Website Colors

Color line
Choosing colors for web sites can sometimes be a daunting task. A web designer can spend hours in getting the right look to a banner and the basic colors.

Some helpful hints are to look at past advertisements that you may have run. Do you like the look and color layout? What are the colors in your logo?

Another great idea is to take a photograph or image that represents what you want. Individual colors can be drawn from that image. These can be used in background, text color and more.

When communicating with someone, especially a website designer about color choices, a challenge arises. There are so many variants of colors that green is not simply just green anymore. Having to adjust colors takes time and can be a drawn out process.

The three primary colors are red, blue and yellow. Secondary colors are purple, green and orange. From there it keeps breaking down into many more combinations.

Color choice can affect someone’s thoughts and moods. They may also be a determining factor on how longs someone remains on your site.

Men and women typically have a different color preference Men lean towards blue and orange to red and yellow, while women prefer red to blue and yellow to orange. Women can perceive considerably more colors than men can. In other words, while men may find peach, teal or peacock as mere notions, women associate these things with colors.

Culture can have an effect also. White represents a color of purity in western cultures but may be bad luck in eastern cultures.

Color choice may depend on if you want to be soothing, dramatic, exciting or informational. Red is dramatic and exciting, while blue may be soothing and relaxing. Red may be better for food and blue for business.

You want to avoid having too many colors. It will create eye fatigue and eventually make your website look jumbled and confusing. Typically, three colors are suggested. A couple more complimenting may not hurt, but it is a judgment call.


color wheelPrimary Colors are the root colors Red, Blue and Yellow. From the primary colors other colors can be developed.

Secondary Colors come from the midpoints of combining any two adjacent primary colors which are Violet, Green and Orange.

Tertiary Colors are a third generation color that come between the secondary colors: yellow-orange, red-orange, red-violet, blue-violet, blue-green, and yellow-green.

Complementary Colors are colors that are opposite of each other as shown on the wheel. Some complementing colors are red and green, blue and orange, yellow and purple.

Analogous Colors provides a harmony and blending of the colors. They would be three adjacent colors such as blue, green and yellow. They give a comfortable feeling as found in nature.


Color spectrumThe RGB color model shows colors in which red, green and blue light are added together in various ways to reproduce a broad array of color The name of the model comes from the initials of the three colors, red, green, and blue.

The values vary from 0 to 255.

(0, 0, 0) is Black
(255, 255, 255) is White
(255, 0, 0) is Red
(0, 255, 0) is Green
(0, 0, 255) is Blue
(255, 255, 0) is Yellow
(0, 255, 255) is Cyan
(255, 0, 255) is Magenta

color vendiagram


When selecting colors with your website designer, a great resource is Wikipedia, which gives many colors and their RGB color codes. Use the following links to make sure you and your designer are on the same page.

For more ideas on colors, you can also read about color strategies.

WikiupediaWikipedia gives a good review of web colors
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_colors

Wikipedia gives a list of colors to choose from
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_colors