No matter what industry you're in, if you're creating a website or building your brand, one of the first things you'll want to do is figure out a color scheme.
It's been proven through a variety of studies in recent years that color can be a powerful psychological tool in establishing the way your audience perceives what you present to them. For example, color has been known to have the ability to increase brand recognition with audiences and even influence specific types of shoppers. This makes it more important than ever for you to learn the ins and outs of how to best utilize color to complement your work and distinguish which kinds of colors make the most sense for you and your color scheme.
Since there are millions of colors out there, let's start with the basics — the types of colors and what kinds of feelings and emotions they are related to.
Red is a warm color, known to evoke strong feelings of power as well as create a sense of urgency and excitement. This is why you can often find it associated with sales or clearance events.
Productivity, serenity, and security are the most often feelings associated with this member of the cool color family. Blue is also often used with brands to create a sense of trust and security.
Yellow is also considered a warm color, proven to be cheerful, youthful, and optimistic. It is also associated with clarity, and is often used for emphasis to gain the attention of viewers.
This member of the warm color family is generally represents confidence as well as friendliness. It is also often used to help create calls to action.
Purple is a cool color that evokes feelings of creativity, wisdom, and success. It is also used to calm or soothe, evident in the fact that this color is often used in beauty products.
This cool color is often used to represent the environment, the economy, health, and new growth. It also evokes feelings of tranquility and has been used to alleviate depression.
Black is a neutral color that tends to represent feelings of sophistication, timelessness, and power. This is evident in the fact that it is often used with marketing luxury products.
White, another neutral color, is generally related to feelings of purity and cleanliness. This color has also been known to evoke feelings of nobility as well.
Now that we've covered the types of colors and what they mean, here's a few of my favorite resources to help you create your next color scheme.
This is a really cool site that lets you enter in the color value for any color, then it generates pretty much all the information you could ever want to know about that color, including alternatives, shades, tints, and it even has a color blindness simulator to see how the color is perceived by people with a color vision deficiency.
If you're in need of a quick, simple color scheme in a flat, or "material design" style, then look no further than this site, which allows you to select two main colors and then it generates a palette and shows you which colors to use for which elements of your design.
This is another great "go-to" blog for whenever you're in need of a quick and easy color scheme. Several times a day, Design-Seeds posts simple 6-color palettes based from image submissions, and they also provide the option for users to search through their archives of past palettes for specific colors.
The first time I discovered this site I had a lot of fun with it, as it's one of the most interactive color scheme creators I've used in quite some time, and fair warning — this site can be addictive. When you first navigate to the site, you are greeted with a single color and a small square in the middle of the page with the hexidecimal code for the color as well as instructions stating that you can click to save that color. However, if you move your mouse over the browser window, you'll notice that the color on the page changes dramatically based on the cursor's location, so whenever you reach a color you like, simply click the mouse and it will save that color and segment an area of the browser then allows you to continue to process again and again until you have added as many colors as you want to your color scheme.
This is another fun color scheme generator, however this one generates a 5-color palette by default, which the user can then choose to tweak individual colors within the scheme or generate a completely new scheme by hitting the spacebar on their keyboard. Color schemes can also be saved and exported, and users can also browse color schemes created by other users.