Color Schemes: How To Choose Your Aesthetic Color Palette

You’ve decided to create your own website . Perhaps you have been thinking about color schemes for some time, even though you aren’t sure what they actually mean or why they are so important.

When it comes to web design, the best decision you can make is choosing the right color palette.

Color improves brand recognition by 80%. This means that choosing the right web design colors is crucial to make your website memorable and enjoyable for your audience.

Let’s first discuss the basics of color before we get into selecting the right color scheme for your website.

What is a website’s color palette?

The website color palette is the mix of colors you choose to use for your site’s design. These colors will be consistent throughout your site.

Ex: WordPress

To ensure that your website colors match, color palettes can be used. This is a way to organize colors in a way that looks good together and works well across your website. It’s based on the message, emotions, and actions you want your customers to take on your website.

What is the importance of a color scheme for my website?

It is obvious that you want your website to look great. Choosing the right color palette can make it so.

It’s more than having a beautiful site. The power of color in design is immense. It has a profound effect on how we perceive things.

The emotional and psychological effects of color have an impact on viewers. Different colors can evoke different emotions. This means that using color strategically on your site will help you convey the message you want your customers to hear.

Let’s say that the color blue is an example. People associate blue with trustworthiness and reliability. Chase is one of the many brands that use this color in its color palette. A financial institution would want to appear trustworthy, wouldn’t it?

Ex: Chase

Your brand’s perception is also affected by the color you choose for your website. Bad design can lead to visitors having negative impressions of your website and business. Let’s take a look at two websites.

Website #1 contains a lot of information but has clashing colors. Website #1 has a variety of fonts, blurry backgrounds, and different quality photos.

Are you going to spend a lot of your time here? Most likely not.

It’s easy for people to perceive a brand as untrustworthy, unorganized and unprofessional when they see a color scheme such as this. You wouldn’t feel secure buying a product/service directly from the site because it looks so unprofessional.

Let’s now look at site number 2:

There are still photos, colored backgrounds and text colors, but all of it fits into a consistent color scheme that makes the brand trustworthy and polished.

Which company would you choose to handle your water technology needs

This is the power of color.

Understanding the Basics Of Color

Before you can select your web design colors, it is important to understand the importance of color and how they interact. This is commonly known as Color Theory.

There have been entire books written on Color Theory. I will instead cover the basics to help you pick a great color scheme to use for your website. This article has more information about Color Theory.

Color theory, at its most basic, refers to the interaction between colors in a design by contrast, complementation and vibrancy.

Contrast, Complementation, Vibrancy


Contrast can be used to divide elements on your website. It’s like black and white…literally. These colors create contrast and they are completely in juxtaposition with each other. A black background and white text will draw your attention to the text. Contrast helps you see the text clearly and improves readability.

Ex: Lush


Complementation simply refers to how colors look together. Complementary colors, which are opposites of the color wheel, provide balance for your eyes (more details in a bit). Complementation can help you decide which colors will look best together.

Ex: HostGator


Vibrancy refers to the mood that a color sets. Warm colors (think reds, yellows, and oranges) are more stimulating. Cool colors tend to make us feel calmer (think green and blue).

Ex: Huge

These are the colors that make up color schemes. A scheme is a guideline for choosing the right colors to go with each other. These schemes are created using the color wheel’s color families and the elements of color theory. The color scheme you choose is your color palette.

Four Common Color Schemes

There are four basic color schemes that can be used as the base of most color palettes.


Monochrome color schemes are based on a single base color, but can include different shades or hues of the same color.

Ex: Davroc


Complementary color schemes use two colors that are on opposite sides of a color wheel (complementary colors!). You can use different shades of these colors but they must all be complementary to the original colors.

Ex: Slickplan


An analogous color scheme uses three colors that are directly next to one another on the color wheel. It creates a cohesive look throughout the site without being too monotonous.

Ex: Insurance Jack


Triadic color schemes use three colors but they are triangular to one another on a color wheel. This scheme is created by choosing a base color and then drawing an equilateral triangle across it to obtain the other colors.

Ex: Lorenzo Verzini

Creating Your Web Design Color Palette

You now know the importance and function of color, so it is time to make your own web design color palette. These are the steps that will get you started.

1: Select a base color

You will need a base color regardless of the color scheme you choose to use for your web design color palette. You could use a color already in your logo, or you might choose a color that evokes a certain emotion. (Ex: Green for growth).

Do not worry about the shade first. As a start, choose a base color. You can then use a tool such as Paletton, to determine the right shade for your main color. This will become your base color.

2: Choose a Color Scheme

Once you’ve chosen your base color, it is time to select the color scheme that will best suit your palette. We’ve already covered the four main colors (monochromatic complement, analogous and triadic), but there are many other color schemes you can play with.

It is important not to get overwhelmed by too many options or to use too many colors. Instead, think about how you want your site perceived. Are you looking to create a sense of calm? A similar color scheme is best as it creates harmony by using colors that are next to each other on a color wheel.

You can also use Paletton if you are stuck to figure out which color schemes work best with your base color. This will allow you to select the colors that will complement your chosen color scheme and make up your color palette.

3. Implement Your Color Palette

Once you have chosen your color scheme, and used it to create your color palette, it’s time to put it on your website!

Remember that your color palette doesn’t only have to be for your background or text. Consider the design elements of your website and how they relate to your color palette. Photography can be a major factor in your color scheme, as we saw with the website example. Make sure the images you select fit into your overall color scheme. This palette generator from Canva will allow you to begin with an image and build your colors palette.

Alternative: You can use an automated solution

Alternative – Tailor Brands offers an automated branding tool. I used to create my color palettes manually, but for many side projects I have started giving it to their AI branding tool.

Next steps

Don’t let the choices overwhelm you. Keep in mind that your site is not set in stone. It is possible that you will find the colors aren’t right after you have started using your palette.

Do not worry about it. You can always tweak your palette to achieve the look you want. It’s important to get started.

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