Best Ways to Use Color in Web Design

So, there’s a website design project you have to complete for a customer. Whether you are a self-employed web designer or work in a team, one of the first steps you will most likely need to take when starting the design process is to select the site’s color pattern or palette. In case you’re dealing with a site for a brand that already exists, your color range might be limited to its brand guidelines. Nevertheless, if at the moment you don’t have anything, but a black and white sketch and you still have no idea about what colors you’re going to use, you should read this article.

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Web design is a rather competitive industry. Companies working in this niche often rise and fall within a very short period if they don’t manage to keep up with the high-standard demands of the market. Therefore, it’s highly critical that both web design firms and self-employed web designers are flexible and can easily find ways to use new knowledge in their new projects. That automatically makes proper color use a very important, even vital thing in web design.

Perhaps, the very first thing any web designer must do before starting a project is to conduct a small exercise with the customer. Just ask them to make a shortlist of features and functions they believe must be associated with their brand. If you have an opportunity to meet with your client for this exercise, make sure they write each feature on a sticky note. After they’re done, collect all of the notes and stick them onto a whiteboard. Very soon, you will begin seeing a pattern (or several of them). Select and rearrange the notes, so you can cluster those that are related to each other. After this, you can give each cluster a name. Because this is just a small exercise, you’d want to use a short word for each name, the one that would encompass all of the interrelated features. It, in turn, will help you to kickstart your design process and godspeed towards its successful completion.

Either way, let’s take a look at how you can use color in your website design project and get the needed effects.

Color Vocabulary 

If you are working with colors, it’s important you understand the various terms involving color so you can employ them to fit your design. Here are some terms you should really become familiar with and understand:

  • Hue: this is the term for the actual color
  • Saturation or chroma: this applies to the purity of the color.  Color is at its purest point when it lacks all gray
  • Value: this means the lightness or darkness of the color. 

When you are familiar with these terms, you can create many versions for different projects

These terms actually have names.  Please read below:

  • Tone: This is when you add gray or desaturate the color or hue.
  • Shade: you add black or depreciate the value of the color or hue.
  • Tint: means adding white or intensify the value of the color or hue.

Using Colors in Web design

You have created your main color and have some knowledge about the rules. It’s time to create a strategy and define your color palette for your website’s design. So, let’s start from the top:

How Many Colors Do You Need?

The fact is, you can have as many colors as you want. That said, keep in mind, the larger your color palette is, the harder it will be to implement these colors effectively.  It could also decrease your ability to form a consistent design.  All said it’s still your choice but staying with a simple palette might be more logical, especially if you are just starting off.

Which Colors Should Be in Your Palette?

Your palette should offer one very light color and one very dark color. These two colors are very important because they are in total contrast to each other. Also, you need black and white for the color of your text and your backgrounds. Neutral colors are believed to be the best choices because they are so versatile while complimenting the colors on your palette. 

Just keep in mind, you do need base colors, not just interesting colors.

The Completed Palette

In general, the total number of colors on your palette should be five. You of those colors should be your light (white) and dark (black). That gives you three colors to choose from that are eye-catching and interesting.  By now, you have your main color that the other two choices should relate to going by the use of colors rules.


All in all, the importance of color in web design is undeniable. Never neglect color use if you want your projects to be successful and if you want yourself to be considered a reliable web design specialist. The same goes if you want your web design agency to be trusted by your clientele. Take all of the abovementioned tips into consideration and apply them to your projects accordingly. Go step by step, and you will be astonished by the things you will be able to create.

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