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Choosing colors for your design

There are many choices to make when designing your website. From what should be on your home page to how to structure your internal links. One of the aspects and one of the early choices you'll make when working on the aesthetics of your design is your choice of color scheme for your site.

Many times we all want to use our favorite colors on our sites. It's our site after all and shouldn't we let some of our personality show on our site? Letting your personality show is a good thing, but your favorite colors may not be the best to use. Your color scheme will play a big role in what people associate with you, your site, and your business.

What Meaning Do Colors Convey?

Colors evoke emotion in all of us and we make judgements based on the colors we see. Colors can be warm or cool, loud or soft, happy or sad. You may want to portray your site as calming and logical, but if you choose reds and purples as your primary colors your will be associated with passion and emotion. Different colors will lead to different emotional responses.

  • Red - energy, strength, desire
  • Blue - depth, stability, trust, loyalty
  • White - goodness, innocence, purity

Looking at the above is it any wonder that blue is such a popular color for websites? You don't have to wonder long when you think how important it is to build trust with your potential clients and customers.

There are many cultural differences associated with color as well. For example in India red is associated with purity and it's the color of mourning in South Africa. Very different emotions than an American or European audience would feel seeing red.

Before choosing a color scheme spend sometime understanding what emotions you want to convey with your website. Once you do, it will be much easier to decide on your primary and secondary colors. And remember that no matter what messages you want to get across your color choices will also be sending out mesaages. Make sure it's the same message.


There's a lot of information about colors and their meanings. Below are some links that will help in understanding what associations may come when using different colors. Hopefully they will spark your interest in color and lead you to more helpful resources.


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