A Complete Guide to Color Psychology in Web Design

By Klizos Contributor - September 3, 2020

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color psychology in web design guide by klizo solutions

Did you know 90% of the user’s brand opinion develops from the brand’s use of colors?

Color has a huge role to play in evoking certain emotions and attitudes in users. When the right color is used in website design it not only can engage the target audience better but also can influence the sales and boost conversion rates.

The term color psychology refers to how different colors motivate different behaviors in humans. And this color psychology in web design has a more serious role to play than you can imagine. 

Just like men and women have different color preferences, similarly, the use of certain colors is preferred in presenting certain business niches. 

After all, colors have the potential to boost customer loyalty or destroy it. So, understanding the right color psychology in website design is essential to build a strong, successful, and relatable brand. 

In this blog, we will talk about the most popular and commonly used colors in website designing, their meanings, the emotions they trigger in the users, and the industries they are ideal for. 

 

Web Design Color Psychology Guide

White

white in website design

Image Source: Scotch & Soda

White is the color of purity, innocence, neutrality, virtue, cleanliness, sincerity, happiness, and safety. 

Usually, this color is associated with doctors, dentists, and nurses, but also commonly seen at weddings, and of course as the background of websites.

Whitespace in websites also serves as a tremendously strong web design feature for marketing due to its versatility and quality to draw attention with its pristineness.

Example: Understanding the significance of white color psychology in design, websites like ASOS, Adidas, HealthCare, Intuit Turbo, Scotch & Soda, etc. have used it as an effective marketing strategy in their websites. 

Use It

 

    • To evoke a sense of equality and fairness
    • To represent completeness and new beginnings
    • To serve as a blank slate for new ideas
    • To create clarity and contrast
    • To offer a visual breathing room to site visitors
    • To help visitors absorb the information given on a website (used as whitespace)

Avoid It

Theoretically, white can be used for any website as the effect of its application entirely lies upon the other colors used along with it in web design.

But, using too much of it can signify emptiness, isolation, and loneliness too. Even the stark contrast of using true white with true black not only becomes painful to the eyes since it reflects light but can also make a website look off-putting and cold.

white color in web design

Image Source: Adidas

Ideal For

White is one of the first choices of any website design company when it comes to developing websites that are related to the healthcare industry.

White can also work great for science and high-tech websites. When matched with gold, black, different shades of grey or silver, this color can work wonders for websites of luxury items. 

Yellow

yellow in website design

Image Source: Snapchat

Yellow is fun. Yellow is playful. This brightest and super energetic color is great for creating an exciting website that users will find thrilling.

Being an accent color, yellow is great to create contrast and rhythm. It’s also a color for warning. According to color psychologists, yellow is the color of happiness too.

Example: Nikon uses yellow as its branding and online marketing strategy, encouraging people to capture moments of youth and happiness with clarity. The use of yellow can also be seen in the logos of brands like McDonald’s, National Geographic, IKEA, Snapchat, etc. 

Use It

    • To grab attention
    • To heighten emotions
    • To develop feelings of calmer happiness (light yellow)
    • To liven up website content without compromising the professional look
    • To make a brand and website more approachable and friendly
    • To add more attention to the CTAs 
    • To communicate caution

Avoid It

Too much yellow can make a website look overwhelming and abrasive. So, contacting professional corporate website design services can be the best step to utilize the color yellow in the best way possible on any website.

Though there are ‘facts’ stating that yellow makes people angry and babies cry; there’s no solid proof to establish it yet. 

When used too much or the wrong hues of it or too bright shades of it, yellow can not only make a website look spammy and cheap; but also can turn out to be straining to the eyes.

Ideal For

Various brands prefer the color yellow as their website background color to make their website more engaging and evoke a sense of happiness among the users.

It is an ideal color for corporate branding and advertising.

Even for caution signs, wet floor signs, or traffic signs, yellow is widely used. But, in web designing, the use of yellow is scanty than other accent colors as the experts say there is nothing subtle about this color; even a small amount of it can seem flashy. 

Orange

orange in website design

Image Source: Amber Support

Due to the overpowering effect of yellow, the warmer tones of orange color is widely used in web designing.  It is associated with happiness, energy, and warmth.

Orange is pretty much popular as a vibrant color for optimism and inspiration. Strategic use of orange on websites can evoke enthusiasm, excitement, ambition, and fun.

Example: The banner of ‘Limited Time Offer’ on amazon.com comes in orange suggesting urgency and commanding attention and immediate action. You can see some amazing use of different orange shades in websites like Whataburger, Orange Soda, Amber Support Services, and Story Cubes.

Use It

    • To encourage confidence and adventure
    • To create an attractive call to action buttons or colored texts
    • To draw attention
    • To stimulate confidence and competition
    • To boost conversion
    • To stimulate appetite
    • To communicate caution

Avoid It

Being less intense than red, overdoing it on websites can make it overpowering. Despite being a bright and attractive color, using it tastefully in websites requires in-depth knowledge of color psychology. If used incorrectly, it can create an appearance of chaos.  

orange color in web design

Image Source: Story Cubes          

Ideal For

Orange works brilliantly for websites about automotive, entertainment, technology, eCommerce, childcare, and food.

Even when it comes to online marketing, lighter shades of orange are as popular as yellow. When combined with the right colors appropriately, orange can add the much-needed zing to a website. 

Pink     

pink in design

 

Pink simply represents compassion, sophistication, love, romance, and sincerity. 

Due to its nurturing and non-threatening effects, it is believed to help in reassuring and calming a user.

To break the typical notion that everything associated with girls or women should not be perceived as meek or weak, breast cancer awareness campaigns also use the color pink. 

Example: While brands like Baskins Robbins, LG, Airbnb have used the different shades of pink in their brand logo; websites like Barbie, STACK Magazines,  Victoria’s Secret, Betsey Johnson have trusted pink to create a powerful brand presence. The globally popular rock band Pink Floyd’s pink-colored logo has become a trademark in the psychedelic and progressive music sphere. 

Use It

    • To show care, love, and understanding
    • To create a soothing effect
    • To evoke hope
    • To symbolize softens and femininity
    • To display unity and support

Avoid It

You need to be cautious while using pink on your website. While light pink can make a website feel too sweet or sentimental, even fragile and delicate; using bright pink may feel gaudy or tasteless. Intense shades of pink can add a boisterous and euphoric look to a website. Even too much pink can look immature and show powerlessness.             

Since each shade of pink can mean different things, opting for the best website design services can be the safest option to create an effective website in pink.

pink color in web design

Image Source: Victoria’s Secret

Ideal For

Pink is the color for websites selling feminine products and services as well as featuring content that is specifically meant for young girls or women.

The use of pink is widely seen in websites selling baby products, confectionery items, bathroom products, soft toys, etc.  

Red

red in website design

Image Source: KitKat

Red is believed to be the most stimulating color of all and the best color for online marketing too. It is also the most visible one in the color spectrum. Psychologically impacting the mind of viewers, red can increase one’s heart rate as well as can cause fast breathing.

Example: From logos of the world’s biggest food chains like McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King, Pizza Hut to websites like Coca-Cola, YouTube, KitKat, TedxToronto, etc. has used the color red in abundance. 

Use It

    • To grab attention
    • To showcase clearance sales or limited time offers
    • To prompt action
    • To evoke excitement and strong emotions
    • To symbolize passion
    • To establish power and create intensity

Avoid it

Overusing any color is never suggested; not even the color red, no matter how effective it is to grab attention. Red is also associated with violence, war, anger, aggression, danger, and fire. Too much red can not only be over stimulating but overexciting too which is not too good for any web design.

red color in design

Image Source: Coca-Cola

Ideal Application

Keeping in mind the application of color psychology in web design in an effective way, the color red can be an excellent choice for websites dealing with fashion, sports, entertainment, food, advertising, marketing, health services, and emergency services. 

Purple

purple in website design

Image Source: Cadbury

Be it nostalgia or sentimentality, wealth or royalty, purple is associated with all of them. It is commonly known for its spirituality and imagination.

It is a color that holds the perfect amalgamation of two different colors i.e. the reliability and stability of blue and the power and energy of red.

Purple is also referred to as an intriguing color as it represents new ideas and mysteries while creating a soothing effect at the same time.

Example: Brands using this color successfully include Cadbury, Hallmark, PassLocker, Yahoo! Mail, and the list goes on.

Use It

    • To communicate imagination and creativity
    • To evoke a sense of mystery, magic
    • To reflect wisdom, authority and wealth
    • To influence respect

Avoid It

Using deeper and darker tones of purple or the wrong purple shade can not only make a website feel distant or aloof but also can make it look cheap and gross. Due to its intriguing nature, using it too often can cause distraction or introspection in the thoughts of your audience.

Ideal For

Purple works great for websites on beauty products, massage services, healing, yoga, astrology, and spirituality.

Since adolescent girls are believed to like this color, any content related to them can be presented using this color. For developing websites of feminine brands, purple can be effective. Purple is a favorite of brands willing to communicate their expressive and innovative services and products.

Green

green color psychology in web design

Image Source: Starbucks

For the eyes, this is one of the easiest colors to process. It is not only known for its relaxing effect but the balancing and harmonizing effect too.

Green is associated with nature, calmness, health, growth, generosity, fertility, harmony, peace, energy, and support. It simply reflects life, peace, and rest. 

Example: The use of green has made the beer brand Heineken stand out from its competitors. Brands like Starbucks and Nuffield Health also use green color for building a strong, intense, and eye-catching brand image.

Use it

    • To create a calming or relaxing sensation
    • To represent the start of something new
    • To put your website visitors at ease
    • To speak for nature or symbolize wealth
    • To incorporate a balance between emotional and logical
    • To portray good health, income or wealth

Avoid It

Unlike other colors, green has the least negative effect. Still, it may not be ideal for tech-related website designs or for promoting brands selling luxury goods. Even for any content targeted towards adolescent girls, green color is not that appropriate. 

Ideal for

Using green as the accent color in your website color schemes can work great for tourism, science, medicine, and human resources. 

green in website design

Image Source: Heineken

Websites that deal with sustainability and the environment can also find this color to be extremely effective. The use of green is usually seen in nature-related websites, restaurants, economic exchange, and health-based stores.

Blue

blue in website design

Image Source: PayPal

Blue is the color of intelligence, safety, trust, dependability, and security. Hence use of this color in web design is believed to boost the conversion rate.  It is widely applied in logo and web designing for industries that need to develop a strong sense of trust in the audience such as cybersecurity, banking, and insurance.

Example: Facebook, the biggest social networking site in the world, is blue. The color blue is also heavily used by the major internet banks like CapitalOne.com and online worldwide payment operating company PayPal.

Use It

    • To create an energizing and refreshing effect
    • To relax the viewers
    • To evoke credibility and trust
    • To develop a soothing effect

Avoid It

Using too much of this color as well as certain shades of it can create a sense of aloofness which can make your website feel cold and heartless. In some regions, blue is associated with the color of mourning and sadness. Even when applying in any food-related web design using it in little amounts is strongly suggested as it is associated with curbing appetite.

Ideal For

Because of blue’s association with dependability and non-invasiveness, this color is widely used in the financial sector, health sector, and large corporations.

Application of this color can also be excellent for science, high-techs, dentistry, legal, government, and medical services.

Gray

gray in design

Image Source: Macworld

Gray represents balance and neutrality in color psychology. Being a shade between black and white, it shares some mixed color meanings.

When used in the right proportions, gray can evoke the right amount of user impression as well as achieve the right tone. This color tone is usually associated with professionalism, formality, practicality, power, authority, and sophistication.

Example: Apple’s gray-colored logo struck the right note of sleekness, cutting-edge technology, and modern design in its audience.

Use It

    • To give a professional look to a website
    • To create a calming effect
    • To establish balance
    • To lend an effect of timelessness
    • To develop strong characteristics

Avoid It

 

In many cultures, the color gray has some negative connotations such as loss and depression. The absence of color in it makes it dull. If the correct shade isn’t selected or overused, it can have a gloomy or dampening effect on all the colors around it.

Ideal For

Any web designs that wish to achieve an authentic and sophisticated look might find experimenting with the various tones of gray to be very helpful.

Widely used by reputed companies offering stunning website development services, gray bodes extremely well when users are looking for trustworthy and high-end products to buy.

Black

black in website design

Image Source: Lamborghini

Black is undoubtedly one of the most commonly used colors in web designing. This color projects a grounding effect, a sense of value and luxury, and certainly power.

Black simply reflects exclusivity and formality. Since both white and black have many shades between them, when their lighter tints and darker shades are used wisely, they create the best color contrast for websites that prioritize a sleek, glamorous and elegant look.

Example: Brands like Lamborghini, Jack Daniels, Citizen Watch use black or dark tone web design to represent class, quality, and clarity. For Nike, a lot of its branding is done in black which makes it look sophisticated and classy.

Use It

    • To evoke a feeling of sophistication
    • To express control and power
    • To create a grounding effect
    • To communicate exclusivity and glamour
    • To lend a classic and timeless effect

Avoid It

Using black color in web designs needs to be practiced with caution as its associations are rather conflicting. For example, it has a corporate look as well as an edgy appeal, it looks formal yet has a traditional charm. 

Plus, in many cultures, this color is associated with death, suffering, darkness, fear, and evil. Using too much black can end up dominating your entire website design.

black color in web design

Image Source: Jack Daniels

Ideal For

Since black is considered to be one of the most sophisticated colors, it is ideal for websites dealing with luxury items of high value.

Apart from high-end eCommerce websites and the ad industry, black is also ideal for cosmetics, fashion, and any web design that wishes to add an elite and unique sense to their products. 

Wrapping Up

Don’t want to end up paying money to get a website that looks like some already existing ones? 

Well, then contact Klizo Solutions today to create a unique yet attractive website in no time.

Our expert web designers know exactly the significance of color psychology in web design. We craft websites that are not only soothing to the eyes but effective in boosting conversions too. Color psychology is crucial for building awesome landing pages for websites

Remember, the right website design with all the right colors is crucial for creating a good impression on your audience, nurturing leads, and increasing conversions. So, get in touch with our professionals on board and build a business-driven website without draining your pocket. 

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Klizos Contributor

Klizo Solutions was founded by Joseph Ricard, an American who has spent the past 10 years working in India, developing good teams and good processes. We have a team of over 40 people, and we develop high level technology in multiple frameworks.


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