How to use colour theory in web design and why

Using Colour Theory In Web Design 

Aren’t colours fun? They have the charisma to make anything look attractive and, at times, bring out the drama we all need. Colours add life to any elements and help see things in a detailed manner. The same theory applies to web design as colours bring out the best the features have to offer. But sometimes, it is the choice of colour which determines the effectiveness of such platforms. 

Choosing a specific colour scheme in web design can bring the ‘IT’ factor to a website but if you choose the wrong one, be ready to kiss your hard work goodbye. Moreover, understanding the concept of colour theory and applying it while designing a website can bring the right message and define your brand. With that said, let’s grasp the idea of colour theory and then explore how you can use colour theory to enhance your web design.

What is colour theory?

Colour theory is an amalgamation of principles and instructions on varieties of colour combinations and their uses. Colour theory also deals with cultural associations, human approach, colour psychology, etc. 

Colour theory can help in the creation of valuable and creative designs for the various professional field. But in terms of web design, it helps in communicating with the users via alluring colour schemes. Many designers would agree that picking a colour is one of the most critical components while building a website. To understand this statement, let’s discuss the elements of colour.

How elements of colour help in web design?

The colour wheel consists of three types: primary, secondary and tertiary, which are the backbone of the colour spectrum. These categories form the foundation for any designer on the lookout for creating the perfect colour scheme. But in web design, it is also essential to know how the elements of colour functions and help create a good design. So let’s have a look at the elements:


The above word refers to how we look at colours based on their correlation with additional colours. When colours engage with the colour spectrum, it guides people to contemplate a graphically alluring design, providing balance to the human eye instead of focusing on a specific area. Hence, complementation can up your design game once you understand the complexities of colour blending.


Vibrancy is an element that helps in bringing out the design’s emotion. Using bright colours in your design allows the user to feel lively, your contents look productive and create a psychological response. Whereas applying darker shades in design makes the user feel relax and helping the mind focus.


Contrast helps reduce eyestrain and help focus the user’s attention by distinctly creating division amongst content components on the website’s page. One evident example is by selecting a light background colour and dark text colour. Not only will the design contain legible text, but the contrast will manage to gain the user’s attention against a specific area of interest.

Choose a productive colour scheme

We are aware that choosing a suitable colour scheme while designing a website can be the deal-maker for the business. So let’s check three common structures for an effective colour scheme: triadic, analogous, and compound.


Triadic is a composition of three colours that are on a different edge of the colour scale.

  • You can create a Triadic scheme by taking a colour wheel and select the ground colour.
  • Make an equilateral triangle (gives uniform vibrancy) where its three points establish the tri-colour scheme.


An Analogous scheme is carefully curated colours around the same space of the colour scale. You can differ due to difference in vibrancy and contrast. Examples of analogous-

  • Shades of orange and yellow 
  • Range of monochromatic colours 


The Compound scheme provides a series of complementary colours where you pick two colours through polar ends of the colour scale.

Understanding colour psychology to influence emotions and mood of website and users

Being aware of colour psychology helps in learning about a person’s behaviour or mood. Various colours are linked with specific relevance and can mean differently to any individual who perceives it. But it will be helpful if you follow the standard assumptions of colours to reach out to a larger audience. In design, having knowledge about the definition of colours and how choosing a specific colour helps influence a user is a great benefit. Also, knowing about colour theory will upgrade your website’s conversion rate as the users will take action and purchase products influenced by colours.

Below are few colours that are known for emoting certain feelings, which will help create a mood for your website and products

  • Red: creates energy, warmth and is excellent for instigating a movement 
  • Yellow: brings excitement yet, if excessively used, can source distraction
  • Blue: gives strength, calm and a good hint for encouraging travel 
  • Orange: it is electrifying but best for accent
  • Black: defines power, strength and can be applied as the primary colour while designing 
  • Green: it is calming, relaxed and works best for sites related to finance and nature
  • White: apart from being calming, white areas on a website help the users focus 

Why is colour significant in web design?

Acknowledging the importance of colour in web design is fair as- 

  • Utilising the right blend of colours will help the users understand and operate the site. 
  • Colours also refine the user’s digital experience, which allows them to acquire the necessary information and react to the website’s call to action (CTA). 
  • Using colours in web design helps in developing branding and conveying the product’s message.
  • Researchers discovered that colour is responsible for the user’s decision to make a purchase, with 92.6% of viewers focusing on the visual advertisement of the products.
  • Some study shows that colours help increasing brand awareness by 80%.


Why use colour? The colour scheme helps in making the website successful by grabbing user’s attention. Colour theory provides pleasant palettes for suitable combinations. Colour Psychology delivers right messages and mood. Overall, colours make your website lively and productive. So why not use colour in web design? Our own Stockport web designers ensure to thoroughly research the colours and colour schemes when we start any new website project!