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  • Debbie Martin

The psychology behind choosing colours for your website

Updated: Oct 12, 2021


Medieval court jester in harlequin print holding a small puppet also dressed in harlequin print

Colour Theory

What colour palette would you use to draw your web audience into your website? It’s not all about being visually attractive, but using colour combinations that evoke the emotional response you want to get from your potential customers. As a designer, I also take into consideration the vibrancy and contrast of the colours used, as well as working with your brand identity. There are some accepted colour theory rules which all good designers know, that brighter colours use more energy, a high contrast makes text more easily readable, which colours from opposite ends of the spectrum create more visual harmony.

There are so many colours and shades to decide from when designing a website, picking the ideal ones can seem like a mammoth task best left to an expert. All the available colours originate from the three primary colours – magenta, cyan and yellow (known traditionally as red, blue and yellow).

Getting to the psychology of colour, here are samples of some basic accepted meanings for colours that will help you on your web design journey.


You may be wondering where black and white slot in with these evocative colours. Well, technically, black is the absence of all colours and white is a combination of all of them! Black and white together – referred to as monochrome – is a combination of complete opposites, but it can convey a strong message to use them together. Black on its own evokes authority and strength, professionalism and intelligence, while white creates a feeling of cleanliness, purity and peace. Leaving a certain amount of white space around text and images can help the text stand out (known as active white space).



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