Color Coordination Is the Essence of Effective Web Design

Written by Matthew King, time it takes to read this article is  minute(s).

Your website is the online window to your business — you may hear this statement a lot, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Your business website is the place where customers learn about your brand and discover what you have to offer. So, it pays to invest in high-quality web design.


Our digital marketing agency in Virginia understands that there is more to web design than choosing a visually appealing style and selecting bright colors.  For the design to attract visitors and turn them into customers, you cannot settle for cookie-cutter designs and some random colors. In fact, you should pay close attention to color coordination because it leaves a strong impression on your site visitors.

Why Does Color Coordination Matter?

Everyone talks about how important the psychology of color is in marketing. But what is it, really?

To put it simply, color psychology tackles the influence of color on consumer behavior and decision-making. It affects up to 85 percent of buyers who said they made a purchase because of brand color. For this reason, many designers and marketers use it to evoke a specific reaction from the target audience.

For instance, when you think of Coca-Cola, the iconic red logo comes to mind. The company chose fire engine red as its brand color because so that Coke products stand out on store shelves. By now, the color and the brand are pretty inseparable — the color is a major part of Coke’s brand identity.

Taking Coca-Cola’s brand color as an example, you can better understand why picking the right color for your website is not just about aesthetics. You are basically increasing brand recognition which, in turn, increases consumer confidence. In simple terms, you are creating a memorable brand that people are more inclined to buy from.

How Will You Determine the Best Colors for Your Website?

We understand if you look forward to choosing colors for your business website. On the other hand, we also understand if the thought of choosing a great color scheme throws you off. But whether or not you are confident in your color coordination ability, you have to be careful when picking and mixing colors.

To create a harmonious color combination that draws attention to your website, you need to take a systematic approach. First, choose a dominant color. Second, select complementary colors that make your dominant color pop. And finally, pick a background color that complements the previous two.

  1. Choose a Dominant Color that Defines Your Brand

The dominant color of your web design should be the color that best represents your brand. Similar to the way people think of the red logo when they think of Coca-Cola, you should choose the color that you want your audience to remember when they think of your brand.

If you already have a logo, use one of its primary colors as the dominant color of your web design — unless you are revamping your entire brand identity, including the logo. In this case, look into the meaning of colors and how they affect the behavior of your target consumers.

For one, you can choose a color based on the type of shoppers you wish to attract:

  • Red, orange, black, and royal blue are effective in enticing impulse shoppers.
  • Navy blue and teal typically appeal to shoppers who are on a budget.
  • Pink, sky blue, and rose are comfortable colors for traditional buyers.

Alternatively, you can choose a color based on the personality your brand wishes to embody:

  • Black evokes sophistication, professionalism, and elegance.
  • Gray shows simplicity, neutrality, logic, and futurism.
  • Red represents vibrancy, urgency, passion, and excitement.
  • Orange promotes friendliness, enthusiasm, and creativity.
  • Yellow embodies youthfulness, cheerfulness, and optimism.
  • Green stands for wealth, health, nature, and tranquility.
  • Blue symbolizes trust, peace, security, and stability.
  • Purple embodies wealth, success, wisdom, and calmness.
  • Pink suggests playfulness, sweetness, innocence, and femininity.

You can also choose colors based on what generally appeals to your target market. For example, a study by University of Maryland sociologist Philip Cohen shows that blue is the most popular color among men and women. Following that are green for men and purple for women. Simple opinions such as this help you decide what color defines your brand.

Remember: successful companies do not choose brand colors by which one looks nice. It is a strategic choice with a long-term effect on both branding and marketing initiatives. So, think carefully before settling on a dominant color for your business website.

Once you finalize a dominant color for your website, know the right time to use it.

The dominant color is the main web design color that represents your brand. But you don’t have to insert it everywhere. In fact, you should limit when and where you use the dominant color.

Yes, colors effectively catch the attention of your target audience. A colored image may hold at least two seconds of attention, whereas black-and-white images usually capture interest for less than two-thirds of a second.

Too much color might turn people off, though. So, only use your dominant color to highlight the places you want visitors to pay attention to, such as titles, headlines, and call-to-action buttons.

Choose Complementary Colors that Accentuate the Dominant Color

People might easily get bored if they see only one color throughout your business website. To make your web design easier on the eyes and more enticing to visitors, use complementary colors to accentuate attention-worthy website content, such as quotes and buttons.

Choosing a dominant color is already a challenge — you have to decide on which color best represents your brand. But for your website to remain engaging, you need to mix and match colors to find which best accentuates the dominant shade. And you don’t have to do it all on your own. Color matching tools, such as Adobe Color CC tool, enable you to work like a pro.

Adobe Color CC is an online portal that lets you create ready-to-use color schemes for your web design layout. It features a color wheel that you can play around with and use to create either analogous or compound color combinations. This is a manual way of choosing accent colors to match your dominant one.

Alternatively, you may use a photo to inspire the scheme. Simply upload an image on Adobe Color and the portal automatically creates a palette based on the colors you lifted from it.

You can even adjust the color mood to get the exact colors that reflect your brand identity. Your website sets a different tone depending on which of the following you choose:

  • Muted colors, which have low saturation, are subdued. They are perfect for a flat design.
  • Pastel colors are milky or washed-out colors that give off a soft, playful vibe.
  • Bold colors are vibrant and edgy. They inevitably make your website pop. Be careful, though, because too many bold colors may distract or overwhelm your site visitors.
  • Grayscale, or the black-and-white spectrum, is a classy scheme. You have to use it wisely, though. Otherwise, your website might end up looking dull or monotonous.

After finalizing your site’s complementary colors, determine when and where to use them.

  • Stick with a few accent colors — three is pushing it. If you use too many, your visitors might get confused or distracted.
  • Use these colors to highlight content that is relevant but not the page’s focal point. These include menu tabs, subtitles, secondary buttons, and information boxes.

Your complementary colors accentuate relevant information on your website. They influence the mood and perception of site visitors. If you are selling a product or service to visitors to your site, you have to choose a color scheme that not only reflects your brand but also encourages sales.

  1. Choose a Background Color that Is Easy on the Eyes

Your dominant color and complementary hues generally make up the color scheme of your web design. After you’ve finalized them, choose a website background color that is easy on the eyes of your website viewers. Just as the right wall color can give a room a relaxing ambiance, the right background color can put website visitors at ease while browsing.

But how exactly do you choose background colors?

  • Choose white or neutral colors when you are building an information-intensive website or an e-commerce website. This scheme directs attention to your products, services, or content rather than to the overall site design.
  • Consider shades of your dominant color as the background color when the purpose of your website is to promote brand recognition. By using a variation of your dominant color, you are making your brand more memorable to the site visitor.
  • Use neutral colors when you want to promote your services or draw attention to your portfolio of past projects. This makes the content pop out naturally.
  • Get creative with your background color when you are in the fashion, design, beauty, or other creative industries. For example, you can use all colors of the rainbow to create a striking background image. You can even use black to create more drama.

These are the different approaches to choosing a background color. Think carefully about the main purpose of your website before choosing one. More importantly, consider what will best resonate with your target audience.

If you use overly bold or bright background colors, website visitors might get annoyed. You don’t want to choose something overly simple or blasé either — unless you want site visitors’ eyes to glaze over with sheer boredom. Find the perfect balance that convinces people to stay and explore your website.

Color coordination is more than an art. In relation to business websites, it is a creative way of marketing your brand and encouraging the target audience to explore your products or services. It is a major part of the web design process because every color tells a different story and brings out a different emotion. In more technical terms, color coordination is an important design property on the subconscious level

For this reason, don’t choose your website’s dominant, complementary, and background colors on a whim. Do thorough research on which colors best reflect your brand identity. Make sure these colors match the mood and atmosphere that best encourage site visitors to explore what your website has to offer.

Remember: when people feel comfortable browsing your web content, they are more inclined to become paying customers.

What Should You Take Note of When Choosing Colors for the Website?

As tempting as it sounds, do not choose your website’s color scheme based on your favorite color or whichever looks nice enough. Great web design always puts the audience first, so you have to choose colors that appeal to and make a subconsciously strong connection with your target audience.

Once again, take note of the following points to create a powerful color combination for your website:

  1. Find a dominant color that matches brand identity.
  2. Find accent colors that match your dominant color.
  3. Find a background color that matches both dominant and accent colors.

Web design is a fun process, especially when you are looking for a great color combination. But keep in mind that every choice you make affects the way visitors view your website. As a result, it affects the conversion rate of site visitors to loyal customers. So, be systematic and meticulous when choosing your colors.

On a related note, we suggest that you consult with an experienced web designer to help you determine the most suitable colors for your brand. This way, you’ll have the backing of someone who has valuable insights into effective digital marketing.

Web Designers Who Do the Job for You

At Alkries LLC, we know you want to focus on business growth and development. While you do that, let us take care of your business website. Our team provides responsive and user-friendly web design services that convert site visitors into loyal customers.

Your website represents your business online. For this reason, we take the time to understand your brand and your target market before we customize web design solutions for you. As a result, we turn your website into a powerful marketing tool with long-term results. Schedule a consultation with us, today.

About the author

Matthew King is the owner of Alkries LLC and partner at TR King Insurance Marketing LLC. When he's not building links, growing organic traffic, developing internet marketing strategies and measuring positive returns on investments for clients, he likes to spend time with his wife playing video games and going on walks.

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