You’ve put a lot of thought into the choice of colors on your website. But did you know that these choices can also reveal a great deal about the subconscious perception of your business? Since website colors can span many different shades, we’ll go beyond most basic color and personality traits and into color combination and hues like teal, pink and lavender. And, because most websites use 2-3 different color schemes, you’ll learn how they affect each other and find out if they have the effect you want on your target audience.
Red is vibrant. It shouts “pay attention!” and warns of danger. In ancient times, red was a color of strength. Today, beyond being one of the most easily noticeable colors of the spectrum, red is also the color of love and desire.
Common themes that help accentuate red include shades of grey which are often used on corporate sites to denote stability and, to some degree, reliability and heritage. Using red implies that you are a person of strength who doesn’t rest on their laurels, but who goes out to get things done in a way that gets noticed. You don’t settle for second best.
Examples of Red Sites
Stacy Bias is an activist, educator and entrepreneur based in Portland, Oregon.
Jewely is an open-source Rails CMS.
Jonas Downey is a web designer and developer who live near Chicago.
Orange is cautious and carefree. It denotes a sense of playfulness and curiosity. Using this flamboyant color together with a cooler hue, such as teal or blue, is one of the most favorite and balanced website color schemes. It is also incorporated on restaurant websites to subconsciously stimulate your appetite.
Orange and green are often used on health sites to bring out a sense of natural energy. Using orange shows that you’re carefree and sociable – with a lively mind that’s burning with questions. You’re fearless and restless, not as outgoing as red, but popular all the same.
Examples of Orange Sites
Clardio Design is the portfolio of Claude Arnerin, a project manager, web designer and front-end developer.
BildmachtPlus offers a full-service department for interactive and new media.
Ben Daly Mohamed is a web designer from Tunisia.
Yellow is generally used on rollover effects to help differentiate between button colors and is more common on darker toned sites than on white because of its glaring brightness. When combined with other primary colors (red and blue), yellow brings out a sense of childlike joy and cheerfulness.
People who prefer yellow on their website tend to be very mentally astute, witty and clever. They have an eye for detail and a strong desire to keep learning.
Examples of Yellow Sites
The portfolio of Kevin Sweeney, a interactive designer.
Mooze Design is a graphic design agency.
The design blog of Rob Loukotka, a graphic & web designer in Chicago.
A color of purity, sincerity and nature, green and blue are some of the most common (and, some might say, overused) website color schemes. Green is used to create an atmosphere of peace, hope and renewal and is a favorite of organizations.
Choosing green in your color scheme implies that you say what you think – without sugar-coating it. You’re also very involved in building a sense of community and a strong reputation.
Examples of Green Sites
Felix is a web developer living in Madrid.
Cedar is a content management system.
A favorite of web designers, blue denotes a sense of compassion, clarity and reliability. Internationally, it is the “safest” color to use in advertising and packaging. When combined with a warmer hue, like red or orange, blue tends to hide in the background, letting the vibrant shades take the spotlight.
Those who use blue on their sites tend to be self-controlled, smart and reliable. If this is you, you could consider yourself a deep thinker with many admirable traits.
Examples of Blue Sites
OC Design is a design firm from Czech Republic.
Chef De Projet Internet
Chef De Projet Internet is the portfolio of Brice Gouban, a webentrepreneur.
Campaign Monitor is an email marketing software for web designers.
The color of royalty, purple is often used with shades like gold or silver to imply luxury or sophisticated taste. It can also be combined with black to evoke a sensual or mysterious “dark side”.
If you prefer purple on your website, you take pride in your individuality and your drive to be different. Your unconventional approach to things also makes you more tolerant of other people’s “quirks”. You have a great artistic streak.
Examples of Purple Sites
Tanaiska is a promotion site on "Abada and Dinner in Cameroon for free."
Chuck Olmstead Memorial Fund
Chuck Olmstead Memorial Fund will help detect an aneurysm before it ruptures, and increase awareness around symptoms of a brain aneurysm that already has ruptured.
Michael Cassius is a creative web designer based in Melbourne & Sydney.
This inviting color has found a new home among “web 2.0” style sites and apps, where it’s often combined with a vivid green, orange or purple to create a new style all its own.
Likewise, people who use teal on their site tend to be inviting, charming and amazingly creative. They might seem cool and confident on the surface, but inside, their minds are going ninety miles a minute churning up new ideas and questions.
Examples of Teal/Turquoise Sites
Owltastic is the blog of Meagan Fisher, a talented web designer and speaker.
Lucia is a graphic designer, illustrator and keen photographer.
Josh Sullivan is a web designer/developer living at Nashville, TN.
A decidedly feminine color, pink is all about the feeling of love without the raw passion that red demands. Those who use pink on their sites tend to be motherly – if they don’t have children of their own, they’ll create a family through community.
People who use pink tend to be protective and nurturing. They are an endless source of inspiration and endearment to those around them.
Examples of Pink Sites
Make Mine Pink
Make Mine Pink is founded by Joyce Lucas, a web designer, graphic designer, amateur photographer, dreamer, and a champion of women in business.
Designs by Patima
The design portfolio for Patima Tantiprasut.
Charuca is the universe of characters created by Charuca Vargas.
Combine the poise and refinement of purple with the protective side of pink and you’ll get all the qualities of someone who enjoys lavender. Sites incorporating lavender tend to be continually working toward improvement and refinement in every way. These sites are leaders without the ferocity and strength of the warmer colors, while still retaining a softer side.
Examples of Lavender Sites
The website of Sylvia Loh.
Shout Digital is a digital agency providing strategic digital solutions.
Bad Ass Ideas
Bad Ass Ideas is a web design blog of Samantha Warren.
A deep, earthy color, shades of brown, ranging from deep chocolate to beige, using brown in your site is meant to evoke a look that’s dependable and rock-solid.
Brown doesn’t mince words and doesn’t approach things with the impulsive streak that Orange or Yellow would, but those who enjoy brown are still the people you can always confide in and rely on when the more boisterous colors are off on another adventure.
Examples of Brown Sites
The blog of Marc Grabanski, a developer.
Sam Asante is a web designer from Cardiff, South Wales, UK.
Bright Creative is a one-person studio in Vancouver BC, run by Dave Shea.
Grey is the color of sophistication, of something tried-and-true that has withstood the test of time. A favorite of corporate and technology sites, especially when matched with blue or teal, grey is cool, refined and ever-watchful. Those who use a considerable amount of grey in their site value tradition and calm over rocking the boat just to create waves.
Examples of Grey Sites
Johnny Rocket Creative
The portfolio of Jonathan Daiello, an experienced designer.
The portfolio of Catalin Boroi, a web designer.
The official web site of Apple Inc.
Along with white, black isn’t truly a “color”, but using it on your site still says something about you. You may have hidden desires and depths that few people know about. You don’t open up to others easily, but the very enigma of you is what draws others to you – like moths to light. Using black on your site can show an air of secrecy, refinement and seductive beauty.
Examples of Black Sites
Beta Design Studio
The website of Francesco Agnoletto, a web designer from Venice Area, Italy.
Owain Lewis is a freelance web designer and front end web developer from Cardiff.
Nedeco is the portfolio of Neagu Denis, a web and graphic designer.
Incorporating enough “white space” keeps a site readable and easy to navigate. Those who use white on their sites present a look of purity, cleanliness and in some cases, holiness or reverence. Those who prefer white aim to create a space that’s open and free. When combined with other colors, white allows them to take center stage and work to create a solid first impression.
Examples of White Sites
Ray Anthony is a graphic designer who is passionate about art.
Dan Scotton is a freelance front-end web developer and information architect living in London.
Colin Grist is a website designer, front-end developer and general rambler.
Reading Your Personality
How does your website's color scheme reflect your personality? Are you more of a Red or a Lavender? A blue or a blue-green? What do you want people to feel and learn about you when they visit your site? Tell us about it in the comments below