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April 9, 2018

How to Pick & Use the Best Color Schemes for Websites in 2018

Choosing the best website color schemes.

And Why It Matters

When was the last time you let yourself get lost in the aesthetics of your brand? Chances are, it wasn’t recently. As a brand you’re focused on the business of doing business, and juggling everything from staffing and payroll, to client acquisition and marketing. Your design choices, though, effect sales and profits more than you might expect. Set a goal to research website color schemes and consider a refresh for 2018 if your design is more 2013 than 2018.

Why Website Color Schemes Matter

If you’ve ever found yourself drawn to a product while walking around a store with your carefully planned list in hand, there’s a good chance the color of the item had something to do with it. 93% of shoppers place visual appeal above sound, smell and texture when buying a product. 85% of shoppers name color as the primary reason why they buy a particular product (Flometrics).

Those two stats should have everyone taking the deep dive into color psychology but, for whatever reason, it doesn’t. Lucky for you we’ve taken the dive and are here to share some basic tenets of color psychology to help you rethink whether your branding is speaking to the right people.

How To Pick The Right Colors

Whether you’re going after a gender or customers across demographics seeking a product they can trust, understanding a few color basics is the right place to start when thinking about a color redux.

Gender Makes a Difference

If you’re targeting women: first and foremost, stay away from pink. Women don’t like pink as much as we like to attribute it as their favorite color. They also don’t like orange, gray and brown. Women like blue, green and purple.

Interestingly, men also gravitate toward blue and green but dislike purple. Additionally, men also dislike orange and brown.

You’ll entice a broader demographic, and alienate no one, by using blue and green on your website. If you’re aimed at women, add some purple – but not if you’re unisex. Focusing on men? Throw in some black.

Unlock the Rainbow

Since babyhood we’ve associated colors with certain things both knowingly and unknowingly. Use this knowledge to express what matters to potential customers on the surface and subconsciously. Certain personality types are attracted to specific colors – keep this in mind when thinking about your website colors and more.Certain colors remind us of different things.


Red signifies urgency and danger. But it’s also the color of passion and importance. Ever feel more confident when wearing a bright red shirt or sweater? Yeah, us too. It stimulates the appetite which is why you’ll see it on so many menus.The color red garners attention.

On a subconscious level, red reaches out to impulsive buyers. Keep that in mind if you sell in a brick and mortar shop. Focused solely on eCommerce? When suggesting additional products during checkout make sure to include a red element like a banner or tag.

Orange You Glad We Didn’t Say Banana?

Because men and women both don’t like orange, we’re not going to get to deeply into it except to say that there are times when orange works: fall themed packaging, graphics and online sales can incorporate the heralding color of autumn. Impulse shoppers also like orange, so experiment with using it for suggestions, sales and “can’t miss” items.

Top Banana

Yellow isn’t much more popular than orange but it does serve a purpose. First – it will always draw the eye because warnings are usually signaled by a black icon on a yellow background. Yellow is eye-catching.

Use yellow for buttons (you’ll now notice them on nearly every major brand’s checkout button, including third party payment standby PayPal).

Yellow causes eye strain more quickly than other colors so use it sparingly and to attract attention.

Grow Your Brand With Green In Your Website Color Scheme

Where yellow causes eye strain, green is the least straining on the eyes. It’s also the second most loved color of both men and women. Add to that what it communicates and green becomes a great choice.

Green is calming, signifies health and is popular with people looking to live a simpler life – which is hugely popular right now.

True Blue

The most preferred color of men and women, blue is tranquil and inspires feelings of trust. It’s also easy for everyone to see – even those with several forms of color blindness. Blue is a calming color for many people.

I’ve got a Blank Space, Baby…

The clean aesthetic of a blank page is never a bad idea. Think of the symbolism: a clean slate, a blank page. Google has captured the simplicity of this by using a multi-colored logo but sticking to white on all of their major pages. Consider this aesthetic, especially if your logo is more colorful. White also makes your content the focus, especially important for visual brands.

How To Put Together Website Color Schemes

Once you’ve figured out the colors that communicate your brand the next step is deciding on a color scheme.  2018 has shown a few trends, namely more saturation and brightness. Where people have shied from color before they are now embracing it, but gently.

Top Tips for Designing Your Site’s Scheme

Here’s what you need to know when you’re ready to change the look and feel of your page.

  • Start with the major color that reflects your brand. This may be red, it worked for Coca-Cola, after all. If you’re not sure, consider blue and green – you know now that these are visually appealing to men and women. Only focused on women? Purple is a great main color.
  • Decide on the shade, saturation and brightness of that color. Once you pick a major color, look at different iterations of it (going to a local paint shop and examining chips is a great way to get inspired!).
  • Pick one or two secondary colors. The best color schemes have two or three colors in them. More than that can get visually cluttered and confusing.
  • Think about accent colors. For text or icons that point things out consider going with a contrasting color that will pop visually. But don’t think that just because red signals the eye you have to go with fire engine red. A softer, dustier, more vintage-inspired red can do the color just as well. Consider a color scheme with two or three colors.

For more inspiration have a look at these ideas from the Hook Agency. The sky’s the limit once you pick your main color but these will help you visualize how to mix and match colors for the most effect.

Let us Show you the Best Color Schemes for Websites

Contact Digital Firefly Marketing today for a free design audit and to start your journey into how color can create conversions thanks to psychology.

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