Web Designer's Color Guide

There are more than 10 million colors, which а designer must choose among in order to visualize their project. Therefore, in this article we will talk about colors and how to choose the right color for the right message we want to deliver.

Top Tips When Choosing a Color

Use the what you have - if your client has a logo and an established corporate color, that’s where you start from.

Do not plagiarize the competition’s color scheme, but rather figure up your own.

Think about your target group – the colors of a site for a funeral agency will probably be very different from the colors of a kids’ club, for example. Consider what sense and what emotion you want to convey through your page (excitement, seriousness, calmness, etc.)

Avoid clichés - if you make a site for little girls, you don’t really have to clad it pink.

Brainstorm - make a list that describes the business of your client - it will give you many ideas on what colors you can use

After following these tips, you should now have a choice of color design. It must be based on something simple, like red, green, blue, yellow or pink.

Let's look at the colors by dividing them into groups:

1. Warm Colors

Warm colors are red, orange and yellow, and their variations. These colors are energizing, passionate and have a positive effect.

Red - Red is a very hot color. It is associated with fire, violence and war, but also with love and passion. Red is normally used to indicate danger (e.g. warning signs). Outside the Western world, red has different associations. In China, for example, red is the color of prosperity and happiness, while in South Africa, red is the color of mourning and is associated with awareness of AIDS in Africa, due to the popularity of the publicity campaign that uses that color.
In design, red can be a powerful accent color. It can have a huge impact if it is used too much in design, especially in its purest form – the more vivid hues can be used for more energetic, and in darker shades for more elegant effects.

Orange is a very lively and energetic color. With its muted shades it can be connected to the ground and fall. Just because the change of seasons, orange can be associated with changes and movement as a whole. In the design, orange is attention grabbing, without being as intrusive as red.

Yellow is often seen as the brightest and most energizing warm color. It is associated with happiness and the Sun. Yellow is also associated with hope, as well as danger, though not as strong as in red. In different cultures yellow has different meanings. In Egypt, for example, this is the color of mourning. In Japan it represents courage, while in India yellow is the color of traders.
In design, bright yellow can lend a sense of happiness and joy. Lighter shades create a sense of merriness. Dark yellow and golden hues sometimes look antique, but are employed when it is desirable to instill a sense of permanence.

2. Cool Colors

Cool colors are green, blue and purple. These are the colors of night, water and nature, they are calming and relaxing. Use cool colors in your designs to give a sense of calmness and professionalism.

Green represents new beginnings and growth. It also symbolizes renewal and abundance.
In design, green can have a balancing and harmonizing effect. It is suitable for projects related to wealth, stability, renewal and nature. Bright greens are more energizing and vibrant, while olive greens are more representative. Dark greens are the most stable and suggest prosperity.

Blue is the only base color in the cool colors’ group. It is used to instill calmness and responsibility. In design, different shades of blue will have an impact on how you perceive your projects. Light blues are often soothing. Bright blue can be energizing. Dark blue shades are excellent for corporate sites or designs where reliability is important.

Purple is connected with royalty and with creativity and imagination. In Thailand, purple is the color of mourning for widows. Dark purple is traditionally associated with wealth, while lighter shades of purple (lavender) are considered more romantic. In design, dark purple can convey a sense of wealth and luxury, and light purple is associated with spring and romance.

3. Neutral Colors

Neutral colors often serve as background in design. They are usually combined with bright colors for emphasis.

Black is the strongest of neutral colors. On the positive side, it is usually associated with power, elegance and formality. On the negative side, it can be associated with evil, death and mystery. Black is usually used in bold and very elegant designs. The projects can be conservative or modern, traditional or nontraditional, depending on the color which it is combined with.
In design black is commonly used for typography and other functional parts, because it is neutral in appearance.

White is at the opposite end of black. It is often associated with purity and strength.
In design, white is considered a neutral component that allows the other colors of the design to stand out. It can help to convey purity and simplicity, but is suitable for minimalist design.

Gray is a neutral color, which is sometimes considered a depressant. Subtle gray can be used in place of white in some projects, while dark grey can be used instead of black. As a whole, gray is a conservative and formal color, but it is often used in corporate projects where you need to instill a sense of professionalism.

Brown is connected with soil, wood and stone. This is a completely natural color - warm and neutral. Brown is associated with reliability, hardness, and earthliness, but it is sometimes perceived as a boring color.
In design, brown is usually used as background, sometimes as wooden or stone textures. This color contributes to the feeling of warmth and healthiness of the design.

Beige is somewhat unique because it can be warm or cool depending on the colors that surround it. It has the warmth of brown and cool white, but just as brown, it is sometimes perceived as a boring color. It is generally a conservative color.
In design it is usually used in environments which resemble the texture of the paper, making it a good background choice that allows the other colors to affect.

The Summary

Red: anger, passion, love
Orange: energy, happiness, vitality
Yellow: happyness, hope
Green: a new beginning, prosperity, nature
Blue: calm, responsibility, sadness
Purple: creativity, royalty, wealth
Black: mystery, elegance
Gray: conservatism, formality
White: purity, kindness
Brown: nature, health, reliability
Beige: conservatism, piety