3 Unbreakable Rules When Choosing a Color Palette

You know colors are important, so we’ve put together 3 fundamental rules to make sure you pick your palette with confidence.

1. Get Acquainted with the Color Wheel

The understanding color theory begins with understanding three groups on the wheel of colors:

Primary, Secondary, and tertiary. The primary colors are red, blue, and yellow. All colors are derived from these three. Secondary colors are a result of mixing any of the three primary colors together. Often referred to as orange, green, and purple. Lastly, there are tertiary colors. You can also call these “middle colors.”

You get a tertiary color when you combine a primary color with a secondary color. For example, these could be red-orange, yellow-green, or blue-purple. There’s a pretty deep rabbit hole in understanding color relationships, and this is a great start. Now that we know how colors are formed, we can solidify how they communicate to build our own combinations.

2. Understand Color Combinations

Each color has its own personality and significance. The same goes for the relationships between colors. If you choose a color scheme of red and blue, red signifies urgency and strength while blue represents loyalty and trust. The conclusion will be a blended atmosphere of intense, forthcoming commitment and stability. You could, of course, choose two or more colors that strike your fancy that balance each other rather than a contrast. It’ll be an entirely different vibe. A web designer will usually decide which combinations will be the best fit for your website. They’re pretty darn good at knowing how colors work together on the web specifically.

  • Analogous Color Schemes | Side by Side

Analogous color schemes are made up of three colors directly next to each other on a 12-spoke color wheel. Web designers will choose these types of palettes when looking to create a modern/sophisticated webpage.

For example, you’ll emphasize a vibrant relationship between red and light orange when you have a scheme containing red, red-orange, and light orange.

  • Opposites Attract: Complementary Colors

Some complementary colors would be red & green, blue & yellow, blue & orange, red & blue, and tons more. You get it. You can easily spot these types of colors by looking at a 12-spoke color wheel.

They’re directly across from one another. The opposite side of the wheel.

A good reason for using complementary colors is the sharpness of their contrast between each other. They can make specific, important elements on a page grab the user’s attention very well. A web designer always keeps this contrast in mind when designer navigations, buttons, and forms!

  • Triadic Colors: Evenly Spaced

This is considered to be the most basic color scheme. Triadic schemes are defined as any three colors located 120 degrees from each other on a 12-spoke color wheel. These combinations bring a lot of flexibility to the table because of all the directions you can go in 120 degrees. 3. Considering Color Psychology

Color psychology tells us specific colors trigger emotions > emotions trigger courses of action. If you’ve not heard of color psychology before, you’re in for a real intellectual treat. It’s suggested that choosing a color scheme based on emotional experiences will deliver a transparent brand and impact how your users interact with your brand website. This is how you establish a personality.

Judging anyone for any reason without knowing them isn’t good, right, but let’s all be very honest with ourselves. We assume subconsciously how a person’s behavior will be, based on how they’re dressed. The same thing goes for your brands’ website. Once you know what each color represents, choosing the most fitting color scheme becomes exceptionally intuitive. There are just so many freaking options when choosing colors. So by using color psychology as a guiding principle, you’ll make more informed design decisions for your brand.

3. Welcome Neutral Colors

Sure, these colors aren’t seen as being all that exciting. But neutral colors are a MUST HAVE for any quality-crafted color palette. Without neutral colors, there’s nothing to let our user’s brain breathe. Even if you’re only using them for text, every professionally crafted color palette should include at least two neutral colors. Yes. Non-neutral colors are vibrant and exciting, but the user needs a break from visual stimulation. You don’t want that break to consist of leaving your website. Neutral colors are what make all of the other colors “pop” and catapult users into action. We hope this helps you generate color palettes full of flavor.

This is something we love to chat with clients about. Feel free to set up a complimentary phone call to discuss your color palette or even how to improve your current scheme. We don’t win unless you win. From your friends here at Polished Code.

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