Colour Me In: The Importance Of Colours In Web Design

These days, I see countless websites with disorganised colour schemes or disorientating colours, which can leave the user confused as to what message the brand is trying to convey. So, just how important is your colour scheme in modern website design?

When designing a website, one of my first starting points is to analyse the colour scheme in relation to the brand. What kind of message is the brand aiming to put across, and how do I want the user to feel when looking at the website? These are all incredibly important aspects to consider.

Colours: A Psychology

Colours serve a much greater purpose than to just to make your website look pretty. Did you know that your choice of colours has a subconscious psychological effect on whoever is looking at them?

For example, ‘cool’ colours are ideal for creative businesses, as they inspire stimulation and provoke a feeling of calmness or serenity. Think about what colours you might choose for your bedroom at home – light purple, teal or pastel blue would be ideal for a calming, peaceful environment.

Similarly, green and blue hues are said to provoke a restful environment, and there is a scientific reason for this too – because green focuses the eye focuses the colour green directly onto the retina, it is therefore less strenuous on the eye muscles.


Conversely, ‘warm’ colours should be used when trying to convey a more direct message. There is a theory that yellow and orange hues are associated with food, which why a lot of famous fast food brands favour brighter yellows and reds.

However, one should use yellows and oranges with caution. These colours tend to reflect more light, which can over stimulate the eye and lead to irritation.

How Many Colours Should I Use In My Colour Scheme?

Generally speaking, I would advise using no more than three colours in your colour scheme. Your primary colour should be the main colour that your eyes are drawn to, perhaps colouring your main elements such as the header, footer, or larger icons.

Secondary colours should be chosen to carefully compliment the primary, and should be used more sparingly, for links, buttons, and other smaller elements. Be careful not to use too many colours, as this may over stimulate the user.

Tip: Memorise Your Hex Codes

After you have chosen the colour scheme of your website, my advice would be to note down your hex codes and memorise them. It is incredibly important to maintain the exact same hue throughout your website to create an air of continuity. Having several different shades of the same colour throughout your website can be as disorientating as having completely different colours altogether!


So next time you start building a website, make sure to keep your colours consistent, and research what impact your colours might have on the user and whether they fall in line with the overall concept of the brand. Follow these simple rules and you’ll be on your way to a colourful future!

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