Choosing Colors for Your Business Website
What Color Is Your Brand Identity?
In choosing colors for their own websites, business owners often think:
I’m not a designer!
My attempt turned into a psychedelic nightmare!
Isn’t it possible to just use the colors in my logo?
Choosing a website color scheme may seem difficult, but it’s quite important, and unless you have a design department, you’ll be responsible for it.
It isn’t difficult at all.
You can come up with a website color scheme that works for your business if you think about your brand identity, your target audience, and also the psychological effects of color.
- Identifying the dominant color of your brand
- Defining complementary accent colors with it
- Consider your background color carefully
- Choosing the right colors for your site’s elements
The logo of a business might act as the company’s silent ambassador, but the brand’s color scheme has a more subtle effect on customers.
The colors of a brand are an important part of a company’s identity. Many companies have created lasting color associations in the minds of consumers, such as Coca-Cola red, Starbucks green, or UPS brown.
Colors can have a profound effect on customer emotions as well as facilitate brand recognition. Companies have learned that colors have a significant influence on our decisions, and ignoring such a powerful tool would be a rather unfortunate practice in a competitive market.
Consistency of colors across platforms
Using colors consistently across all your marketing channels is crucial. The colors of your brand should be prominently displayed on all platforms – from print ads and brochures to your business cards.
You probably already know your company’s colors, whether it’s through your Facebook page, local ads, or the logo on the side of your van. It’s much easier to select colors for your website!
By using the same colors that you’ve chosen in the past, you can maintain and amplify your existing brand identity.
When designing your company logo, hopefully you didn’t just select a color blindly. In that case, and if you’re still building your brand identity, it might be wise to scrap it and start over. That places you in the same position as those who do not have a brand identity at all. That’s not a bad thing.
Many logos are designed without thinking about how the colors would appear on a website. When just starting your business, you have the opportunity to think about things like that before committing to colors that might not be appropriate for all your marketing channels.
Know your target audience – Focus on the customer
When selecting brand colors, the first thing you need to consider is your target audience. Choose colors that resonate with your customers depending on your product or service.
Our purchases often reflect our personality or interests. Once you have identified a group of consumers as your target audience, it is easy to determine what colors they will find appealing based on their personality traits and interests.
It might take a little amateur psychology to understand your customers’ minds, but it’s essential when defining your brand’s look and feel, including the colors.
The Psychology of Color: An Introduction
Numerous studies have shown that people associate colors with specific emotions and ideas, and that these connections differ based on factors such as age, gender, and nationality. Colors can have a significant impact on behavior and can attract specific types of customers. Color psychology may be used by companies to attract certain types of customers.
Color & Commerce
The brain processes color first, followed by words and shapes. When we’re driving down the highway and see the McDonald’s Golden Arches, many of us automatically register the giant “M” made of French fries, and we think, “Mmmm… McDonald’s!”.”
There’s more going on here than brand recognition. You feel a subconscious desire to eat a moment before the restaurant name appears in your mind. The fast-food chain selected its red and yellow colors in order to whet your appetite.
Red triggers an increase in appetite and yellow triggers happiness.
It makes sense that website colors should be utilized in a way that enhances your business if colors can have such an impact on our buying decisions. Colors create subconscious associations in consumers’ minds, so you should align your color selections with the reaction you hope to evoke.
Accessibility is affected greatly by the colors you use in your web design, and, more importantly, the contrast between them. In order for your content to be easily understood, color choice should be based on readability. A color scheme that’s easy to read for people with visual impairments may also be important, depending on your audience.
It’s all about contrast when it comes to reading. You should choose colors that offer a high level of contrast to go with your chosen palette. You can verify your choice by using a contrast checker.
For maximum readability, text should jump off the page – the text and background colors should be very contrasted. You can also include brighter colors in a call to action.
Any element on your website that you wish to draw attention to, such as an infographic or call-out, can be more creative. You can still use contrast, but you can use colors outside your basic scheme for a more drastic shift.
What About Visual Impairment?
The age of internet users increased as it became the massive marketing tool that it is today. Many senior citizens today shop online, and their eyesight isn’t as good as that of younger shoppers. The web design for your site shouldn’t exclude those people – not when it’s fairly easy to cater to their needs.
Contrast is the most important factor for people with visual impairments. There are many common eye disorders that negatively affect a person’s sensitivity to contrast. As people age, it becomes increasingly difficult to tell the difference between shades.
Colorblind users should avoid color combinations that confound action buttons. For example, red and green, or blue and yellow.
Defining Your Website Color Scheme
When choosing a color scheme for your website, you need to consider several factors.
Step 1. Start with the dominant color of your brand.
The color scheme should be anchored by your main brand color. All of the other colors you use will depend on how well they match the dominant one, so picking it is a crucial first step.
Step 2. Identify the perfect complementary colors and tap into your inner artist.
The color wheel and color theory come into play here. Don’t be afraid to experiment and get a second opinion. Getting it right will greatly improve the visual appeal of your website, so take your time. Your site will be accented with complementary colors.
Step 3. Decide on a background color – contrast is the key.
When choosing a background color, consider readability as the primary factor. Choosing carefully can mean the difference between important elements standing out and getting lost in a jumble of content. If you select the color of your background, consider how it will impact the readability of the body text.
Now that you’ve read about some of the basic factors to consider when designing a website color scheme, hopefully it doesn’t seem so overwhelming.
Consider your brand identity, your audience, and a little psychology and color theory, and before you know it, you’ll have an attractive website tailored to your business.