Some of the most appealing color schemes are also underused. Designers tend to jump on the bandwagon with trends each season. They gain inspiration from other creators. However, using the same hues everyone else does isn’t conducive to standing out from the crowd. Today we are going to discuss the top web design color schemes that are currently underused.
Various colors impact our moods. Color psychology assigns specific emotions and psychological reactions to different shades. Color can make you happier, help you feel creative, or spark a desire to act. While there are some rules of thumb for what colors create what emotions, the perception of color is an individual experience.
Designers often use red to signal excitement and deep blue to inspire trust. Knowing the general guidelines for what colors mean is a good starting point. You can then measure those factors against what you know about your buyers.
Here are some color schemes we adore, but you don’t see very often in today’s web designs. Check them out, find out what we like about them and see if any would work for your business.
1. Analogous Color Schemes
Analogous colors are those next to each other on the color wheel. You will mainly see contrasting colors in web design. It makes sense because high contrast is attention-grabbing. However, an analogous look is soothing.
Color combinations might include blue with green, red with purple, and orange with yellow. You will want to use this type of color combination with plenty of negative space and neutral elements. For example, your header might be blue and green, while your body background is white and your text is black.
Brightscout uses blues and greens for a modern touch. Note how their page body has a white background, but they pull in the color palette with small accents. Within each color family, there are hundreds of choices for shades. Figuring out what goes best with your primary color takes a bit of experimentation. They’ve chosen bright shades for both the blues and greens.
2. Purple Hues
Though purple looks great on websites and meshes well with many other colors, you won’t see it as often as colors such as red, blue, and green. We aren’t sure why so many designers overlook it, as a deep hue isn’t feminine and can apply to nearly any industry.
Purple has a modern appeal that screams youth and cutting-edge technology. Use it as an accent or your main color in a palette. You can then go with contrasting colors or any method you and your customers prefer.
Illuminated Integration uses some deep purples to create an almost mystical aura. Because this company specializes in setting up event venues, their color palette calls to mind a concert or stage production.
They also add some medium purple for the call to action. Know your user and what colors they prefer. Studies show CTAs personalized to buyers are much more successful than generic ones.
You’ll find a mix of blues, greens, and purples throughout the site. It is a unique look that grabs user attention and keeps it.
3. Complementary Colors
Though you’ll see many sites with a complimentary design, not all colors get used frequently. Complementary means the colors are across from each other on the color wheel. Think blue and orange, red and green or yellow and purple.
Remember, too much use of complementary colors can be jarring. Save this color palette for accents or small portions of your page, so as not to overwhelm your visitors.
Dropbox hits all the right notes with the complementary palette of orange and blue. The blue is a deep color and the orange is a pale, almost peachy shade. By choosing a complementary color on the lighter end of the spectrum, they create instant contrast between the background and the text.
Does your business’ color palette use any colors that are immediately recognizable as being from your brand? Think about companies such as McDonald’s and their recognizable golden arches. Coca-Cola uses red in most of their product advertisements. What color do people associate with your brand?
Once you have the main color, instead of adding more, choose different depths in the same shade. For example, consider a deep blue alongside medium and lighter blues, like Home Design Find. Think about where you need the most contrast and use the appropriate hue.
We love the varying shades of teal on this site. You would expect a design site to have soft shades, but they set themselves apart from similar websites by using bold, dark colors. Note how they straddle the line between green and blue, but always come back to the teal or aqua color throughout most of the site.
Triadic color schemes consist of three colors, spaced equally apart on the color wheel. So, you might use yellow, magenta and blue. Be cautious in using these many competing colors, though. They work best as accents with a neutral scheme. You could also use one main color and the other two to highlight smaller portions of your page.
Kinsta uses an exciting triad of blue, aqua, and purple. You’ll notice at the top of their landing page, they feature a royal blue as their central color. They have accents in aqua. Further down the page, you’ll see hints of purple in the clothing on the illustrated people and in other spots here and there.
The site uses mainly blue with aqua as a secondary color. Purple is a third accent color used very sparingly, so as not to overwhelm the viewer.
Choose What Speaks to You
You know your business better than anyone else in the world. Choose the colors and styles that speak to you and represent your brand. You can always swap out some of the accent colors or even change your entire palette. It’s best not to follow trends, but to stick with your purposes when choosing what shades to use.
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the creative director at a digital marketing agency before becoming a full-time freelance designer. Eleanor lives in Philly with her husband and pup, Bear.