Creating a website colour scheme is an important and exciting aspect to web design! Colour is a key component of your business’s branding, and also helps communicate important messaging to users as they interact with your site. Because of this, colour selection is something that should always be carefully planned and tested.
How to think about colour schemes & your brand
Before choosing any colours or schemes, you need to have a deep understanding of your brand and the users interacting with your website.
As designers, we love colour. Having an infinite colour palette and the ability to choose options that represent a brand makes this an exciting part of the web design process. The brand you’re designing for should always be the main focus when creating a colour scheme.
It may seem obvious, but it’s important to know what you’re starting with in regards to the brand. Before getting too far, make sure you know if you’re working with an established brand colour scheme or if you’re starting from scratch. You’d be surprised how often this can be overlooked in the discovery phase, so it’s definitely something to confirm with your client.
A major goal of branding is to be easily recognisable, and colour plays a huge role in that. Whether you’re working with an established brand or starting from the beginning, the colours you choose have an impact when distinguishing yourself from competitors. The brand represents the business, and how it’s perceived in the market.
Advice for established brands
When starting a web design project, you may be working with an established brand. No matter what stage the client is in, try to be mindful of what’s already recognised in the market (and therefore shouldn’t change) and what opportunities there are for change.
For example, take Coca-Cola, one of the world’s most popular brands. What colour comes to mind?
Most people would say red. Consumers are used to seeing this brand in stores, restaurants, and other places. To stay on brand, the Coca-Cola website incorporates red to tie in with the overall brand. A solid red website would not be easy to use, however, so there are other accent colours included (such as black and white). The red comes through as the dominant colour, and the accent colours make for a seamless experience.
It’s very likely that established brands have documented brand guidelines, where any colour palette guidelines live. If this is the case with your client, choosing a colour scheme for their website will be somewhat predetermined. But as a designer, there’s still a good chance you’ll need to select secondary colours or test the visual impact in your design to find the perfect combination.
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