Choosing color for a website?


When ever I create a website. I start with a simple plan on paper and when I get in photoshop, I am able to find the color I need, just by trying and seeing what I like.

However, right now I am trying to redesign a site that I started a long time a go, and I’m blocked, I can’t seem to get any color scheme that I like out of photoshop.

The two man colors that I am going to use are: #007C8D and #00808C, but the site still looks empty.

Long a go I read the site point book “beautiful web design” (something like that), and I remember it talking about using the color wheel to generate the color you would need for your site.

Now, because I never used it before, I wanted to ask your opinion if this is the correct use of a color wheel?
So am I right in thinking that I am now supposed to use any of the colors from the squares on the bottom right of this result :

If you could help me in anyway, I would be greatful


I think “supposed” is too strong a word. It’s just a suggestion! There are various styles, too, like mono, complement and triad etc. These are just possible color combinations that might work together, but they may not work for you.

When you say “the site still looks empty”, I suspect color is not the main issue. Make sure you have a clear plan for the organization of content the site, as that is more important than color and other decoration.

Feel free to request a review for more suggestions.

That is exactly what I wanted to hear.

you are right that color is not the only issue (I did not word it correctly) but as stook on color choices (something that I usually visualize right at the beginning) and just need that kind of assurance that those colors are suggestion.

but they may not work for you.

Thanks for saying that. This was the kind of advice I was looking for.

The site is not ready to be reviewed :slight_smile:

You need to pick a base color. The color wheel function is to help you select MATCHING colors ( a palette)… in the website you saw they are displayed in the boxes you mentioned ( thats for you to pick the colors, not a suggested layout or use of the colors). For #F3A6CD for text and #00535B for a bg. Keep in mind these are also suggestions.

Also note there are may harmonies with in it depending on what you need… ,mono chromatic, complimentary, split complementary… etc. You can then pick and chose individual colors from any of these schemes based on the mood you want to give the site and your knowledge of color theory.

Another note, sometimes I will add a discordant color (one WAY off from the scheme suggested) to a scheme as a strong highlight or conversely i will add a neutral color to the suggested scheme. I find doing so broadens my choices and augments the moods that can be created.

hope that helps

As I said this is the first time I am using the color wheel so I will have to play around with it. I never used it before, I normally have no trouble choosing the color I need (and from feed back I get, I’ve never been wrong).

This is a good idea, I dont think I ever done this, but I can imagine it working well.

I think it’s time for me to read on color and learn about of theory of how to choose colors - though I have a feeling that nothing beats the designers instinct (I might be speaking too soon )

“designer’s instinct”, like any other instinct, is just research + experience. :wink:

Don’t forget to take your expected audience/client base onto consideration.
A website aimed at pre-school or primary school children will work on a completely different colour palette to one aimed at businessmen, you may end up using colours from opposite sides of the colour wheel for children.
What are your competitors sites like? Do you want to blend in with them, or do you want to stand out?

I want to stand out, as the competition look like they have been designed few years a go, too cluttered.

Yes, that’s my favorite tool. (The OP mentioned this one in the first post.)

I also like Adobe’s Kuler as a color design tool. And the community comes up with some awesome color palettes.

I tend towards the “matchy-matchy” color schemes if I’m not careful – I told a current client that if left to my own devices, my unconscious preferences towards ice blues and steely grays make my sites look like the Fortress of Solitude. I had to have a 7th grader point out to me that blue and brown went together beautifully. Color isn’t my strong point, either. :slight_smile:

Right now that client really likes a relatively monochromatic palette based on several shades of lavender and purple. I’m having to include aesthetic appeal with things like typography, structure, and the like, to mitigate what I consider a relatively dull palette. There are alternatives to big bold David Bromstad-like palettes.

There is this fantastic tool that has popular colour themes: You may want to try that.

Site looking empty has nothing to do with the colour. All you need to do is make a comprehensive sitemap that covers present and future needs. Once that is done, you will need to think of elements you want to promote on homepage. Elements can be selected based on your project goals. For instance, if you want your homepage to do sales for you, then highlight your best products…

A cool trick to try (what I done with my blog) is to take an image with really nice colours, go into photoshop, filters > pixellate > mosaic, make the squares nice and big, and then colour pick from there. Sometimes you can create some really cool colour schemes

There are some tips for Choosing color for a website:-
1>Color Rotate
5>Color Blendor

What I would suggest is to make sure the colors you pick are natural and not ‘plastic’.
I would also try using line patterns with differen density and play reversing the forground and the background.