Using Color Effectively in Web Design

Color is a foundational element in web design. Designers routinely study the most effective ways to create a marketing-oriented aesthetic look for a website using color. Some designers prefer to be bold, while others are strategic. Sometimes we see color used as a highlight in key areas that have been shown to increase conversion through A/B testing, while other times, color is used to increase the UX of a design through style. In this article, we’re going to take a look at how designers use color effectively.


Creating a strong background

Designers will often use strong colors to highlight important sections of a website. For example, if you want to highlight a case study, portfolio item or special offer, you can use a bright yellow background. Any vibrant color works here, especially when it is in contrast with the rest of the color scheme.


Some companies can be very daring in their use of colors. By using a highly saturated and unusual color scheme, a company can define its branding as unique. We’ve seen this marketing strategy work with colors such as orange, pink, and neon purple, combined with black, or with a gradient effect.

Using brand colors

If you have a strong brand, you will also have a style guide and a specific color palette. These colors will represent your company wherever they show up, and as such, it’s a good idea to use them for your website. For example, if your company logo features, certain hues of red and blue, you have plenty to work with when building your website’s color scheme.

Color associations

Different colors elicit different emotions, and many designers will build web pages with these associations in mind. For example, you can use red to convey urgency, passion and power, or blue when designing a website that conveys intelligence and confidence. Black can be used for elegance and mystery, and white for cleanliness, purity and perfection. You can already see which industries would prefer a certain color over another.


We’ve spoken about the colors themselves, but what about the quantity, are there any rules or best practices here? Well, the best websites use a 60/30/10 rule, where the dominant color is used 60% of the time, the secondary color is used 30% of the time, and the accent color covers 10% of the website. The accent is usually a contrasting color that highlights important areas of the website, such as the sign-up button and CTAs.

Creating the color palette

Creating the perfect color palette might sound like it requires a lot of guesswork, copycatting, or talent, but the truth is that there are several tools out there that can help create it for you. The Adobe color tool can help you create a professional-level color palette based on best practices and color rules. There are many such tools out there, which will guide you through the process, and help you get the right look for your brand and website.



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