Let's get creative: How to choose your website colour palette

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‘Life is like a rainbow. You need both rain and sun to make its colours appear’. ~Unknown

What are your favourite colours? What colours make you feel inspired and alive and are so you? In this blog post I will talk about how to choose a colour schemes for your website. If you have no idea about what colours you should pick for your website, don’t worry I will talk you through it.

It can be quite daunting to choose your colours, colours have meanings, ooze a feelings and could you make your customers feel at home or make them run away! We don’t want that!

Why is this important?

The study of colours has been around for many years, even the Egyptians studied the effect certain colours had on their mood. Humans like colour, we are visually driven!  Colour has an effect on the customer’s behaviours. It changes how they perceive things and how effective they are. Image if your office was in a dark room or a bright light room. Which one would work better for you?  There have been many studies and some even say that 90% of customers choice on buying a product is based solely on colour! The colour you choose will speak for your brand identity and personality and people are very much affected by this.

What do colours mean?

Now we have to keep in mind that different cultures and societies have different meanings when it comes to colour. What I discuss here below is based on the Western Culture.

Red – This is my favourite colour! It portrays strength, confidence and power because it is so visible. The red colour is said to activate the pituitary gland. This causes your heart rate to go quicker! Red is also associated with aggression, energy and danger.

Orange – This colour is very much associated with my home country The Netherlands! Whenever there is a national event, every one dresses up in orange! The colour represents creativity, excitement and youth.

Yellow – This to me is such a happy colour, it is great for attracting attention. This colour is associated with optimism, positivity, light and warmth. Be careful using this colour on white backgrounds as even though it is great for attention it can be difficult to see with the wrong background. Humans catch the colour bright yellow first when looking at a colour wheel, so it could be a good option for Call to Action buttons, again you will need a good contrast!

Green – Green is associated with nature, health, organic and the environment. Light green is used in spa’s a lot since it gives a feeling of relaxation, calmness and health. The darker green represents wealth and prestige.

Blue – This colour oozes trust, security and stability. That is why you see it a lot in the financial industry such as banks. Darker blue can portray seriousness, being conservative and professionalism. Blue is also linked to sky and the ocean and therefore gives a serene and relaxing feeling.

Purple – This colour is associated with luxury, royalty and wealth. It gives a feeling of mystery and spirituality.

Black – This colour is dark, sometimes negative and bold but it can also be powerful, classic, stylish and elegant. This colour can be used to portray seriousness, bold, powerful and classic. This colour is good to use when you want to portray the look of expensiveness, but don’t use it to much because that it will look to overpowering.

White – This is colour means simplicity, clean, modern, purity and cleanliness. White space on your website is very important to give a clean look. This colour is often used on healthy and baby products.

Here are 4 quick step to choose your colours!

1)      You have to pick colours that resemble your brand. You have to be connected to the colour scheme you choose! If you are not feeling it, neither will your customers

2)      You will need contrasting colours in your scheme. This comes in use when you want your Call to Action buttons to stand out

3)      Use tools such as www.coolors.co

4)      Play around, have fun and test it out!

Mindfulness tip here, enjoy the journey, enjoy the testing, it doesn’t have to be perfect right away. People are often too consumed with the end goal that they forget to enjoy to life in the now and just enjoy the journey!

How did I choose my colour palette for my website?

First of all I made a mood board. A mood board is a collection of pictures, colours, textures that resonate with you, it evoke a style or concept. I will write a blog post about this how to create a mood board as well. But this step is crucial for your creative process. It is the foundation and inspiration for your website.

This is the mood board I made for my website:

Aaltsje Hiddema Squarespace Webdesigner - Moodboard.jpg

Next I went over to my favourite website when it comes to colour palettes: www.coolors.co.

Once you are on the website click on the button, to the right hand side of the screen where it says ‘Generate’

Then click on the little camera icon, pointed out below in the picture. This will allow you to upload a photo and from that photo you can create a colour palette. So I uploaded my mood board! You can choose to upload from your PC or from a website link.

pick colours from image coolors.jpg

Once you have uploaded your picture the below screen will come up. You can now have fun and click on the button ‘Auto’ I will keep generating different colour palettes.

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When you find a palette you like hit OK and an overview of the colours will come up. In this overview you can drag and drop the colours in the order you like and you can also individually adjust the colours Hue, Saturation and Brightness. You can also adjust the level of the shades of the colours you picked.

This make life so easy, grab a glass of wine, put on some tunes and play around with this. What colours feel like you? What colours get you inspired and motivated! As said earlier, if you are not excited about them, neither will your customers.

Now there are many other ways to create a colours palette, this was the one that worked for me and I had a lot of fun creating it! Now it is your turn! Have fun and play around!

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