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Color Pallete – Guide for your website’s colors

"Color does not add a pleasant quality to design - it reinforces it" by Pierre Bonnard.

I have to admit sometimes tying in the meaning of color to its usage can be over the top, and
some other times designers choose colors just because they are well matched. Yet, it is
undeniable that colors can affect the overall 'feel' of a website.
You need to know what you want to achieve with your website, what kind of audience you
target, what kind of meaning you want to associate your website with.
You have to be a very selective picking up colors in your website, because colors are subjective.
What could be perceived as beautiful for a person could easily be seen ugly for another. What
could be perceived as happiness in a country may represent mourning for another. (Source:
Pixaal - Colours in Your Website)
Here are some explanations about the meaning of colors.
Warm Colors
Warm colors include red, orange, and yellow, and variations of those three colors. These are
the colors of fire, fall leaves, sunsets and sunrises, and are generally energizing, passionate, and
positive. Use warm colors in your designs to reflect passion, happiness, enthusiasm, energy,
and excitement.
Red
Red is associated with fire, violence, and warfare. It is also associated with love and passion.
Red can be associated with anger (ex: stop light), but is also associated with importance (ex: red
carpet). It is a perfect color for making people takes quick decisions, so you should definitely
use it for call-to action buttons, such as "Click here" or "Buy now".
If red stands for passion, joy and love, then pink represents femininity, friendship or romance.
Dark red is associated with anger, evil and will, while red brown stands for the harvest and
autumn.
Outside the western world, red has different associations. For example, in China, red is the
color of prosperity and happiness. In other eastern cultures, red is worn by brides on their
wedding days. In South Africa, however, red is the color of mourning.
Orange
Orange is a very vibrant and energetic color. Orange is used to get the attention of the readers,
and used to give a friendly and inviting impression. Because orange is associated with the fruit
of the same name, it can be associated with health and vitality. Orange proves to be effective
when promoting food products.
Yellow
In general, bright yellow stands for happiness and joy, while pale yellow gives a sensation of
calmness and tranquility. Dark yellow or golden yellow could make a person think about
antique objects, prestige and durability. Just like orange, yellow is often used to promote food

products.
Yellow is also associated with hope, as seen in some countries, yellow ribbons are displayed by
families who have loved ones at war. In Egypt, yellow is for mourning. In Japan, it represents
courage, and in India it is a color for merchants.
In designs, bright yellow can lend a sense of happiness and cheerfulness. Softer yellows are
commonly used as a gender-neutral color for babies (rather than blue or pink) and young
children. Light yellows also give a better feeling of calmness and happiness than bright yellows.
Dark yellows and gold-hued yellows can sometimes look antique and be used in designs where
a sense of permanence is desired.
Cool Colors
Cool colors include green, blue, and purple are often more subdued than warm colors. They are
the colors of night, water, nature, and are usually calming, relaxing, and somewhat reserved.
Use cool colors in your designs to give a sense of calm or professionalism. These colors will give
your website a balanced, stable and calm appearance.
Blue
Blue stands for calmness, responsibility, for something that is refreshing, for power, confidence
or peace, but it is associated with sadness in English. Light blues can be refreshing and friendly.
Dark blues are more strong and reliable. Blue is also associated with peace, and has spiritual
and religious connotations in many cultures and traditions.
In design, light blues are often relaxed and calming. Bright blues can be energizing and
refreshing. Dark blues are excellent for designs where strength and reliability are important. For
instance, it could be used either for a holiday website or for a corporate site.
Green
Green is a very down-to-earth color. It can represent new beginnings and growth. It also
signifies renewal and abundance. Green stands for life, health, and environment. Alternatively,
green can also represent envy or jealousy, and a lack of experience.
In design, green can have a balancing and harmonizing effect, and is very stable. It is
appropriate for designs related to wealth, stability, renewal, and nature. Brighter greens are
more energizing and vibrant, while olive greens are more representative of the natural world.
Dark greens are the most stable and representative of affluence. Also, green is appropriate for
sites promoting such topics as: the nature, renewal, fortune, durability and global warming.
Purple
Purple is related to luxury and high quality. It is a combination of red and blue so it is both
passionate and relaxing. It is associated with creativity and imagination, too. Purple is a color
symbolizing romance, perfect for websites that promote flowers, but at the same time this hue

could cause sadness if used too much.
In Thailand, purple is the color of mourning for widows. Dark purples are traditionally
associated with wealth and royalty, while lighter purples (like lavender) are considered more
romantic.
Neutral Colors
Neutral colors often serve as the backdrop in design. The meanings and impressions of neutral
colors are much more affected by the colors that surround them than warm and cool colors.
Black
Black is the strongest of the neutral colors. On the positive side, it is commonly associated with
power, elegance, formality, modernity and sophistication. On the negative side, it can be
associated with evil, death, and mystery. Black is the traditional color of mourning in many
countries.
In design, black is commonly used for typography and other functional parts, because of its
neutrality. Black can make it easier to convey a sense of sophistication and mystery in a design.
White
White is often associated with purity, cleanliness, virtue, simplicity and innocence. In the West,
white is commonly worn by brides on their wedding day. It is also associated with the health
care industry, especially with doctors, nurses and dentists.
In design, white is generally considered a neutral backdrop that lets other colors in a design to
have a say. It can help to convey cleanliness and simplicity, though, and is popular in minimalist
designs.
Gray
Gray is a neutral color, generally considered on the cool end of the color spectrum. When used
well, it is associated with tradition, somberness and calmness. When used badly, however, it
can cause a design to lack energy.
Gray is generally conservative and formal, but can also be modern. It is sometimes considered a
color of mourning; commonly used in corporate designs, where formality and professionalism is
the key.
Brown
Brown is associated with the earth, wood, and stone. Brown can be associated with
dependability and reliability, with steadfastness, and with earthiness.
In design, brown is commonly used as a background color. It is also seen in textures such as
wood and stone. It helps bring a feeling of warmth, coziness, and wholesomeness to design.
Beige and Tan

Beige is somewhat unique in the color spectrum, as it can take on cool or warm tones
depending on the colors surrounding it. They can be dull, but they can also be reassuring, which
makes them ideal for a site that does not want to be too bold or outrageous.
Beige in design is generally used in backgrounds, and is commonly seen in backgrounds with
paper texture.
Cream and Ivory
Ivory and cream are sophisticated colors, with some of the warmth of brown and a lot of the
coolness of white. Creams are calm, elegant and pure, making them a great background color
for a website that wants to imply a sense of tradition.
In design, ivory can lend a sense of elegance and calm to a site. When combined with earthy
colors like peach or brown, it can take on an earthy quality. It can also be used to lighten darker
colors, without the stark contrast of using white.

Color Palletes

Pixaal – Design and Web Development Digital Agency


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