before in this post. What’s more, each brand has its own brand story, and this not only needs to be unique, but it also needs to be represented by your logo.
Most people will judge your brand when they see your logo. They will make certain assumptions. Interestingly, color is the second thing our brains remember when they see a brand logo, just after shape. The last we see is written content since we need more time to process it.
It is for this reason that finding out the right color scheme for your brand is crucial. But how do you know which colors to choose?
Well, you have to bear in mind brand storytelling to select your logo color scheme. Brand storytelling refers to the fact that each brand wants to say something with their logo, and each brand has something to tell that is unique. That’s to say, their brand story.
So, you should think of your brand story and use it to decide on your logo color scheme. Some brands select only one color, while others use a bunch of them. This will vary from brand to brand.
Still, what’s unquestionable is that brand storytelling will help you convey your message, values, mission, and vision. And color has a significant role here. Do not hesitate to look at the color theory and how color affects your brand logo. Color combinations matter too.
Not surprisingly, the background of your logo is extremely important. You’ll probably first think of your logo’s icon, name, and tagline, and that’s fine. Still, none of these elements will create a lasting impression unless they stand out from the background.
It comes as no surprise that your background needs to contrast with the rest of your logo elements, or else your logo won’t be easily recognizable. This is a problem since the aim of any logo is to increase brand awareness.
Logos should be able to tell your brand story just with color, shape, and other logo elements. This is not at all easy. So, you must devote some time to your brand logo creation.
However, all this planning will be for nothing if people can not see your logo well enough on social networks, small devices, web pages, digital and printed ads, business cards, etc.
Thus, there is no doubt that logo backgrounds play an important role in logo design. Indeed, there are several backgrounds you can use for your logo. Let me outline the most relevant ones below:
A white background is the most common type of logo background. Yet, it’s got its pros and cons. On the one hand, white backgrounds work well because they provide a lot of contrast almost with any other color.
On the other hand, a white background won’t communicate anything extra since white is a neutral color. You could make use of your background to transmit something else about your brand or evoke any key emotion you want to convey.
A black background is great if what you want is to create a lot of contrast. You can use it with almost any logo color, as it happens with the white background. Though, the black background may well have a stronger emotional impression.
The downside of using a black logo background is that black will have to be present in most of your branding, such as on your website. And, you may not want to have such a strong color associated with your brand. It will depend on what message you want to convey.
A color background will highlight the values of the color you choose for the background of your logo. So, it might be a great choice if you’re pretty sure of what emotions you want to evoke.
Though, as it happens with the black background, you must ensure whatever color you pick for your background represents your brand the way you want it to be perceived.
A transparent background is easy to transfer, no matter the context. Still, some logos look better than others on a transparent logo background. Not to mention that a transparent logo doesn’t communicate anything because it is neutral.
A pattern logo background has the advantage of being able to tell a lot more than a more straightforward logo background. But, this is a double edge sword because such a strong logo background could be challenging to transfer to other contexts.
Anyway, I’d like to comment on some dos and don’ts to help you to design cool logo backgrounds:
- Do choose a background that gives you enough contrast.
- Do pick a background as simple as possible.
- Don’t go for a background that doesn’t align with your brand story.
- Do take your time to pick your logo’s background color.
- Do ensure all your logo elements are balanced.
- Do make sure your background provides readability.
- Don’t underestimate the power of logo backgrounds.
Best logo colors
You must consider so many things to come up with the best colors for your business logo. You must choose your logo color/s because they match your brand personality and are key to tell your brand story, not because they’re your favorite colors.
Yet, there are plenty of options- How do you know what color/s will work best for your brand? As I said before, you must define your brand identity and then choose a color or colors that convey the message you want to transmit.
Many people make their purchasing decisions based on color. If it’s not the only feature to bear in mind, it is a very important one. So, the color of your logo is something you must give thought to.
There are warm and cool colors. The former are believed to catch users’ attention easily. So, they’re ideal if you want to stand out. The latter are perfect for more formal businesses that seek loyal customers.
Depending on your industry and your business, you should go for one option or the other. Yet, there are other aspects you must take into consideration. You shouldn’t pick the same colors as your competitors. So make sure your logo color scheme differs from theirs.
Use logo color/s to your advantage. Since color can boost brand recognition, it’s vital you choose a memorable logo color scheme. Make sure that the outcome is not confusing. You can use color gradients to polish the color combination without overdoing it!
But, how many colors should there be in a logo? Well, it all depends on your brand. Generally speaking, it is advisable to keep it simple. Many brands go for just one logo color. Others choose two or three. And there are a few brands that select more colors to emphasize diversity.
But, the general advice is to use a maximum of three colors for your logo. Let me comment a bit on some color combinations you might find insightful for your logo color scheme!
Two-color combination examples
- Blue and yellow. This color combination incorporates the idea of being playful but also conveys trust.
- Orange and black. This combination of colors is perfect for businesses that have something to do with sports since it transmits lots of enthusiasm and excitement.
Three-color combination examples
- Blue, green, and yellow. This color combination is quite youthful.
- Red, yellow, and blue. This color scheme provides a lot of contrast.
I’ll talk about monochromatic color schemes in the next section. Keep on reading to discover which colors are best for your company logo!
Logo Color Schemes Inspiration
Your logo’s color can say a lot about your brand. But, it is not that easy to pick a color for your logo. There are so many things you have to consider. For example, color psychology, context, cultural differences, logo trends, and more.
Indeed, there’s no logo color that will no doubt guarantee the success of your brand. But, if you pick the wrong logo color, you’re lost. Besides, there are some strong associations between colors and how we perceive them.
It would be wise to try to use all of this to your advantage. Some brands will pick their logo color because it’s popular in their industry. But, others would try to stand out and make a difference.
To choose your logo color scheme, you need to think of what associations you want others to make with your brand.
Think of what colors best support your brand story, values, message, and more. Think about how your logo will look like on your website, business card, printed and digital ads, etc.
Let me comment on some logo color schemes that you might find useful for inspiration:
Color Combinations for your Logo
Creating your logo color scheme can be hard. It’s always great to have some inspiration from major brands. Here are some of the most well-known color combinations for brand logos, together with examples:
Red + Yellow
This color combination is perfect for drawing attention to your logo. It conveys the idea of having a lot of energy. And it also transmits playfulness.
There are well-known red + yellow brand logos such as McDonald’s, Lays, Kodak, Shell, etc.
Green + Blue
This color scheme evokes simplicity, harmony, and tranquility. It is an excellent option for the media and entertainment industries.
Examples of brands that use this combination of colors are Optinmonster, Crowd Shoes, Greenworks, etc.
Black + Red
This combination of colors is not only powerful but also energetic. It is unquestionably a strong color combination.
Examples of black + red logo color scheme are Target, YouTube, Mitsubishi, Kfc, Sonata, etc.
Yellow + Green
This color scheme is full of energy. Such a combination of logo colors is typical of brands related to agriculture and the environment.
Examples of brands that use these colors are Subway, Green Fair, BP, John Deer, etc.
Orange + Black
This is a strong combination since it conveys the idea of being professional and optimistic.
Examples of brands that use these colors in their logo are Harley Davidson, Empire, Amazon, Discover Network, Balck & Decker, etc.
Black + Gold
This is a very sophisticated color combination. It is modern too. And, it looks pretty well in almost any context.
Examples of brands that use this color scheme in their logos are Guinness, Lamborghini, Beautiful Treasures, Lumber Brothers Inc, North Cape Foundation, Varitea, GHD, etc.
Blue + Red
This logo color scheme is typical of brands related to food and drinks. It communicates the idea of being powerful and confident.
Examples of brands that use it in their logos are Danone, Kraft, Pepsi, Carrefour, Domino’s Pizza, Burger King, etc.
Pink + Orange
Such a logo color combination is not only vibrant but also modern. Many brands are starting to use pink together with other colors in their brand logos.
Examples of brands that have this color scheme are Dunkin’ Donuts, Crux, Foodpanda, etc.
Many brands decide to use a multicolor logo because they want to convey more than one message. It is also important to use a multicolored scheme if you want to include others. It’s key to diversity.
Examples of brands with a multicolor logo are Google, Visme, Brandwatch, Slack, eBay, ToysRus, Disney, Microsoft, Fruit of the Loom, etc.
These are just some examples of color combinations. As I said before, logo color schemes can be monochromatic, analogous, or complementary. There are logos of just one color. Other brands prefer to use two or three colors for their logos. Some even use more colors.
Monochromatic Color Schemes for your logo
Monochromatic color schemes are quite typical as regards logos. Some brands prefer to use variations of the same hue instead of picking up several contrasting colors.
Among its advantages, it’s worth mentioning that monochrome logos are characterized by a stronger association. So, they are great for brand recognition.
Let’s have a look at monochromatic color schemes for your brand logo:
Red is a color that attracts a lot of attention and evokes strong emotions such as excitement, passion, and anger. On top of that, it is believed to increase appetite and heart rate. Not to mention that it unquestionably creates a sense of urgency.
A red logo will convey the idea that your brand is powerful and full of energy. It is a great choice for restaurants, among others. Examples of brands with a red logo: Netflix, Lego, Kellogg’s, etc.
Yellow is a friendly color that is usually associated with happiness, energy, positivity, and optimism. It is a youthful color too. But it can cause eye strain unless you use the right shade.
A yellow logo can be used to grab others’ attention. Examples of brands with a yellow logo are Cheerios, Nikon, Hertz, Post-it, Denny’s, Forever 21, etc.
Purple is a color that tends to be identified as a wealthy, luxurious, sophisticated, and high-quality color. It is also associated with magic, mystery, fantasy, imagination, among many other things.
Thus, a purple logo is perfect for brands that sell beauty products, for instance. Examples of brands that have a purple logo are Curves, Hallmark, Wonka, Syfy, etc.
Orange is a color that represents energy, excitement, enthusiasm, and playfulness. It is a color that activates us since it is, no doubt, eye-catching. It is also an aggressive color. Still, it is used to make consumers take prompt action.
An orange logo is great for brands looking to appear friendly and playful. Some examples of brands with orange logos are Fanta, Timberland, Payless, Nickelodeon, Soundcloud, etc.
Blue is a color that’s popular among both men and women. What’s more, it evokes security, tranquility, loyalty, respectability, stability, and peacefulness. Thus, it is widely used by many companies.
Yet, it is not as attention-grabbing as other colors are. So, it not an excellent choice for restaurants. A blue logo transmits the idea of confidence and professionalism. That’s why many banks have a blue logo, such as the Bank of America.
Examples of brands with a blue logo are Facebook, Ford, Oral-B, Dell, American Express, Oreo, IBM, Lowe’s, Skype, Paypal, etc.
Green is the color of nature, health, tranquility, and freshness. It also evokes a feeling of relaxation. Not to mention that it is commonly associated with money.
A company with a green logo will convey the idea of being environmentally friendly, which is something many brands seek to do these days. Thus, green is popular among vegetarian brands.
Examples of brands with a green logo include Android, Whole Foods Market, Animal Planet, Tropicana, Spotify, Starbucks, etc.
Black is a serious and sophisticated color. It also conveys glamour, elegance, privacy, security, power, and strength. Some brands use it because it is associated with what’s exclusive, for instance, in luxury products.
Black logos are employed by well-established brands. Examples of brands with a black logo are Chanel, Gucci, Prada, BBC, ABC, The New York Times, Nike, Proofpoint, Scout Security, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, etc.
Gray is a classic, serious, and timeless color. It also communicates practicality and efficiency. Since it’s a neutral color, many brands use it for their logo background.
However, others prefer to use it for their logo, such as Apple, Nest, Bassett, Skeptic, etc.
And that’s all as regards logo color schemes. Now you know what they are, the importance of the logo background, and what logo colors mean. I hope this chapter has helped you to find some inspiration for your logo design.
It’s time we move on into website color schemes!
What are website color schemes?
Website color schemes refer to the combination of colors that you use on your site. It is common to use three main colors and their variations. If there is a color that you use in your logo or one that represents your brand, you should include it in your website color scheme.
Your website’s color scheme represents your brand. So, take the time to make the right decision. How others see you and what they think about you can be affected by the colors you choose. Remember that lots of buying decisions are influenced by colors alone.
You must be wondering then what the best colors for a website are? Well, you should try to use those colors that convert the most. Still, there are other factors to take into account. It is critical to do some research and bear in mind what emotions colors evoke before deciding on your website colors.
It is necessary to pay attention to your audience preferences too. And do not forget to check your competitors. You shouldn’t use the same website color scheme so as not to be confused with them.
It seems that your website colors matter a great deal. You have to choose primary, secondary, and accent colors as well as a background color and text colors. Besides, it’s fundamental you apply the 60-30-10 rule in your color combination.
That’s to say, 60% of your website space should be for your primary color and 30% for a color that has a contrasting effect (a secondary or tertiary color). The remaining 10% of the space is for your accent color to highlight essential information.
Choosing your website color scheme is not at all easy. That’s why you may need a bit of inspiration. So, what are the best color combinations for a website? There are loads of them; it will depend on your brand, industry, the message you want to convey, etc.
Some typical website color scheme combinations are: your primary color +white +gray, yellow + green + brown, green + blue, red +yellow +blue, etc.
Where to use your website color schemes?
Once you have done some research about your industry colors and your competitors, you would probably have decided on your magic website color scheme. Remember that your choice should be original and not a copy of what your competitors are doing.
You will probably have your selected colors by now. But where should you use them? And what percentage would work best? Remember the 60-30-10 rule I mentioned before. You shouldn’t use the same amount of each color as it would be more challenging to create contrast.
Regarding where to use them, your primary color should be used to draw users’ attention to extremely important content. Whereas your secondary colors need to be used for less critical details yet still relevant ones.
Primary color on your website
Primary colors are the ones that you can use to highlight important information. Your primary color will help you to call your viewers attention so you can guide them through your website.
You can use your primary color whenever there is something that you do not want your viewers to miss, such as an important CTA. Still, you shouldn’t use your primary color too much, or it would stop causing the effect it is supposed to. I mean, grab your audience’s attention.
- Title and headlines.
- Call to action.
- Highlight important information box.
Secondary/accent colors on your website
On the other hand, secondary or accent colors are more often used because you can employ them to highlight secondary information. For instance, you can use them to stress the relevance of support content like a testimonial or secondary CTAs.
- Subtitles and subheadings.
- Call to action.
- Highlight secondary information box.
Call-to-action button colors that convert
There are one thousand reasons why the color of your CTA button matters. Among many others because of lead generation and purchasing decisions. But what color should you choose for your CTAs?
Well, if you want your CTA buttons to generate more leads and influence purchasing decisions, your CTAs need to stand out from the rest of the Web page. A big contrast with the background is great.
But, if you manage to make it highlight, so it contrasts with everything else, you will no doubt increase its visibility. Thus, it will make a difference in your leads.
A very well-known way to create contrast on your CTAs is by choosing complementary or triadic colors. This way, you will make sure your CTA button differs from the rest.
Not surprisingly, you have to use brand colors on your CTAs or at least colors that your audience feels identified with. For instance, if you choose pink for a CTA button on a website whose audience is mainly men, it might not be very useful. So, it won’t generate many leads.
Another aspect you need to consider is to use colors consistently. That’s to say, try not to confuse your users. If you use the same color for CTAs and not clickable items, your CTAs will be unquestionably less productive.
Last but not least, choose a color that increases the visibility of your CTA. Do not use the same color for your CTA buttons and other items on your website.
If you add a sense of urgency to your CTAs, they will be significantly more effective. So, it’s worth trying. Remember that what works for some websites doesn’t have to work for all sites. So, A/B test until you find something that works for you.
Best and worst CTA colors
What colors are best and worst for CTA buttons is open to debate. Yet, most marketers agree on the fact that the best colors for your CTAs are the ones that undoubtedly contrast with the rest of your website colors.
I mean, which colors are best or worst varies depending on the website and the colors used on that site. For instance, if you have used green on your site’s background, green won’t be a good color for your CTA. Why? Because there wouldn’t be so much contrast.
Many researchers say that the best colors for CTA buttons are red, green, and orange. You might be thinking, but why these three? Well, it’s true they call users’ attention and will easily contrast with many other colors.
Red stands out on most websites. On top of that, red is a color that evokes excitement and creates urgency.
Green not only has a certain calming effect, but it is also associated with “go” in driving. Thus, it is also a good option.
Orange is a warm and exciting color. It’s also related to being energetic. So, it asks people to take prompt actions.
Regarding the worst colors for your CTAs, it is worth mentioning black, white, and brown. Any of these three colors is not a good option. Generally speaking, because they don’t easily stand out on the majority of websites.
Indeed, black is dark and gloomy, making it difficult to highlight it on most website backgrounds.
Likewise, white is too light. It is complicated that it catches the eye on most backgrounds. What’s more, as a CTA color, it’s terrible because white does not communicate many emotions, nor does it create a sense of urgency.
A lot of people do not like brown. Many think it is a boring and ugly color. So, it doesn’t motivate the average customer to go and click on CTAs.
To improve conversions from your CTA buttons, you will need to tell your website visitors the next logical steps. In other words, the more specific your CTA message is, the more conversions you will get with it.
Colors matter, but what you say matters too. So, you will need to find the perfect combination if you want your CTA buttons to be more effective and succeed.
How to choose CTA button colors for conversion?
As I mentioned above, colors have a powerful psychological influence on your decision-making processes. So choosing the right CTA button colors affects your conversion rates and user experience.
Check out these crucial tips on how to select your CTA button colors:
1. Use a contrasting color on your main CTA buttons to stand out in comparison with the background
No wonder you should choose a CTA color that sticks out from the rest of your Web page. You would also need to make it clear that your CTA button is clickable, or else it would be less powerful.
Think of your CTA buttons as what they are. They have to be somehow rectangular and with borders. They need to have a button shape to look clickable. And then, the more contrastive the effect they create, the more efficient they will be.
2. Match the color with your brand
It should come as no surprise so far that your CTA button color has to match your brand colors. If you happen to pick a CTA color that doesn’t go with your brand colors, your CTA won’t be that effective.
Or even worse, you can confuse your website visitors, and they wouldn’t understand your CTA as the next logical step. So, it will dramatically affect your CTR.
3. Strategically add white space
The importance of white space cannot be underestimated. The truth is that white space is relevant because it provokes a calming effect among website users.
Indeed, if you decide to include a white area around your CTA buttons, you will notice an increase in clicks.
If you use the right amount of white space on your site, this will influence the effectiveness of your CTAs. How? Because using white appropriately will make your CTA buttons more visible.
The more visible your CTAs are, the more productive they will be. White helps to make websites not only long-term trusted but also more successful.
Yet, where to use white and how much of it will depend on your website, its color scheme, and any other elements it might have. Though, the use of white no doubt increases your CTAs success. Don’t be afraid of using it!
4. Leverage secondary CTA buttons
Most websites only use one CTA button. Thus, if the site uses the right colors, its CTA button will stand out from the rest of the content. However, some Web pages need to use two CTAs as they have more things they want to highlight.
The problem is that in the second scenario with two CTAs, both of them can not be equally important. This would cause a lot of indecision, and many users won’t click as they would be unsure of what to do.
So, if you use several CTAs (don’t use more than two), one must be more prominent than the other. This way, most users will click the more visible CTA.
Another tactic that usually works well is to make the text of the secondary or muted CTA uncomfortable, such as “Yes, I want more X, please” (main CTA) vs. “No, I’ve got enough X” (muted CTA).
Most people never have enough of X if what you have to offer is reasonable. So, the obvious click would be the “Yes” option.
5. Don’t forget to consider CTA buttons size
Finally, it’s critical to consider your CTA button size. If your button is too small, it won’t be visible enough for your website users. Yet, if your button is too big, it will be annoying or the only thing your users would perceive on your website.
So, you should look for a big enough size compared to the rest of the elements on your website. But a button size that doesn’t disturb your website visitors.
On top of that, do not forget to optimize your website CTA buttons for both desktop and mobile users. Most people browse the internet through their mobiles nowadays, and button sizes differ.
For instance, buttons have to be big enough on a mobile device so that they can be clickable with a thumb.
The simpler and shorter your CTA message is, the better. Thus, you should always try to keep your CTAs simple. What’s more, actionable words make your CTAs more attractive and create this sense of urgency you need to make them more efficient.
Do not forget to use the first person on your CTAs. If you do so, you will notice they are more attractive to your audience and more personal. Thus, it boosts trust and creates excitement due to the ownership of the action they are just about to take.
Track and monitor user behavior with website color schemes
Once everything is ready and your website is already working, it is fundamental that you track and observe your audience’s behavior. Understanding your website visitors’ behavior is necessary to optimize your site.
But what is user behavior? Well, it means drawing your attention to your audience and try to get to know them better. You’ll have to center your attention on how they engage with your website.
You should know where they click and where they try to click, but there’s no link. Regarding your CTAs, check if they are effective, A/B test different options playing with colors and action verbs, etc.
You must understand your users’ behavior. And then, make any necessary changes to make their journey on your website more pleasant.
The importance of understanding user behavior on a website
There is no doubt that if you know how your website color schemes affect your users, you would be able to use this data to improve your website design. Thus, your conversions.
But where do you start? First, you should come up with those color schemes you know would please most of your audience and match your brand identity. And then, you just have to be patient and observe.
Whenever you notice something could be improved, don’t be afraid to change it if it matches your users’ preferences.
Indeed, you can use tools like Lucky Orange, which would make your life a lot easier. It offers features like visitor recordings, heatmaps, chat, visitor polls, dashboards, etc., for quite a reasonable price.
Besides, Google Analytics can also help you with this task, and it’s free. With this tool, you will be able to check metrics like active users, cohorts, events, custom dimensions, and more.
Whether you decide to use one or the other, what is critical is that you keep an eye on what’s happening and take your users’ behavior into consideration. That way, you will not only be able to optimize your website color schemes but also succeed and get more leads.
Session recording is a resource that marketers use to record their website visitors’ sessions. The information you might get from session recordings is extremely valuable. It can show you if your visitors are having any issues while they browse your website.
This feature gives you data regarding when your users scroll, click on your CTAs, engage with your website elements, and more. For example, if your users do not interact with your CTAs, you can try changing the color, the message, or the size and check if it’s more effective.
Anyway, session recordings will help you to improve your UX and prevent visitors from abandoning your site. You can also use it to analyze conversion rates and many other aspects.
Session recordings can provide you a lot of data that you can later analyze and use for your own benefit. It’s no doubt time-consuming, though it’s worth the effort.
Likewise, heatmaps are highly valuable to understand user behavior. A heatmap uses color-coding to show how visitors interact with your website. It takes into account clicks, how far your users have scrolled down, and more.
Among its benefits, it’s worth mentioning that heatmaps not only provide a user behavior analysis that is easy to understand but they are also more visual than other reports. Thus, they are widely used because of their easy understanding.
Yet, if you do not want them to be misleading, you will have to wait until there is enough data to interpret. They do not take into account how much time people spend on a single action but just where they click. So, the information they provide is approximate. Though, still very useful to understand users’ behavior.
Conversion rate optimization with user behavior
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the procedure by which you improve your website according to your website users’ behavior. It’s an optimization process. So, you must carry it out.
Indeed, such a CRO process will no doubt be beneficial only for you but also for your audience. It consists of improving your website according to its users’ behavior. Then, your users and your audience will have a better journey.
What you should do is optimize your homepage and landing pages. It is also important to pay attention to your CTAs, the navigation of your website, its forms, and your site’s loading time.
If you improve your website according to how your users interact with it, you will improve your ROI and enhance UX. This means that if you personalize your site according to your users’ preferences, there would be more chances they return. And also, more conversions.
The following are key features to optimize for website color schemes:
A/B test of your CTA button colors
If you want to know which colors work best on your CTA buttons, there’s no other option than run an A/B test to check their effect on your audience. The color of your CTAs would create different effects on people due to your site’s background color and the color of other elements.
But, it’s worth testing which CTA colors have a more convincing effect on your audience. Bear in mind the message you write on your CTAs matters too. If you A/B test the effectiveness of your CTA button, you will have to change one color for another. And then, use the one that gets more CTR.
A/B test of your CTA button sizes
Likewise, you can also experiment with the sizes of your CTAs. What size would work best? As well as with the color, this will depend on the rest of the elements you have. If the rest of the elements are not very big, you might consider using a bigger CTA so that it is more visible.
But, if there are already too many elements of considerable size in your site, it may not be that effective if you change the size of your CTA. What’s critical of a CTA is that it contrasts with the rest of the elements.
You will have to be careful with the size of your CTAs as they have to be optimized both for mobile and desktop users, or else your conversions would be dramatically affected.
A/B test of your imagery
Images are essential on a website. Most people remember images a lot better than text. So, you will have to choose them wisely. Do not forget that with your website images, you are also sending a message to your audience.
Thus, they will judge you by the idea you communicate to them. Images can be tricky to optimize. There are lots of elements you have to consider. For example, you have to combine your website color schemes with your images’ colors or vice versa.
The image’s size, quality, how many of them, etc., are aspects you have to pay attention to. Consequently, A/B testing with your images is far more complex than with CTAs.
Yet, it is necessary. Though, remember not to change everything at once. It is better to introduce small changes according to your audience’s preferences and see how it goes.
A/B test of your links to the place people are clicking
You must check if your existing links work properly and direct people to where you want them to go. Besides, you should know if people are clicking on places where there is no link, yet they believe there is.
What does this tell you? That your website visitors consider that you should introduce a link there. If that is your case, you need to listen to them and create an appropriate link there.
The same is true for those links that your audience is not using. If your website visitors are not paying attention to your links, it’s because they are not necessary where you have placed them. Or maybe, your links are not visible enough or of the right color.
So, you will need to watch out for how people interact with your links. And then, A/B test to introduce the necessary changes. This way, your website will undoubtedly have more clicks.
How to improve user experience with website color schemes?
Website user experience refers to how your website visitors feel while they’re browsing your site. Thus, you must pay attention to it. The idea is that the better your users’ experience is, the more time they will spend on your website.
Moreover, if you don’t convince your audience from the very beginning, they won’t revisit your site. Or even worse, they would abandon it without interacting with you. So, you must make their experience as pleasant as possible.
If your UX is good enough, they will probably download a file, subscribe to your newsletter, buy a product, make a phone call, click on your CTAs, etc. Though, if your site doesn’t offer a great UX, you will lose prospects, clients, money, etc.
If you want your website visitors to interact with your site, you must offer them something valuable. It is fundamental that you provide them high-quality content, cleverly placed CTAs, appealing and relevant images, etc.
There are many things you should focus on to provide better user experience:
Make sure there is consistency on your colors usage
There has to be consistency in the colors you use. Mainly because if there is no regularity as regards how you use colors, you will confuse users.
So, if you do not want them to feel lost or send them the wrong message, you must use website colors consistently.
You must use the same colors for the same features because they need to evoke the same emotions. If you always use red for your headings and black for your subheadings, you should keep on doing it that way.
Say you decide to use black for your headings and red for your subheadings; you will undoubtedly confuse your website users as they are used to seeing it the other way round.
Besides, the emotions red evokes differ from those that black evokes. So, if you change one for the other, your audience will feel differently when they engage with your website.
Use white space; it’s your best ally
It is strongly advisable, if not a must, to use white on your website. Even though white doesn’t stimulate prompt reactions, it does combine really well with most colors. White, when mixed with other colors, makes the second one more visible.
Indeed, white color does not only highlight other colors, but it also makes your web page’s text more legible. That’s to say, if your background is white and your text is any other color, except maybe yellow, your text color will be easy to read.
As white gives the impression that there is a lot of empty space, if you place something on a white background, it will help users to focus their attention on the content. So, there is no doubt that white is a powerful ally.
Most marketers also use it to make their CTAs more visible. Whatever the color of your CTAs, they will probably contrast quite a lot with white.
Check your website’s readability
Readability is essential. You need to check your content’s readability and make sure it is easy to read and understand. But you should also check the readability of your colors. Some colors are easier to read over one another.
In theory, the more contrast, the better. Yet, check that it is not annoying to the eye. There are color contrast analyzer tools that you can use to check your website’s readability.
Don’t be afraid to make your links and text color stand out from the background. This way, you will tell your users that they are key content, and you want to emphasize them.
Be careful with the colors of your hyperlinks
You must make consistent use as regards the colors of your hyperlinks. The colors you use have to be appropriate. For instance, blue underlined text is generally associated with hyperlinks.
So, if you happen to use blue as your text color, but this text is not clickable, your users will no doubt feel frustrated as they will try to click something that is not clickable.
The same is true for red. This color is believed to communicate a warning. The majority of people associate it with that. So, there is no sense you use it to communicate something pleasant that nothing has to do with alerts, alarms, caution, etc.
Besides, people expect you to change the colors of visited links. Imagine that you have several links; your visitors would appreciate knowing which ones they have already clicked.
You need to change the colors of your CTAs due to hovering UI. If your website users have the intention to click on a button, you should make it visible. It doesn’t matter whether you make it darker or lighter. What is needed is that it shows contrast.
There are more and more people who surf the internet through their mobiles. So, be careful with your website’s mobile design. It’s pivotal that you make your hyperlinks clickable on all devices.
Highlight your call-to-action button
Your main and most important CTA button must stand out above the fold. Given that your conversions depend on it, you have to give it the relevance it deserves.
As to your secondary CTA, it has to be visible too. Yet, the main CTA should be brighter and more prominent. Usually of a different color.
There is no doubt that your main CTA has to be visible and contrast with the rest of your Web page. So, it’s a great idea to surround it with white. White is a color that offers a high contrast in comparison with the rest of the colors. So, it is just perfect for making your main CTA more powerful.
Not surprisingly, there needs to be a hierarchy. If you have more than one CTA on your website, both of them cannot be equally important. If you do so, they will compete against each other. And you will lose customers.
So, you must make one not only more relevant but also more appealing than the other. This way, most of the clicks will go to your main CTA.
Personal Website Examples and Color Palettes
Personal websites are those that individuals such as lawyers, architects, programmers, writers, etc., use to showcase their work. Some individuals or families also have a personal website to share their life experiences.
These days, a lot of people also use personal websites to show their qualifications, job history, skills, and experience. Many are the ones who include a resume on their personal websites to add some credibility.
Besides, personal websites tend to be created by the owner of the website. So, they are not very complex in general. And, the content and design of these sites can change more frequently than on business websites.
As regards examples of personal websites, you can have a look at this link Personal Websites. There, you will easily notice that personal websites use very varied color palettes. Some people employ saturated colors on their personal websites, while others prefer to use the rest.
Likewise, neutral colors, that’s to say, black, white, and gray, are quite popular among personal websites. It all depends on what you want to communicate with your website. Remember to bear in mind color psychology and the feelings that colors evoke to select your website’s color scheme.
Here is a list of well-designed personal websites:
As you can see in the image above, Danilo De Marco’s website uses the color neon green and a palette of grays that is key to highlight the importance of green and its symbolic meaning.
This site is a wonderful example of personal websites since neon green color and its typography undoubtedly call Danilo De Marco’s audience attention.
As soon as you scroll through the site, you’ll see his projects. I mean, there’s a green area, and just afterward, there are images of his previous work.
This site uses black to highlight Alex’s portfolio. As you can appreciate from the image, this website employs several degraded colors to attract attention.
What’s more, the saturated blue color is also used, but only on small elements so that it isn’t annoying to the eye, but it draws attention.
Vladimir Gruev’s website makes use of a square color scheme. On this site, all the colors are desaturated but for blue. What’s more, desaturated colors are the ones used in big areas.
Indeed, the predominant color of this website is desaturated pink. Black and pink function as helping colors for the rest of the colors on this site.
It’s worth mentioning that color plays a significant role here on this website since there are almost no white spaces.
This last example of personal websites portrays an analogous color palette. Red is the dominant color, though it is not used in big areas. Thus, it’s not so striking, and it’s not annoying to the eye either.
The background of this site uses a desaturated orange, which is more pleasing for a bigger area. And, black is only used to make small details stand out from the background.
Business Website Examples and Color Palettes
Business websites are those that enterprises and organizations use to advertise their products and services online. Nowadays, people can purchase or hire services directly from business sites. You can even download brochures and other stuff.
Not surprisingly, business websites are more often than not developed by professional developers and web designers. So. it takes more time to create a business website.
What’s more, these sites don’t tend to have frequent changes regarding content and design due to consistency. As you know, consistency is key to brand awareness.
You can find examples of this type of website in the following link Business Websites. I hope they serve you as inspiration. Businesses take more time to decide on their color scheme. Many people use colors that are generally associated with their industry.
For instance, most eco-friendly brands use green in their website color scheme. However, those in finance tend to use blue. At the same time, red is more common for retail. Business websites must pick a color scheme that helps them keep their audience engaged.
Yet, not all business websites include colors in their website color scheme just because these are commonly associated with their industry. It all depends on what message you want to send to your audience. There’s a huge variety of business website color schemes.
Here is a list of well-designed business websites:
Ferrumpipe’s website employs a palette of complementary colors (green-orange) together with monochromatic ones (green).
Besides, it’s worth pointing out that this site makes great use of white as all its elements have enough space. The dominant color is dark corporate green.
Oracle’s site employs a split complementary color palette. What’s more, it uses colors that remind you of nature and the earth, together with organic forms to illustrate this tendency.
It is a well-chosen color palette for brands whose objective is to become associated with nature, ecology, and human beings.
NBC’s website employs a monochromatic color palette. In fact, it only uses a palette formed by a grayscale. Two of the grays are cool since they have blue, whereas the other two contain black.
It’s a great color choice considering that the brand uses many and diverse colors. It helps their audience to focus on the images of their shows. The black background refers to the cinema as it happens with other platforms like Netflix or HBO.
Samsung’s site uses a monochromatic color palette. They only use corporate black and a few details that are highlighted in gray.
As you can see from the image above, this website emphasizes photographs, and there’s a lot of white space.
This website employs both red and black to provoke a dramatic effect as soon as you arrive on their web. The typography is big and in capital letters, which makes the message more convincing.
Although red plays a significant role and occupies a lot of space, it changes to black and then white alternatively as soon as you scroll.
It seems they want to transmit a clear and strong message, so they make use of color together with the big topography to help them. No doubt they differentiate themselves from their competitors.
And that’s all for website color schemes. Now, you know how to pick your website’s color scheme. In the next chapter, I’ll talk about what a color scheme generator is, and I’ll list some examples. Have a look at them!
What is a color scheme generator?
Color scheme generators are tools or web apps that generate color schemes for you. Many web designers use them since it saves them a lot of time. That’s to say, a color scheme generator helps you to find the perfect combination of colors for your project, website, app, etc.
No matter what you’re trying to design, having the right color schemes is critical. So, do not hesitate to take advantage of the tools I’m just about to comment on below.
List of color scheme generators
Color scheme generators are vital to create new color schemes. Don’t be afraid of using them if necessary. They will no doubt help you to generate amazing color schemes that work well together.
Here is a list of some outstanding color scheme generators you must try:
Coolors is a free web-based app, though you can also find it as an IOS app or use it in Adobe Add-on. It allows you to do so many things. You can polish your colors, change their order, generate alternatives, move and drop colors, and copy the HEX codes with one click.
Coolors is one of my favorites since it’s intuitive and relatively easy to use. Not to mention that it allows you to upload images to generate a color palette based on their colors. Thus, it not only works as an inspiration, but it can also save you a lot of time.
Were you interested in trying this app, click on the following link: https://coolors.co/
Khroma is a tool that provides you with your best colors based on a questionnaire you have to fill in as soon as you arrive on their page. It will ask you about your color preferences and present you with suitable color palettes.
You can not only discover color palettes thanks to AI, but it also allows you to save them. What are you waiting for to get started?
Adobe Color CC
Adobe Color CC was formerly known as Adobe Kuler, but later it got renamed. It is a fantastic tool that it’s free too. It allows you to create color palettes either from your photos or from scratch.
You can generate several color schemes with its spin color wheel. And you can save them directly. If you’re looking for inspiration, you can click on “explore” and have a look at palettes created by other users.
Paletton is a great tool that has been available as a color scheme generator for years. It is quite simple to use, even for newbies. You just have to provide a base color, and the app will find perfect color schemes for you.
Besides, it also allows you to carry out some variations, such as varying contrast. It is a reliable color scheme generator, so give it a try.
Lastly, ColorMind is a fantastic tool that helps you to create color palettes from your uploaded photos, paintings, and other forms of art. You can either choose a color, and it’ll help you generate a color palette from it, or you can create your own color palettes from scratch.
Whatever the option you choose, there is no doubt that this tool is a great ally to come up with original color combinations.
And that’s all for color scheme generators. I hope you’ve found them useful. Do not hesitate to try them if you need help to create your color palettes.
Color Schemes shouldn’t be chosen randomly, but what you must do is take your time to pick them. Careful planning, research, and a bit of spying on your competitors are vital to make the right choice.
Do not forget about the relevance of the color theory and the emotions colors and their combinations provoke on us. Not to mention the impact that colors have on purchasing decisions.
Now I would like to hear from you …
What color scheme are you going to use for your design?
Which strategy are you going to put into practice first?
Is there anything I didn’t mention?
Have you got any questions?
Leave a comment to let us know what you think!