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Choosing Website Color Schemes

written by: Robin L.•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 9/22/2009

A discussion of how colors evoke emotion and meaning and online tools to help you choose website color schemes.

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    What Colors Mean

    Choosing a web site color scheme is one of the most important aspects of web site design. Colors evoke emotions in people and convey meaning. When choosing the web site colors you will use it is important to make sure the colors you choose convey the intended meaning. The list below will give you some common color meanings.

    • Red - Strength, danger, war, power, courage, confidence, passion, and love.
    • Yellow - Happiness, intellect, and joy.
    • Blue - Stability, loyalty, wisdom, truth, trust and confidence.
    • Green - Fertility,life, nature, natural, and growth.
    • Purple - Royalty, luxury, power, ambition, magic, and mystery.
    • Black - elegance, evil, death, authority.

    If you want to find out more about these and other colors there are several websites you can explore. Color Wheel Pro gives an in depth analysis on color theory and the meanings associated with eight popular colors. For more information on the emotions and perceptions evoked by colors you can review The Meaning of Color.

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    Choosing Website Color Schemes

    Once you have a basic understanding of the meaning and emotions associated with specific colors you are ready to begin planning your web site color scheme. While there may be a variety of colors you are interested in using, they may not look good together. A handy tool to use when planning out complimentary colors can be found at Hyper Gurl. This color match program lets you pick a color to focus on and then shows you colors that would compliment your choice. It also gives you the HTML code that corresponds to the color(s) you have chosen. The color match allows you to adjust the red, green, and blue values so you can find the perfect fit for your web site design. This makes putting together you color choices a cinch.

    Color Combinations is a similar site that allows you to look at a variety of combinations and search for combinations by code or by color. If you are having trouble deciding what look you want you can browse, and look for combinations that are appealing to you and then check to make sure the meanings are compatible with the purpose of your web site design.

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    Why color is Important to Web Site Design

    Color is important to web site design for several reasons. As discussed previously, you want to make sure the colors you choose for your web site are apporpriate in meaning. Additionally, you want to make sure your web site is easy to read and navigate. Both of these depend greatly on the color of the background and text. If you have a lot of bright colors it can be more difficult for your guest to read the information and they may simply move on to another web site.