Colours are often the least discussed part of web design. Some clients provide their colour scheme and others simple debate the issue until the designer gets fed up. Whatever the case, it is essential that you as a designer must realise the importance of colours in the overall scheme of things.

Choosing the right colour scheme is vital because colours have a direct impact on how we see things and how do we interpret them. A suitable colour scheme is essential for achieving the aims of the project.

At the beginning of the project, both the customer and the design team should sit down and answer the three questions:

  • Who is the website’s potential audience?
  • What are the products and services being offered?
  • What are objectives of the website?

The answer to these three questions would illustrate the type of colour scheme required for the website.

Cultural interpretation of colours

Another aspect of living in a global village and getting visitors from all over the world is the fact that colours could have different meaning in different cultures. The designer would have to be careful in the use of colours in order to preserve the image of the customer and the brand.

For example, white is often used to depict purity in Western world. In Asia, it is the colour of mourning symbolizing death. Yellow is one of the royal colours of China while it is often interpreted negatively in the US. Purple is considered a royal colour but it is also taken as the colour of death in many Catholic countries.

These differences should be kept in mind so that the website appears to be sensitive toward international audience. Here are some popular colours and what would be their impact in Web design:


Blue is the colour of choice of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and of course Nokia. Blue inspires trust and is perceived as a neutral colour. It is mainly used to give the feeling of trust and stability. Various shades of blue are used to create excellent colour contrast and a ‘cool’ colour scheme.


Red is the colour of energy, passion, stimulation and action. It is used to highlight actionable areas of the webpages. Red is a difficult colour scheme because it is easy to overdo the colour and its various shades.


Yellow is a popular colour among the children. This is why many websites targeted toward kids are coloured yellow or carry a dominant yellow element. Yellow is used to create an atmosphere of positivity and calmness.


Black is used to portray elegance, sophistication and luxury. It is often used on websites that offer premium goods or services. Black is used often with to highlight the contrast and colour scheme of the website.


Gold is seldom used on websites because it is difficult to fit gold in any colour scheme. A really good artist might pull off the is often used in banners and pictorial ads.