A website’s colour scheme sets the tone for the site’s ambience. It enhances the image of the company and the brand it represents. There are two things you need to consider in deciding for your website’s colour motif. First is your identity. You need to know very well what your brand is, what you symbolize, and what you provide to your customers. From that, you can determine what colours would best characterize your company. Second is your audience. You need to ask yourself, “Who am I directly communicating with?” If your main customers are teens then you need an eye-popping colourful website. If you’re marketing to professionals then a clean crisp site will appeal to them. To help you in creating an attractive website motif, here are some colour schemes and techniques you can consider.
Play with tints, shades, and tones. These colour concepts are often interchanged but are altogether different. A tint is a colour made lighter by adding white while a shade is darker version of a colour as result of adding black. On the other hand, a tone is the colour made by adding gray. When you play with these, you’ll have a monochromatic colour motif. Robyn Morris, an Australian graphic designer applied this motif for Blue Pixel, using tints and shades of blue.
Explore the warm and cool colours. Warm colours are generally vibrant and energetic such as red, orange, yellow, and green. Cool colours give soothing impression and a sense of calm such as blue and purple hues. These motifs are very attractive. The Young Worker Toolkit website of the Australian government’s Department of Education, Employment, and Workplace Relations is an example of a site with a warm colour motif.
Combine complementary colours. Complementary colours are high contrast colour schemes. In the colour wheel, these are the colours opposite each other. If you want a vibrant looking website then go for this motif. You need to manage this scheme well so that it won’t appear over the top. A perfectly controlled complementary website motif is beccamarketing.com.au.
Go analogous. Analogous colour schemes are pleasing to the eye and often seen in nature. Basically, you use three colours for your website starting with a dominant colour then a support colour and finally an accent. If you want to know which colours are analogous, these are any three colours placed next to each other in the colour wheel. Darling Down’s Fresh Eggs website is a great example of an analogous website motif.
Try the tetradic colours. This is colour scheme has a lot of variations. It comprises of four colours or two complementary pairs. An eye candy at its very core, this website motif is great for children’s websites. When you use this scheme, you should manage around the cool and warm colours of your website to avoid looking too flashy. Child Friendly City is a great Australian website for kids showing the tetradic colour motif.
Having a colour motif that accurately represents your brand and company can make your website more enticing to visit. The web is like a huge magazine browsed by a lot of netizens. You need to stand out so that customers will stop and browse through your site. You can get a lot of ideas from the web, too! The McFarlane Prize for excellence in Australian Web Design is a good resource. Named after the Australian web pioneer Nigel McFarlane, this prize is awarded to the website that exhibits excellence in all the aspects of web design such as design aesthetics, proper use of technology, and impact to web audience. It’s worth looking at the past winners and nominees to get web design inspirations that stand out not only in colour motif but also in accessibility, usage, and coding.
Alexis Thompson is a former Mountain Backpacker and a 26 year old mother of 2 daughters, Sophie and Rhian. She is into almost all types of Music especially The Fray and Hillsong. She also has a passion in Singing and Scrap Booking. Follow her escapades on her Twitter.