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How to Choose the Best Website Color Scheme

Colors evoke emotions in your audience, so it is important to pick the best color scheme for your website. Here’s how to choose colors that fit your brand’s personality.

As you’re building a website, it’s important to consider the color choices you make. Your website is a direct reflection of your brand, which means you should already have color palettes that align. Just in case you were wondering how important the use of color is, 85% of consumers usually purchase based on color. Your color wheel is based on your brand identity and shouldn’t be taken lightly. In fact, there’s a color psychology and color theory that directly correlates to your brand’s personality and voice that you should be using in all your communications, including your website.

What does this mean? It means your color scheme is very important. Color is a huge aspect of branding, and your website colors are very important. Colors evoke feelings and increase brand recognition. Your website color palettes shouldn’t be contingent on what you think looks good but should center around what works for your brand and web design. That means the buttons and other accents used should have symmetry to help with conversions.

If you think there’s a science behind it all, you’re absolutely right. Choosing the best color for website design should be part of your brand strategy. Your website designer should be able to walk you through the process and provide tips to ensure you have the best website color schemes to choose from.

Should your website have a color scheme?

Every website should have a selection of website color palettes that work with your brand. The overall goal is to increase engagement. This means you must carefully plan what you are going to have on your website and how things will be arranged. Your landing page is the first thing visitors will see. It should be aesthetically pleasing. The content presented is also a factor, but it should have the right color combinations working together for maximum effect.

The user experience is key. The right website colors improve that experience. Here’s how:


If people don’t know about your brand, you’re not doing a very good job. That means you need brand recognition. Your website should be the most accurate representation of your brand. If there’s nothing worth noting on your website, will your visitors return? If you already have a website color palette, this makes things a lot easier than starting from scratch.


Colors help shape the perception of a brand. It helps people to understand your tone. Color psychology is very important in this area. Brands all have different elements of their personality that should be conveyed in their color palettes for websites.


The colors you use also have a special order. There are certain relationships between colors that help them play off each other. Bright colors and primary colors have their own harmony. Monochromatic color schemes are also popular, but there is one specific color presented in a variety of shades and intensities. Using one of the three basic types of color palettes, triadic, monochromatic, or analogous is usually the go-to for website designers who don’t have a color palette to work with.


An accent color is used to make certain elements on the website stand out. This could be a button with a call to action, the menu bar, header or footer, or text that needs attention. Using the isolation effect can help in maximizing the impact. These colors help people remember important aspects of your website.


When you have your website palette colors in place, it makes it even easier to use a website builder or other design programs to get your creatives designed. This makes the process simple and saves time when designing each page of the website. Before beginning the process, having guidelines in place that indicate what color a button should be, what size and color text, hover colors, links, and other elements like background colors makes sense.

How to choose the right website color scheme

The colors of your website should directly reflect your brand identity. That means your purpose, values, and personality should resonate through those colors. When choosing the right color scheme, you must also consider the products and services you offer. Once you get beyond your primary color, your secondary colors should complement everything else. Best practices are one or two colors used with the primary color. The last thing you want is for everything to look busy.

These colors should be on the website but should also be an integral part of email design, any eCommerce sites, social media images, and more. It’s easy to drift toward popular colors, but those trends never last.

Companies that take the time to really understand their audience and customers have a better chance of choosing colors that make an impact and won’t ever have to change. Your color scheme should be timeless and will look just as good 10 or 20 years from now. These types of companies have longevity. They are known to refresh their appearance, but the color scheme remains the same.

Choose your background

Your background color is key because it takes up the most space on your website. In most cases, there are two options. You can have a softer variation of your primary color to keep your branding in place or use an off-white color which is more common.

Consider your typeface

The typeface is what the text looks like. You want to make sure that color complements everything else. While most people opt for black and white, many companies don’t use straight black. Black on white can lead to eyestrain. Using a gray color is much more palatable and pleasing to the eye.


Your website colors should have the right saturation or brightness. One of the most important rules to remember is that the saturation should be consistent. You can vary the saturation for different effects. It’s always good to use a tool that can help you get to what you want faster. A palette generator can help you find a color scheme that reflects your overall brand.

To choose the right color scheme for your website design, have a main primary color, then have two additional colors that complement the main color. Choose a background color that can be softer than the primary color. Choose the typeface color.

What is the best color scheme for a website?

Again, when putting together your website, the color scheme should be one that directly complements and aligns with your brand. The best color schemes are those that resonate with your audience. There are many trends out there but that doesn’t mean they will last. Right now, here are some trends and combinations that are in style:

  • Pastels with a pop of a brighter color
  • Bright colors and jewel tones
  • Hot orange with black, medium gray, light gray, and white
  • Muted green with beige, periwinkle, dusty rose, and maroon brown
  • Lemon lime with light lime, fresh lemon, teal, mint, and navy
  • Jewel tones of mauve, deep blue, mandarin, lavender, and night moon

Remember, the ultimate goal of any brand is to engage and develop strong brand recognition. Comparing color schemes makes the most sense. You may even try one or two with different audiences before you get it right. Ask your colleagues or team to see what works with them and what doesn’t. You don’t have to commit to the first color scheme you come up with, but you do have to remember that this color scheme should be timeless.

Think about how these different colors affect your audience based on your brand personality:

  • Red is for happiness or excitement
  • Orange is for fun and is very friendly
  • Green is for nature, freshness, and money
  • Yellow is for optimism and is also very happy
  • Purple is for creativity and quality
  • Blue is for reassurance and dependability
  • Black is for elegance and luxury
  • Brown implies reliability and ruggedness
  • White is user-friendly, pure, and clean

Depending on your products and services, and the image you want to portray to your audience, these colors will have a significant effect and impact on how they perceive your brand. You must learn the color wheel and understand the relationship between colors before moving forward. It doesn’t make sense to choose colors that won’t resonate with your audience because you won’t get traction and your visitors won’t convert.

The color combinations used are a direct reflection of how you want to speak to your audience. Consider it speaking without words. The images you choose for your website should directly complement your color scheme, even to the point that certain images can be adapted to your brand colors.

While you want to have a visual aesthetic, you want those colors to be used the right way for the best effect. That means your user experience also includes the text you use and how you adapt that to color. Another thing to consider is the design. Will your website be responsive? This makes a huge difference in the design and use of color. Your color palette is a strong part of how your website will look on a mobile device. Having the right color palette makes your design better and the process of designing the site a lot smoother.

While you may not hear much about them, a neutral color may be the perfect offset for your color scheme. Even if you only use them for text, every color palette should have one or two neutral colors as part of the overall color scheme. This keeps the design easy on the eyes, which may be important if there is a lot of qualitative information on your site.

15 of the most recognizable brand color schemes

Some of the most popular brands in the world connect with their audiences because of the color scheme they have. They took the time to analyze the competition and fully understood the assignment of being able to stand out on their own. These brands got it right. Here are some of the most recognizable and their color schemes.


Fedex makes great use of three primary colors. Deep purple, orange, and white. It works because the color combination is striking and in your face.


Mailchimp’s use of yellow and black is recognizable and blends well with their mascot. It also brings out happy feelings while showcasing their strength in the industry. The colors are amicable and complimentary for marketing.


Mastercard makes good use of bright colors in its analogous palette. They have different shades of orange that move into red, then yellow, and then different shades of green. They were very strategic in choosing these colors because orange is associated with happiness and energy. Although they deal with finances, orange helps people wish they could do better in their finances.

Hewlett Packard

Hewlett Packard uses cool colors well. Although they have peach, yellow, purple, and green, their colors are used wisely to make their audience feel secure which is very important when dealing with online functionality. Timeless, yet modern, their colors have a huge impact.

Miami Dolphins

This football team has one of the most recognizable color palettes on the market. The teal, darker blue, and orange is striking but work because of the muted tone with the bright color.


NBC has a rainbow scheme that introduces color to its viewers. This represents their mission of bringing a variety of programs and shows to their network for all viewers.


Tried and true, they used bright orange and bright pink to make a statement. The colors are distinguished and bright to serve as a pick-me-up in the mornings, which was their original intent.

Best Buy

Although Best Buy rebranded somewhat, its color scheme is timeless. That bright blue and yellow offset by the white can’t be denied. They used to have a black outline around their text and price tag which is no longer there but the integrity of what they stand for is still the same.

Panera Bread

Panera Bread is recognizable miles away because its color palette is so distinctive. Paired with their fonts, it works well on their website and every other communication dealing with their brand.


Pampers has been around for a very long time. Their use of warm and cool colors works because the yellow and orange grabs attention and are seen as being friendly, while the variation of green/blue (aqua) is security, trust, and nature.


You can’t miss the Harley-Davidson color palette. The bright orange is for excitement, with the black and white adding a daring and dramatic appeal.

Hello Fresh

This food subscription box hit their color palette right on the nail. Green is for nature, fresh, wholesome, and vibrancy. Their use of bright greens in different shades, accented with white, is a good color scheme for those brands that want to be associated with eco-friendliness.


Reese’s pieces anyone? This color scheme is different, but it really works. The deep bright orange coupled with the yellow and brown resonates with their audience who see happiness, excitement, something that tastes good, and is reliable.


Again, the use of primary colors can’t be denied. The red, blue, and mustard colors are distinctive but each one plays into what the brand conveys. Security, excitement, and optimism that the software delivers.

Burger King

It’s often said that red also makes you hungry. There are many food places that use red, like Wendy’s McDonalds (as an accent), and Pizza Hut. Burger King’s palette is beautiful, with red, bright blue, and muted colors of yellow and orange. All these colors work together to provide trust, excitement, happiness, and more.

There are some companies that choose to have red as their color along with white or gray and that’s it. BuzzFeed, Coca-Cola, Beats by Dre, Airbnb, ESPN, Ferrari, KitKat, and Pinterest are some that use this one color as their base very well. The only other color is neutral, but for these, it works.

Build a beautiful color scheme in Mailchimp Website builder

Now you should have a better understanding of why having the right color palette is important in building your website and maintaining your brand. It’s easy to pull colors out of thin air, but having the right colors will draw people to your products and services in multiple ways. By understanding color theory and working with a color wheel, you’ll be able to pinpoint how to effectively reflect your brand’s personality and voice through color.

Building a website can be challenging if you don’t know where to start. One of the smartest things you can do is get help. Mailchimp’s website builder can assist in putting your design together, getting your color palette generated, and placing your elements correctly for a cohesive look that works. The Creative Assistant can walk you through the entire process, ensuring you have a timeless aesthetic and effective design. Get started by trying the website builder for free.

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