Colors matter in web designing! Right combination works

Colors signify a lot of meaning in every aspect of our lives and quite often act as symbol describing much more than being said. Similarly colors do play a major role while designing a website for they can effectively create a high visual appeal and convey the intended meaning. It is often seen that a site despite having excellent functional features still is unable to attract and retain the visitors because of improper use of color element in the design. This adds on to the task of web designers to select the right set of colors in conjunction with other elements (Text, images, graphics, etc) of a web a page. Color Pencils Various factors have to be considered before selecting colors for a site and for this an understanding of the colors and their implications is necessary. Only then it can be assured that the colors chosen are appropriate and enhance the value of a site.

Understanding the meaning of colors for web design


Red is a powerful color that denotes strong emotions of passion, excitement, love, energy. It has the potential to catch attention fast and can make the user take quick decision. In a website, red can be used for actions buttons such as ‘Click Here’ or ‘Buy Now’.


It is the most used color as content is usually written in black color. It stands for sophistication, formality and elegance and can be effectively used for a website.


Blue with its royal appeal and calm effect proves to be good color for websites. If used in combination with other colors like red and yellow, it can create the desired effect. It is a preferred color for corporate websites.


Green color signifies nature, growth, abundance and harmony. It is most suitable for promoting natural or organic products on a site. For health based sites, green color is an apt choice.


The color attaches the feeling of maturity, seriousness, sobriety, professionalism and quality. It can be advantageously used to depict these things based upon the nature of a site.


Though the color portrays energy, brightness, caution, happiness and is an attention catcher etc but it needs to be carefully used in a website as the overuse of it can produce negative results. If excessively used, it may not appear too pleasing to the visitors. As colors with their effectiveness can elicit the desired reaction from the visitors, it is important to make the right selection by considering the important factors.

Factors to consider for selecting the right colors for a website

Target Audience/Customers

It is of utmost importance to know the users for whom the site is actually meant for. Having knowledge about the aspirations and needs of the target audience, it becomes easy to decide as to which color will be acceptable to them. It is beneficial to use those colors to which they can easily connect to.

Cultural Context

Culture has lot to do with the meaning of a color. While in one geographic location, a color may have positive attributes whereas in other it has negative connotation. To say for example, the color white stands for purity in U.S whereas in other countries such as Japan and India, it signifies death or mourning. This affects the choice of color as a website catering to different cultures needs to take extra care and choose colors appropriately.


A fine balance must be made between the background and the text color to enhance the readability. The use of colors should be such that it facilitates reading without straining the readers’ eyes.


In addition to readability, Legibility too is an important consideration. Certain areas which need attention must be clearly visible and easily recognizable by the users. For example, a separate color must be chosen for links to make appear distinct from the content and even if they are clicked on they should not merge with rest of the content.


As a site is meant for all, it is important to take care of color blind users and such color combinations should be used that makes it easy for them to read the content. Color Combination is an important aspect of web designing. A website with a right combination of colors can create positive impact on the visitors. Colors really matter in web designing.

Author Bio:
Pratima Paliwal, associated with Seo-Semantic-Xhtml, a specialized division of ipraxa- a full service web agency, offering services like PSD to HTML, Ipad testing and Integration with third party applications like PSD to WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento and much more. You can connect with us at Facebook.


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6 Responses

  1. Nima says:

    I enjoyed reading this article… I always think of colors a lot in my design.
    Using proper colors can convert a very simple design to a professional design.

  2. There is a lot more to colour than this! For instance:

    The easiest on the eye for copy is 90% black on a white background.

    Reversed out writing – i.e. lighter text on a darker background is much harder to read as the eye focuses on the darker colour first, refocuses and then the lines that from the letters cut the background up and create ‘dazzle’. This means that the brain is working so hard trying to see the letters that the reader is less engaged with the actual message.

    Similar tones of two colours adjacent to each other will ‘argue’ and cause the reader’s eyes to work very hard.

    Also, it’s not good practice to write ‘click here’. Buttons and links should tell you what you’re going to get or should be a call to action.

  3. Daz says:

    This article has a lot of errors and didn’t seem like author put a lot of research in it before writing. A big mistake where this author does is trying to differentiate the color use by incorporating the use of subject such as cultural context. As for that point itself, there’s a very huge mistake in it. I’ve studied it and found it wrong.

    “To say for example, the color white stands for purity in U.S whereas in other countries such as Japan and India, it signifies death or mourning.”

    The color white stands still for purity in Indian culture as well for their flag contains a white stripe in the middle and I think the author herself is Indian. It’s such a shame to not know the significance of a color your national flag contains let alone knowing about color theory in professionalism.But the point here is that color theory has a whole different meaning in web design than common points of what you learn in school. It’s a deep subject and worth indulging yourself in. As a matter of advice, do some research before advancing with such a technical article. As just for the point about color white, I could tell you that it’s used as an intensifier for clean, minimal design as well as purity, peace and memorial sites as it is a direct symbol of light as well.

  4. Nice and informative article. Thanks for sharing :) I’ve also considered the “color topic” and write an article about colors in Web Design, hope you’ll find something new and interesting in my post:)) Here it is:

  5. Bruce says:

    This site is great for color lovers
    They have great examples of color combinations and patterns that work for print and web. Here is another cool link to an infographic – What does it take to be a graphic designer

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