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How to choose the right colours for your website

Imagine a website with a red background. Now imagine pink text on it. You scroll down and see a carousel of highly saturated black and white images.

What do you do? 

You would be confused, at best. And at worst, you would just leave the website without completing an action.

In fact, it wouldn’t be just you. Almost 90% of consumers make impulse decisions based on the colours used, and 85% of shoppers base their product purchase decisions on colour. 

What is colour theory?

Colours play a vital role in making or breaking the deal for any consumer who browses through your website. They evoke emotions and feelings that help them directly form a perception about your brand before even interacting with it.

With our world becoming more technicolour, how do you choose the right ones to make sure you don’t miss out on growing your business?

For starters, decode the basics of colour psychology. While it might not be an exact science, it definitely helps one make informed decisions. Understand what a particular colour generally means and the associations people have with them. Most people associate red with danger or something that needs attention (thanks to the blood flowing in our veins) while many attach green with everything in nature. To make it easier for you, below is an overview that will give you an idea of what most colours denote.

Things to remember when choosing colours for your website

When scheming about colours for your website (see what we did there?), keep in mind:

  • Colours bring out the crux of your brand.
  • Imagine red and yellow together. What is the first brand that pops into your head?

    The golden arches and the big whopper definitely come to mind. While yellow and red justify their personality, they also help establish their brand identity. 

    Hence, it is important to choose a colour that most matches the personality of your brand because it helps visualise the brand message. For example, if you are a streetwear brand, you are likely casual yet witty. Use a myriad of colours that denote just that - the multifaceted street personality. 

  • An industry usually has established colours.
  • HCL, Dell, IBM, Intel, Lenovo, Asus. What do they have in common? Blue is consistent across their branding. Now think of bottled water. What was the first colour that flashed before your eyes?

    Often, brands from the same industry have similar colour schemes to make sure they get slotted into the category. Similarly, products like medicine packages and chemicals tend to be the same colour irrespective of the brands they belong to. However, this often results in the brand being lost to the category.

    Hence, before locking a scheme, be sure to take the tide into consideration and determine if it makes sense for you to go with or against it.

  • Website, social media, TVCs, hoardings, stationery, newspapers.
  • When it comes to branding, consistency is key and the colours that you choose should work anywhere and everywhere. While digital is where the real gold lies today, don’t ignore the power of offline and choose colours that stand out on any channel - online or offline. 

    Tips to consider when deciding on a colour scheme

    Now, this is where it all gets interesting. Sit back and take notes, here are some things you need to consider before deciding on a colour scheme: 

    1. Keep the colour scheme simple and harmonious. A busy one will distract the consumer from your product and confuse their eyes.
    2. Use colour as a differentiator and highlight the important aspects of your website where you need the user to take action.
    3. Think of colour combinations as your tools to get the user to focus on what you want.
    4. Refer to your competitors but don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd.
    5. When choosing your colours, think about contrast but don’t forget the context.
    6. While content is king, colours are the hard-working bishops - tricky to maneuver but potent when used correctly. 
    7. Most of your consumers might be mobile users. Choose colours that provide visibility, actionability and clickability across all screen sizes. 
    8. Think of the website as your ideal home and your colour palettes as the rooms. Now make the right real estate choices.

    It is important to understand the importance of colour theory to most importantly use the right colours in the right places on your website. (It really is important:)) However, choosing the right colour may get overwhelming at times. Determining the personality (by choosing the human characteristics it most closely imitates) of your brand can help in choosing the right colours for your website. 

    You can use the following matrix to accurately match the personality of your brand and store with the optimal colour. (Wondering how to determine your brand’s personality? Here’s a handy guide.

    We make a matrix where almost every shade has the personality written beside it to allow the user to determine the colour they should use basis the personality and add appropriate brand examples that are using it)

    So, here’s what you learnt today:

    • An insight into the importance of choosing the right colours for your brand. 
    • Where your brand colours will appear.
    • How brand personality helps to determine the right colour scheme for your brand.

    It’s time to now convert this information into action and get started with that website you’ve been thinking about. 

    In case you’re still confused as to where to begin, we have a solution. Shopify has a wide range of already available templates and resources that will help you choose the right schemes to bring the most out of your brand identity. Moreover, you can customise your website by using images and fonts that work in harmony with the colours so that you can have the perfect website at your disposal. So, what are you waiting for? Choose your scheme and get started.

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