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Website Color Schemes and Web Fonts — Two Key Factors in Effective Web Design

The Institute for Color Research says that the average person makes a judgment about a product or brand within 90 seconds — which is why the initial first impression you give someone on your website is so important. The two most critical aspects of your website that will help you make a great first impression include: the choice of color and the choice of web fonts.

The Importance of COLORS

Website color schemes have the ability to generate a positive impact on the visitors to your website or target audience of your brand. You want the user who visits your site to feel comfortable taking action and positive about your brand. Even if users don’t realize how important colors are, it is often a subconscious reaction.

Different colors symbolize and evoke different emotions. So when choosing the colors to represent your brand, it is important to decide exactly what your brand is trying to convey and who your target audience is.

For example:

BLUE — Blue is often used to convey honesty and trust. Regarded as soothing and dependable, blue is approachable and known to relax web users. Many social media sites use blue, including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. It is a pleasing color for a site that someone plans to be on for long periods of time.


GREEN — Green is often used to convey healthy, safety, stability and freshness. Whole Foods is an example of a brand that uses green in their logo to convey a mix of freshness, health and nature.


RED — Red is often used for excitement and in high-energy situations. Red is also commonly used as a strong call to action color. (Stay tuned for tips on CTAs later in this post.) ESPN uses red for their logo to create excitement and energy.


SILVER — Silver is often used to convey sophistication and class. Some of the most sophisticated and high-end brands use this clean and monotone color to represent them. One of the most notable is Apple, widely regarded as being an industry thought leader and representing exclusivity.


YELLOW — Yellow is one of the brightest and most fun colors. It evokes a happy and cheerful demeanor and evokes creativity. It is often used in products that are targeting children. Snapchat used yellow in a positive way, seeking to attract a large, diverse crowd and give off a comfortable and fun feeling.

When choosing a color for your brand or website, it is important to think of your target audience not only in terms of what they are looking for, but also what they need. If your target audience is elderly, yellow can often strain the eyes and inhibit readability. It is recommended to use dark or black text in most instances to give contrast.

Your brand identity should consist of one of these colors that will be the main color representing your brand (Coca-Cola is represented by red; McDonald’s is represented by yellow). Once you have this color, choose four (max) additional colors to build your palette. There are various tools that can help you find colors that complement your primary color (for example, this Adobe Color Wheel).

One of the most important colors in your brand is your CTA color. It is a best practice to choose a color that is the opposite of your primary color on the color wheel. This will be a color that completely contrasts with your primary color and stands out on a page. This color should be used as your CTA color to draw attention to any action you want the user to take. This color should be an additional color on your palette, to be used sparingly and only in situations where you want the user to take action. This will train the user to associate this color with invitations to take an action.

Consistency is crucial when it comes to your brand, so it is important to implement your color palette across all of your branded items.

The Importance of TYPOGRAPHY

Choosing the right font for your brand is as important as choosing the right color scheme. The first step in choosing your typography is the biggest decision of all: Sans serif vs serif.

A sans serif font is a letterform that does not have extending features called “serifs” at the end of strokes. Sans serif fonts evoke a modern and clean feeling. A good and common example of this would be Helvetica. Serif fonts are letterforms that DO have the extending serif feature. Serif fonts are timeless and classic, and also very easy to read in large bodies of copy (this is why most books use serif fonts). A good and common example of this would be Times New Roman. Even though Helvetica and Times New Roman might be the common examples for sans serif and serif fonts, there are many alternate choices that are also free that you can use for your logo, branding collateral and website.

Here’s a few examples:

Sans Serif


Open Sans


Droid Serif
Roboto Slab
If used thoughtfully, a brand’s color and font can become just as important and key to brand recognition as the actual logo itself. Ideally, colors and fonts interact together to create a memorable experience for your users.

Questions about color and font selection, and how these choices relate to visually appealing and compelling web design? We would love to help! Let’s Talk!

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