How To Choose Your Website Colors

How do you go about choosing the colors you use on your website? Most people leave this up to the website designer but maybe you should take a more active interest in what colors you use.

In the field of the psychology of colors the work done by Dr. Max Luscher is often referred to as the authority. Without getting too academic, he chose to study the psychological and physiological effect that colors had on his subjects.

In other words, when you see a particular color what feelings do you get? Should you seek to evoke a certain feeling from your website visitors?

Here in summary form are his findings:

Black: This is the absence of color and represents death and nothingness. It evokes the feelings of evil but also helps to make the colors it surrounds to stand out more, so it’s not all ‘evil’ in that sense.

Gray: Represents the neutral zone. There is no commitment, no involvement, just the middle of the road.

Green: A common color in nature, it represents growth, health, money and personal ambition.

Blue: The color of the sky and evokes calmness, relaxation and unity. Looking at blue has definite physiological effect such as lower blood pressure and respiration rate. (This is my favorite color for the background of my websites–a dark version-and should be the color of choice for your “buy” links!)

Red: This gives the opposite physiological response as blue. So looking at red causes your blog pressure to rise, heart rate and respiration also increases. This color is associated with activity, appetite, desire and vitality.

Violet: Mystical, intimacy, union, and longing desire for a wish to be fulfilled.

Yellow: It’s like a softer form of red. Suggests happiness, joy, cheerfulness and boldness. It is calming and relaxing like the sun but shows a need for change.

Brown: (My favorite color) Representing the earth (soil), it shows home and family, warmth and welcome. Also have sensuous qualities.

Along with these emotional responses you may also want to look into the color combinations you use for your web page. Here is a website that gives you some great suggestions:

It’s best to stick to 3-5 colors total, and text is easier to read when it’s black text against a white background. I can’t begin to say how many times I’ve seen this little ‘rule’ broken. At least the majority of the text on your website should follow this rule.

So what is the theme of your website? Maybe just a color change can bump up your response rate.

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