Thursday, December 10, 2015

Color theory & web design: Choosing a color scheme for your website

In part one of our two-part series, "Color Theory & Web Design", we talked about the importance of understanding color theory basics when choosing colors for your website. We looked at how to use the color wheel to pair colors, as well as how hue, value, and saturation can contribute to how a design is perceived.

In this article, we'll take a look at the various types of color schemes that you can use for your website or brand, as well as tools and resources to help you choose a color palette.


There are a variety of color scheme options that can be created by using the color wheel to pair colors in different ways. These color schemes can help you to build a color palette for your website that is both cohesive and appealing to your audience. Below are some examples of popular color schemes.

Monochromatic

A monochromatic color scheme is simply made up of a single color, with different tints and shades used to created a full color palette. This is a great way to ensure that all of your colors will work well together and appear balanced, since they are all derived from the same hue. A monochromatic color palette can be helpful in highlighting a primary brand color while still offering a variety of colors to choose from to make your design more interesting.

Complementary

A complementary color scheme consists of colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. This creates a color palette with high contrast, which can be beneficial on a website in order to draw attention to certain content areas with a contrasting accent color. Using complementary colors will help to create harmony in your design.

Compound (or split complementary)

A compound color scheme is created when you choose a color and the two colors adjacent to its complementary color. While similar to a complementary color scheme, the addition of adjacent colors helps to create a more interesting color palette but with less contrast.

Triadic

Triadic color schemes consist of colors that are evenly spaced on the color wheel. This helps to build a more varied color palette while still appearing balanced. A triadic color scheme is a great choice for building up a selection of accent colors to use on your website for elements like calls-to-action or other buttons.

Analogous 

An analogous color scheme is created when you choose colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. It is similar to a monochromatic color scheme, but with a larger range of colors. However, it generally results in a low-contrast color palette, and may benefit from choosing an additional accent color when used for a website.

Websites with effective color palettes

The Aircom website uses a monochromatic color scheme, with various tints and shades of yellow.

Swink

The color palette on the Swink site uses a complementary color scheme, combining blue with orange.

Strategic Materials

The Strategic Materials website has a color palette based on a triadic color scheme.

Natuur & Milieu

On the Natuur & Milieu website, the color palette is built around an analogous color scheme, with colors range from blue to green.

Imaging Office

The color palette for the Imaging Office Systems website is made up of two sets of complementary colors: red and green with blue and orange.

Color selection resources

Check out our post on tips for choosing a color scheme for your website for additional information, or try out some of these online tools:

Need help with color selection for your website?

We would be glad to help! Color is a crucial part of your company's brand, and we can you help you send the right message to your audience. Get your project started with TBH Creative.
Tatum

About the author | Tatum Hindman

Tatum is the president of TBH Creative and is responsible for building long-term client relationships. She enjoys the strategy behind web design and sitting down with clients to define online marketing goals. She likes to blog about questions or topics that clients ask about as well as sharing new tricks.

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