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Color Theory in Web Design

Colors evoke feelings and emotions without saying a word. The colors of a website can influence people to think positively or negatively about you or your product. Color also creates movement to help visitor’s eye move through the website. When designing a site, designers should consider the emotion the owner wants to associate with their brand. Use color to your advantage to make sure your site gets across its intended message.

How Colors are Created
The primary colors from which all other colors are made are red, blue, and yellow. Mixing primary colors together makes green, orange, and purple—the secondary colors. Tertiary colors are created by mixing a primary color with a different secondary color. All of these color combinations are represented on a color wheel, an essential tool for any designer. Colors that are complementary are considered to be those that are in opposite positions on a color wheel. Colors that are analogous are right next to each other. Two colors that you will not find on a color wheel are white and black, but they are also very common in web design.

How Colors Create Emotion
Color theory uses interactions of colors to create emotional experiences and movement. Colors are classified as warm, cool, or neutral. These classifications are associated with the emotions that the colors evoke. Warm colors are oranges, reds, and yellows. Blues, greens, and purples are cool colors. Neutral colors do not create an emotional response; grays and browns are neutral colors. Here’s a more detailed look at emotions depicted by various colors.

  • Red is an emotionally intense color that shows passion, energy, strength, and excitement. At the same time, it also represents anger, aggression, or alarm.
  • Orange is a cheerful color that makes people feel enthusiastic and creative; it gives the impression of heat. Negative emotions associated with some shades of orange are deceit and distrust.
  • Yellow is a color that makes people feel happy or sunny. Certain colors of yellow, however, represent caution or danger.
  • Green is the color most attributed to nature. It’s also associated with a lack of experience and can evoke thoughts of ambition, envy, or jealousy.
  • Blue puts people at ease and is associated with healing, stability, and trustworthiness. It makes people feel peaceful. On the other hand, blue also brings to mind depression and loneliness.
  • Purple is the color of royalty and evokes feelings of luxury and importance. Dark shades of the color are associated with gloom and sadness.
  • White is associated with innocence, cleanliness, and purity, it is often seen as sterile.
  • Black evokes feelings of elegance and formality, but at the same time can make people feel mournful or mysterious.

It’s important to keep in mind that colors will not evoke the same emotional reactions in every person. There’s always an exception, and usually, it’s the result of cultural differences, though sometimes it’s just personal preference. As a rule, though, the above descriptions will stand true for a wide audience.

Color Contrast
Contrast is one of the most important concepts of using color in web design. Proper contrast reduces eyestrain and focuses the attention of the user. Even though colors may be complementary, they may not offer enough contrast to be easy on the eyes. This is often caused by both colors being too bright. To play it safe, choose a color that’s very light for the background and one that’s very dark for text.

When looking for a web designer, it is vital to engage a designer who understands the subtle differences that things like color choices can make. For professional web designers and expert graphic designers, get in touch with Infintech Designs.

Infintech Designs
3110 Magazine St., #120
New Orleans, LA 70115


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