How to Choose a Good Colour Scheme For Your Website and Brand Identity: Part I

How to Choose a Good Colour Scheme For Your Website and Brand Identity

Choosing a good colour scheme for your website could be a scary thing especially if you’re not confident about your colour coordination ability.

  • What colour should you use for your logo or headline?
  • Do you know how to pick complementary colours that combine well?
  • Which part of your website should you use colour?

Picking and mixing colour can be a tricky game. The result can look harmonious, or like a scene straight out of a horror film! If you avoid any colours, your website can look uninspiring and forgettable. If you use too much colour on your website, you risk making it look tacky. In addition to not understanding how to pick the right template design learning how to use colour on your website is one of the biggest challenges. This is especially true if you don’t have a natural aptitude for colour and design.

If you are drawing a blank on what and how to use colour on your website the right way, this post can help you.


Using colour can be simplified once you know the right steps to take. So, we’ve put this guide together to show you, step-by-step, how to:

  1. Choose the right dominant colour for your website and brand.
  2. Combine complementary colours to create your perfect colour scheme.
  3. Choose a background colour that works for you.
  4. Use colour in the correct places on your website.


How colour can improve your website and brand identity

When I ask you to think of Coca-Cola, what is the first thing that jumps into your mind? Well, wanting an ice cold bottle of Coca-Cola might be one of them. Then, an image of the iconic red coke logo may come to your mind.

It’s pretty hard to think of Coca-Cola without seeing the colour red. The colour red is as much a part of Coca-Cola as its famous soda. Did you know the decision of Coca-Cola to use red as their brand colour was not accidental?
The colour red serves two critical purposes:

  1. The fire engine red allows Coca-Cola to stand out from their competitors on store shelves; and
  2. Every colour has different feelings or emotions attached to it. When people see the colour red, it triggers emotional responses like excitement, boldness, love, and passion. These are precisely the feelings that Coca-Cola wants you to associate with its soda.


When you pick the right colour for your website, you are doing so much more than just make it look appealing — You are creating a memorable brand.

85% of shoppers place colour as a primary reason for why they buy a particular product.

80% increases in brand recognition when using colour. Brand recognition directly links to consumer confidence.

Source: Kissmetrics

By now, you should be thinking “Wow, colour is like magic! Why aren’t more people using it to their advantage?” Well, because most people don’t know how. So, in the next section, we will show you 3 easy steps you can follow to start using colour to your advantage on your website.

3 steps to using colour on your website – the right way

There are 3 main colours you need to consider when you are designing your website:

  1. Choosing a dominant colour as your brand colour
  2. Choosing 1 to 2 accent colours to create a colour scheme for your website
  3. Choosing a background colour to complete your design
  4. That’s pretty much it!  Don’t worry, we’ll show you how to pick them along with some examples

#1 Choose your Dominant Colour

The dominant colour is your brand colour – like the fire engine red for Coca-Cola. This colour will help bring out certain emotions or feelings when people arrive on your website – just like passion, excitement, boldness and love for Coke. This is the colour that you want your audience to remember when they think of you. If you already have a logo, make sure one of the primary colours of your logo is using your dominant colour.

However, if you don’t have a dominant brand colour in mind yet, here’s how to pick one:

Meaning of Colour: How to choose the right colour for you

Big companies don’t pick their dominant / brand colours by accident. It’s strategically chosen to be used as part of their branding and marketing initiatives. Different colours have the abilities to attract specific types of shoppers, and can even alter consumer behaviours. You can also use various colours to your advantage so you can attract the type of customer you want.

Now that you have a good idea of what certain colours mean, which one best matches your business, or how you want your website visitors to feel when they see your brand?

If you’re not quite sure yet, that just means you should take some time to reflect on your brand and the type of customers you want to attract. Are you trying to attract younger, more energetic customers? Or sophisticated individuals with more disposable income? Are your products / services catered to male or female?  Are they more suitable for a certain age group? Not all colours are right for your business. For example, if you are selling yoga mats, using purple (wealth, royalty) or black (power, luxury) might not be the best choices. You might want to consider using green (health, tranquility), gray (simplicity, calm), blue (peace, calm) or even red (passion, energy).

The Differences Between Guys & Girls – Their Colour Preferences

Okay, different colours appeal to different types of people, but did you know men and women generally prefer different colours as well? Which gender does your business or website target? — Is it women? men? or both?

By using colour combinations that are favored by either male, female, or both, you can alter their perceptions of your brand – subconsciously. For instance, based on studies, you can see that both men and women like blue and green. Both genders also dislike orange and brown. So if you are targeting both genders, the research says that it would be more advantageous to consider using blue or green as your dominant colour (or at least accent colour – more below). This is helpful intelligence to have!

Let’s take it one step further. How you use colour for your brand or products / services, can also be influenced by what emotions your target audience is drawn to.

Let me explain.

A lot of times, people purchase specific products / services as they subconsciously want to project a certain personality to others. Being seen strutting down the street with a new expensive purse, or hanging out in a hipster coffee shop, or being seen in a trendy new lounge, all quietly communicate certain characteristics about a person. Do you get my point? A lot of personal decisions are reflections of who they feel they are, and what they want others to see. It’s an identity people associate with and want others to know about it. So, if you want to attract people who identify with nature and tranquility, use green. If you want to attract those who want to be seen as youthful or optimistic, try yellow. If your target audience wants to be seen as powerful or luxurious, try black. Get it?

Take a few minutes and think about your ideal audience, and what they aspire to be identified with. What do they want and how do they want to be seen? A lot of psychology here, but it’s important for you to consider when building your brand.

How to use your dominant colour on your website

Now that you have a dominant colour you want to use colour in the right places on your website. Colour attracts a lot of attention, so you don’t want to insert it everywhere.

Here’s a general rule of thumb:

Only use your dominant colour in a limited number of places where you want your website visitors to pay attention to, or if you want your visitors to take certain actions (such as call a phone number, fill in a contact form, sign up to a newsletter, etc). Basically, your dominant colour is supposed to “pop” – really highlighting where you want your visitors to focus on.