There are a lot of details that you need to consider when designing a website. From backend architecture and hosting to layout and content, the list is endless. Choosing the right color palette that will convey your message clearly and effectively is just one of the many things on that list but all too often, it can become an afterthought especially when you’re using a website builder that takes care of practically everything for you. So many website owners fall into the trap of choosing the default website color palettes provided by their website editor, or worse, using a random color palette generator, without thinking how it ties up to their own branding. The end-result: an incoherent web design that doesn’t connect resonate well with their users.
If you’re in the process of building a brand - be it a personal one or for a business venture, the choice of color scheme is a crucial component that you must not ignore. A brand color palette is not just for aesthetics but also for eliciting the right kind of emotions and responses towards your product, service or content. Color palettes for websites can help drive home your message and encourage audience engagement. People respond well to visual cues and colors and graphics are usually the first things they notice when they land on a website.
How to Choose a Color Palette for Your Website
This is where a good knowledge of your target market becomes very important. Understanding your audience, its personality and the emotions that your product invokes will help you choose the right color scheme for your site.
Colors appeal to different emotions. Red evokes strong emotions and passions so it’s widely used in politics. It is also known to stimulate the appetite so you will notice many large food brands using red as their primary color. Yellow, on the other hand, represents youth and optimism but it is known to agitate babies. Orange is for enthusiasm and excitement so you will most likely see it on call to action buttons and to target impulse buyers.
As a rule of thumb, you want to stick to a color palette composed of up to three colors for your website. Most websites even limit their choices to two and you want to make sure that the colors you choose do not clash with each other.
Best Website Color Schemes in 2020
While you can always rely on a website color palette generator to help you mix and match colors for your site, we recommend that you look through other websites particularly in your industry and learn from their designs. Here are some of the best color schemes we found in Strikingly’s more than 3 million-strong community of movers and shakers.
1. Soft tones
Soft tones are a continuing trend in 2020. SMUK Interior Design chose classy and elegant shades to elevate the important portions of their website. A wealth of white space adds to the minimalist appeal and lets the page breathe. The website is appealing in its simplicity, letting the images become the focal point of the page.
2. Strong and bright colors
On the other hand, bold, in-your-face color schemes are also having their time in the web design world this year. We see the use of bright block colors on websites combined with magnetic headlines to grab the user’s attention. Founder Mastermind aims to entice its audience with a by-invitation only event and a direct call to action to ask for an invite. The messaging is simple and the choice of yellow background aims to get a reader to respond urgently.
3. Pop of color on shades of grey or off-white
Following up on the simple color palettes for websites, you don’t need rainbow colors on your page to drive a message across. But if you find greys and whites too simple for your taste, how about adding a pop of color? Just F*ing Demo! did just that on its website, choosing to add red to emphasize certain parts of its content and to tie up the website’s design with the book it is trying to promote.
4. Sweet and fun
Pastels and sweet colors are also making their way to website color palettes this year. OOO Graphic Design shows that you don’t have to run a candy store or a dessert place to use pastels on your site. Their choice of color palette screams youthfulness and creativity - something that you want to see in a creative design brand.
5. Retro pop
In 2020, we continue our journey to the past through retro color palettes reminiscent of the 70s and 60s. Poppy’s website brings the past to the present with a retro vintage turquoise background with a pop of red text. The message is very brief and straight to the point - subscribe to her newsletter so you don’t miss out on the coolest happenings around New York.
While we are an advocate of using up to two colors in your website color palette, we also see nothing wrong with testing the boundaries and using all the colors of the rainbow - as long as the visual doesn’t end up being too confusing to your reader. Inside Hockey’s colorful filter on its banner image is a good example of how you can use rainbow colors to your advantage. The website used more subdued grays and blacks all over the site to bring focus to the hero image.
7. Earthy and minimalist
One of the challenges of minimalist design is that the line between boring and simply chic is quite thin. You have to take care not to make your website look pale and too simple that it is bordering on uninteresting. Fodi is one of those websites that was able to use earthy textures and tones in a way that makes the entire page easy on the eyes.
8. Bright and fruity
If you’re in the food business, it’s important to use a color palette that is a treat to the eyes and will whet the palette. Naked’s fruity and vibrant color scheme makes you want to take a bite at their selection of fruit pops. The jewel tones complement their flavor selections well. The website also uses white space strategically to break what can potentially become a confusing visual because of the many colors used all over the page.
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