For web designers, adopting the best practices for any project and impressing clients with an excellent web presence is the main responsibility. And picking the right color for the site is a crucial part of this duty. So today, we’ll be putting together a comprehensive guide for web designers looking to dabble with Color Theory.

If you’re working with a client who already has an associated brand color palette, your color choices for your web designing project will mostly be limited to that particular palette. However, once you pick up a project with a blank slate in terms of a brand palette, you are free to make your own choice regarding what you want to use as the color scheme for your client’s website. There are several small details you must try to highlight when given this level of freedom. That is, try to associate the key attributes and values of your client’s company and represent it in the color palette of their brand and website.

Color Psychology – How you can control your user’s moods with the right color palettes:

Different colors affect people differently depending on the culture they hail from; therefore, the target audience matters greatly when it comes to choosing the right color palette. To ensure that you cater to the color psychology of your client’s audience, have a thorough discussion about their culture, place of origin and comb through their color psychology sources.

The most common color interpretations are listed below:

  • Red: Danger, Anger. Red evokes feelings of high tension or danger, often causing the viewer’s heart rate to rise. Bombarding your page with huge amounts of red could discomfort the visitor. Therefore, use it sparingly and only in use-cases where you want to draw in exclusive attention or warn the user.
  • Orange: Highlight, Vitality. Use this color to add highlights and dimension to elements on the page you want to pop. When used right, orange serves as the right accent color.
  • Yellow: Warning, Happiness. Depending on the context, yellow exudes happiness, but with specific semiotics, a sense of caution is exhibited. Being a bright color, use it sparingly to not overwhelm the user.
  • Blue: Sad, Calm. Overuse of blue can make a depressing experience for your users if they spend a lot of time reading on your site. Therefore, use blue sparingly or use brighter shades of it, to accentuate or highlight content.
  • Green: Nature, Luck. Green gives a natural vibe to the page.
  • Black: Power, Elegance. Mostly used for text and highlighting important content.
  • White: Clean, Pure. Works great for backdrops and does not draw attention away from the content.

Different shades of these colors have different effects on the mood of the user as well, for example, a much darker shade of red can imbue a sense of class and luxury into the user.


Color Terminology:

To work with color, you should be familiar with altering its properties and understanding what makes a color different from another.

  • Hue: This is the color
  • Saturation: Reflects on the purity of the color. Color is most pure when it has low amounts of gray and is highly saturated when it has high amounts of gray.
  • Value: Refers to how bright or dark a color is perceived.
  • Tone: When you add gray to a color, or in other words, desaturate it.
  • Shade: When you add black to a color, that is, lower its value.
  • Tint: When you add white to color, that is, increase its value.

Creating a color palette for your client:

After defining the core values of the company, you are about to design a web page for, you have to adopt color psychology and then design the colors, using the hue saturation and values effectively to get the right shade. Once you have chosen the primary color of your palette, the next step is to choose the rest of the accompanying colors. To do this, you can use a very useful tool, that is, the color wheel, to create excellent color combinations.

The four main types are:

  1. Complementary: Complementary colors are those which are on opposite ends of the color wheel. By adding tint or shade, you can create new colors and find a complementary color scheme for your palette.
  2. Analogous: For causal brands, this works well. Here, the colors are vivid and are right next to each in the color wheel.
  3. Monochrome: In the monochrome palette, different shades of a single color are used. Therefore, with the previously selected main color, produce different shades of that color, and use that palette throughout the website. Although it is difficult to execute, the results are elegant and pleasant to look at.
  4. Triadic: These color schemes consist of colors that are equidistant from each other. Often used in artistic palettes, they are not good fits for digital web designs.

Ensure that your palette contains contrasting colors. This is important when you want to display a pack of information, and without contrasting colors to support the visual content, you will be making it a poor experience for the user.

Consistency is key:

The most helpful aspect of setting a color palette is ensuring a consistent theme throughout all the pages of the website you will build. This prevents the user from having jarring experiences when going through different pages on the client website and lets them adopt an expectation that can be fulfilled, from a design perspective.


Color theory is a much broader topic than what can be covered here, however, we’ve tried to be as comprehensive and inclusive of the most important bits to ensure you can design your next web project with a great color palette, representative of your client’s company values. Therefore, go ahead and apply all the new things you’ve learned in your next project, and save time trying to figure out which colors work best, and instead, use scientifically supported color palettes.