Why colours are so important in web design

Colour theory is a well-researched and publicised concept that covers a number of definitions and applications. A colour wheel, colour harmony and how colours are used, are talked about and dissected in a number of professions; and now that having a well-designed website is an absolute must for a business in 2016, it's a concept being discussed during the web design process, too.

When company logos, brands and adverts are designed, colour plays a major role; but it's curious that sometimes in web design colour is put on the back burner. Colour evokes specific emotions, which is why it is given so much consideration during initial design planning. But with so many businesses present online nowadays, colour can't be thought of solely in terms of how it appears on a company newsletter or business cards, for example – it also needs to translate well on screen. A vibrant green may be eye-catching in print but online it can cause eye-strain and discomfort, for example.

Different colours are associated with different brands, too. Pinterest, for example, uses a bold red logo that catches attention; Amazon, on the other hand, is widely associated with orange. Facebook uses blue and Groupon utilises green.

So why do these sites use these colours?

Red – the colour of passion, fire, energy and power. It is highly reflective of the creative nature of Pinterest and the passion of its users.

Orange – optimism, determination, uniqueness and friendliness. This colour helps Amazon appear reliable, which is handy for a delivery company.

Blue – calm, safety, reliability and royalty. For Facebook, the blue shade calms users and lets them feel safe sharing their personal information and details about their life.

Green – growth, health, money and nature. The monetary associations with the colour green work well with Groupon's service as a global e-commerce marketplace.

When it comes to picking a colour for a business logo, the right research needs to be conducted beforehand into the emotions and reactions certain colours will evoke and how that relates to the company and customers.

Ultimately the colours chosen need to be complementary to the business but also, if multiple colours are used, to each other (clashing colours can be incredibly off-putting to customers) – but this doesn't mean they need to all be from the same colour family. There is a difference between contrasting colours and clashing ones. Vibrancy also plays a key role particularly in the online space; different devices will have different capabilities in terms of display so always ensure the colours chosen are strong enough to have the desired impact.

Hiring a professional with an understanding of design theory and experience in website design can help improve a company site instantly. For more information on how Digital Trip can help, get in touch today.