The Principles of Colour on a Website

Colour is extremely important in web design, as you need to choose a pleasing colour scheme that fits with your site. Therefore, you want the best colour scheme you can. Therefore we are going to run through a few things you should know about colours.

Website Colour Principles

Colour Schemes

  • Monochrome

A monochrome colour scheme is a single base colour in different shades, tints, and saturations. However, this can look dull due to the lack of variety.

  • Complementary

A complementary colour scheme is when you choose two different colours from opposite sides of the colour wheel. Although, it can be tricky to manage in large amounts. This is due to the fact it can be too harsh when at full saturation. However, this colour scheme is really good if you want to make something stand out.

  • Analogous

An analogous colour scheme is when you choose three colours next to each other on the colour wheel. This colour scheme is pleasing to the eye as they work in harmony together. Yet be careful when choosing your analogous colour scheme as you need to make sure you have enough contrast.

  • Triadic

A triadic colour scheme is when you choose three colours evenly separated on the colour wheel. This then creates a varied but balanced colour scheme. The harmonies in this colour scheme tend to be quite vibrant, even if they are unsaturated.

Colour Psychology

Colour psychology is the effect that colours have on people. For example, colours can make you feel a certain emotion or remind you of a certain thing. These are some examples:

Red – Bold, vibrant, urgency, caution, aggressive

Orange – Cheerful, warmth, autumn, enthusiasm, but can be caution, safety

Yellow – Cheerful, warmth, summertime, optimism, but can strain your eyes

Green – Growth, nature, health, serenity, tranquility, wealth, organic, friendly, spring

Blue – Water, sky, calmness, serenity, security, trust, winter, but can be sad, shy

Turquoise – Sophisticated, healing

Purple – Wealth, powerful, creativity, luxury

Brown – Friendly, earthly, outdoors, dirty

Black – Sophisticated, sleek, mystery, but can be evil, death

Grey – Security, reliability, intelligence

White – Clean, neutral, purity, weddings, freshness, innocence

There are programs out there that can help you get your colour scheme. For example; Kuler, Color Scheme Designer 3 (Paletton), or Coolors. Although, just because they don’t look like they would work together in their swatchers, doesn’t always mean that they won’t work. They can be visually appealing once they are in a design.