Beautiful Website Color Schemes | Color Schemes for Websites

by on January 24, 2017

Gin rough, gold and type design

Beautiful Website Color Schemes | Color Schemes for Websites

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Running one of the best small web design firms in Minneapolis, I love curating examples of great web design color schemes, and I’ve scrounged up a brilliant set of 21 for you today, from the far reaches of Dribbble, Awwwards, Pinterest, Behance and a couple great blogs. I highly suggest you check out the sources listed and enjoy!

 

Web Design Color Scheme

 

1. Intellectual Non-chalance

Light Blue Green: #6ed3cf

Soft Purple: #9068be

Tasty Eighties Grey: #e1e8f0

Rich Red: #e62739

Found on Trendy Web Color Palettes from Awwwards

 

Web Design Color Palettes- Softcore

2. Extra Snug

French Laundry Blue: #3a4660

Comfortably Tan: #c9af98

Peachy Kreme: #ed8a63

Brown Bonnet: #845007

Found on Desi Shirt by Filip Dueskau on Behance

Indian Web Design Color Palette- Yellow, Grey, Black Web Design Inspiration

3. Dark Horse

Are ya yellow?!: #feda6a

Silver Fox: #d4d4dc

Deep Matte Grey: #393f4d

Dark Slate: #1d1e22

Found on Vintage Rides Concept by Creativa Studio on Dribbble

 

Green, tan - Web Design Color Palettes

4. Sleepy Green Streaks

Simpler Lime Green: #7dce94

Scuffed Dark Grey: #3d3d3f

Vanilla Grey: #f6f5f3

White-ish: #f9f8fd

Found on The Jungle Book Website by Watson D/G for Disney

 

Precious Metals Web Design Color Palettes

5. Precious Metals

Rose Gold: #bd8c7d

Soft Gold: #d1bfa7

Silver: #8e8e90

Onyx: #49494b

Found on KAE Branding by Socio Design

 

European Bodies - Web Design Color Palettes

6. European Bodies

Yellow Hand: #fbf579

Lonely Blue: #005995

Stationary Pink Red: #fa625f

Purpled: #600473

Found on Website Inspiration by Mind Sparkle Mag

 

Web Design Color Palette

7. Simple Brilliant Accents

Red Overlaid: #cd5554

Photographed Brown: #91684a

Algae Green: #00c07f

Heritage Blue: #313d4b

Found on Website Inspiration by Mind Sparkle Mag

 

Still hungry for more? Check out the amazingness on Mind Spark Mag and page through the awesome examples. Such a great curation of modern, often Swiss inspired web design.


Part Two – Observations on interplay and color in context


 

Elements of color are important not only in the way they’re paired with other complementary shades but also in the quantity and placement in relationship to those other colors and in how it relates to other patterns and photographic elements next to it and elsewhere on the website. In this section, I will share/curate websites with the beautiful color schemes, hexadecimal codes, and just a brief note about how why color being used works in context as well.

Blue, Red, Grey Color Scheme, User Interface Design Color Scheme Inspiration

8. Blue Red

Deep Red: #b11a21 – In an overlay, juxtaposed against flat blue, the photographic background gives depth.

Lighter Red: #e0474c – The smiling face coming through the red, makes it feel striking.

Blue Beans: #7acfd6 – The flat blue provides contrast to the photo behind the red. 

Light Classy Grey: #f1f0ee – Simple light grey is used to provide depth behind a later photographic section, with white below.

Found on Website Inspiration by Mind Sparkle Mag

 

Sunny and Calm - Website Color Palette

9. Sunny and Calm

Morning Sky: #CAE4DB – Never underestimate a color palette created by a photograph to set the tone of your design

Honey: #DCAE1D – In this case the palette is set with the photo and then echoed in the subtitle.

Cerulean: #00303F – Cerulean is incredibly classy as a black or dark grey alternative if used consistently throughout

Mist: #7A9D96 – This clean, natural color is established in the photo but could be used on a lower full-width block or buttons as well.

Found on Inspiring Website Color Schemes by Canva

Orange and Grey, Black Color Scheme

 

9. Dark and Orange

Dark Grey: #393939 – Dark designs take a little bit more fore-thought but can provide tons of contrast if used well. 

Deep Orange: #FF5A09 – With different shades of oranges, there is depth and gradient, without venturing into totally new colors. 

Light Orange: #ec7f37 – Utilizing illustrative elements, requires a bit of flexibility for the natural lightness and darkness to contour objects. 

Orange Yellow: #be4f0c – Using on color over on the color wheel can keep the palette looking classy, bold and restrained.

Found on Great Color Schemes by One Extra Pixel

 

making-pets-better-green-orange-color-scheme

10. Squeaky

Fresh: #4ABDAC – Once again the color overlaid over the photographic elements provides a classy modern touch

Vermillion: #FC4A1A – A figure in the foreground is worked into the context, still paying attention to how it complements the overall structure of the design. In fact one might even be able to surmise that the design was down around this figure. 

Sunshine: #F7B733 – The Yellow provides only a juxtaposed call to action and highlights imporant parts

Clean: #DFDCE3 – Clean grey, utilized in the photograph, keeps the structure un-encomberred by more colors or patterns in these sharp headshots.

Found on Inspiring Website Color Schemes by Canva

 

Blue Green Basic Color Scheme

 

11. Basic blue green

Ol’ trusty blue: #368cbf – Blue wins for trust in color psychology, but make sure it’s a tasteful hue, as some blues are too out of the box. Just like my art teacher said with paints, you should always mix them before applying to canvas, lest you get something that looks like you just slapped the colors out of the box. 

Accent color green: #7ebc59 – Corporate Blue + Eco-conscious green = Every website ever. But don’t overlook the use of common color schemes just because their common. Wield familiar colors together when it serves your purpose of feeling trustworthy. 

Dark Slate: #33363b – Breaking up white space with darker header, footer, or full width sections provides relief from things that are too repetitive. 

Light grey: #eaeaea – This truly is one of the most common color schemes around the website, particularly for technology companies. You sick of it yet? I like it.

Found on Free awesome WordPress Themes by ColorLib

 

The important part of this section is a reminder that colors don’t live in a vacuum. How they relate to each other is complex and pairing them not only with other colors that complement them but in degrees and quantities that work well together is important. When I show that orange and yellow are working well together, always keep in mind the context and how much of each there are. There might be a tiny sliver of yellow, so it’s not just that they work well, but how much of each and where.

 


Part Three – On the absence of color and well done monochromatic color schemes


Taking color out of the mix entirely – for certain parts of a website – or composition in general, can be a simple yet classy way to increase the seriousness, or elevate the intensity of a piece. This is evidenced by how we feel when we see a black and white photo; either we sense a certain self-importance or appreciate the simplicity and recognize an air of positive sophistication.

This concept and tone are also present in websites where only one color and various hues of that color are used, allowing the eyes to rest and revel in all that is blue, or all that is green, or 3 shades of purple. I will also include some monochromatic + 1 color schemes which mean black, white, any shades of gray plus one other color and it’s shaded. The same general principles are at play in each of these scenario’s in that by eliminating all other colors except a select few you can actually enhance the way the few remaining colors play together and increase the dramatic tension of website – if it’s done well.

Stark Contrast - web design grey scale color palettes

12. Stark Contrast

Slate: #262626 – Repeat after me, all grays are not equal

Secondhand Grey: #3f3f3f 

Whitish: #f5f5f5 – Repeat after me, all whites are not equal

Light grey: #dcdcdc

Found on One Page love, created by Peter Toth

 

Michael Schmid Portfolio - B+W Plus One

 

13. True Black and white + Photography

Black: #000000 

White: #ffffff

Found on Web Design Ledger – 20 Beautiful Portfolio’s, Work by Michael Schmid

 

B & W + 1 Color scheme love - web design color scheme inspiration

14. Goldifox

Golden wheat: #a39274

Soft Wheat: #dfd8c8

Deep gray: #252523

This color scheme of course of course also demonstrates what a great photo can do for the overall look of your site if juxtaposed with the strong contrast of the flat color elements.

 

 

Monochromatic blue-green web design color scheme

15. Minty refreshed

Mint: #4cb69f

Touch of Grey: #f5f5f5

Deep purple: #201d3a – Not quite B&W+1 – Hint of purple in the corner of the photograph

Found at Dapper Ink by Joel Reid on Dribbble

 

White Space in Web Design, blue and white web design inspiration,

16. Blue + White

Optimism Blue: #269ccc

Blue Algae: #9ed2c5

Flat Grey: #7b7b7b

Found on fltdsgn.com

 

And a couple more greyscale websites to make it abundantly clear that greyscale can be extremely beautiful.

16. Experimental Simple Photography – Square separations

Black and White and greyscale web design

 

Found on InspirationDE by Sam Thies

17. The floating object, angled section separation, simple editorial typography

Flat design, black and white, greyscale web UI Inspiration

 

Found on flatdsgn.com by Roland and ‘We Ain’t Plastic’

18. Rectangle around letters, creative letter blocking

Web Design Inspiration - Black and White and Greyscale designs

 

Found on Behance, by Diana Polar

 

This whole section calls to mind how much we overlook the use of negative space in design and rely instead on our ability to fill space. Leaving white space and filling only a portion of it intentionally establishes a sophistication in design that now crowded frills can beat. Pair this sensibility with a tasteful choice of typographic elements and well-crafted photographic assets and it will make anything look high-end.


Part Four – On the interplay of typography and color


Typography, color, layout. None of these elements stand alone in any composition, and to talk about one without the other leaves an incomplete picture. Always be paying attention to how the character of your web design color scheme plays with your typographical elements. Fonts should be hand-selected for their attributes, not selected hap-hazardly.

Gentlement - Manly color schemes for websites - gold and black

19. Charcoal Black, Gold and lot’s of white space

Golden top: #d8ab4e

Golden bottom: #b48c36

Charcoal Black: #040404

19B. Font Pairings to complement the color Choices – Gin Rough and Amiri

Gin Rough – by Fort Foundry, Available on MyFonts – By taking the high-end feeling gold gradient and pairing it with very intentional shaped typographic elements, the designers of this site juxtaposed the rugged and elegant.
Gin rough, gold and type design

Amiri Rough – Available through Google Fonts – Looks gorgeous as a testimonial or call out quote.

 

Amiri Google Font Pairings

 

Found on Web Design Inspiration for Gentlemen Barber Clubs (You need to see the full site)

 

Red, tan, grey color scheme- type pairing

20. Clean Khaki Red

Cotton Red: #c53211

Clean Deep Grey: #2e3830

Khaki: #e6dbc9

20B. Font Pairings to complement the color Choices – Futura Bold and Museo Slab

Futura Bold – is as classic as it is simple. Common similar fonts like Gotham Black, Montserrat, or Proxima Nova can allow you a similar but different flavor, but Futura Bold will be useful for a lot of situations – and plays well in this simple red, gray, tan color scheme as uppercase titles.

Museo Slab and Futura Bold Uppercase

Museo Slab – As both the 100 weight in the blockquote above, and the paragraph text (font-weight: 400) Museo Slab provides readability whether big and small. Futura, Museo Slab over these comfortably simple colors feel not necessarily classic, but modern and original. The restraint in both color choices and typography leads to a very cohesive feel that leaves the whole website feeling integrated and branded.

Web Design Inspiration - Pastels

 

WEb Design Inspiration

Pink Web Design Inspiration - European

21. Hip Modern Pastels

Pastel Peach: #dea6af

Sky Blue: #8cbcd0

Pastel Pink: #e6dbc9

21B. Font Pairing to complement the color Choices – Calibre – the European Design Ketchup

Calibre – I love the look that many modern European websites achieve with this mature, swiss feeling typeface. It’s going to see a lot more use in America before it gets overdone here. The no-frills application below shows you the confidence with which a lot of European designers are using it. Impeccably played.

Calibre Font in Web Design

 

Design found on CSS Design Awards  – Buy Calibre typeface

 

No matter what colors you use, your website will be better if it uses a very well thought out typeface or two. Finding a balance between the color and the fonts is not necessarily scientific – it requires a certain poetic association, but that doesn’t mean it’s entirely subjective. The colors can either be diametrically opposed to the personality/personalities of the typeface(s,) or be in direct alignment with them.

A few words of encouragement

 

Using descriptive words like ‘masculine,’ ‘feminine’, ‘rugged’, ‘classic’, ‘clean’, ‘modern’, and ‘expressive,’ can help you talk about color schemes and typefaces with your clients and others working on your design with you. It’s important to not get caught up in the semantics – or meanings of the words – too strictly. Rather, use them as they are useful to you and discard them as soon as they become contentious.

The crucial piece is that your designs serve the purpose that they are intended for – that they are effective. By taking some time to start projects with a color scheme that meets the emotional needs of the prime demographic, you are setting them up for success. At it’s most basic level that means not making a website for men purple as it’s statistically their least preferred color, or making a medical website black as it connotates death, or giving a very light and airy yellow color scheme for a serious subject lest it insinuates frivolity. 

At it’s most acute, intention in a web design color scheme means communicating the brand voice, the emotional appeal,  occasionally being open to things previously learned by others (green for an environmental project, blue for a technology project, red for sports and aggression,)  and following your instinct as you dive head first into what would truly speak to this particular market. The greatest designers were all guessing too and took a stab at something new.  Jump in, soak up what’s already out there in the particular market the product or service is in, then the most visually appealing and effective designs in all markets, and then try your hand. After you’ve tried some pre-mixed hex color schemes listed above or elsewhere – mix up your own.

Recognize your hidden powers, trust your creative instincts and get your hands dirty. 

 

Part Five – What is a modern color palette?

Well, I’ll tell you one thing a modern color palette is not using super simple versions of the colors we traditionally think of: blue, green, yellow, etc. regardless if you can make simple colors look together or not – it looks unsophisticated, and relatively bland. I remember my painting teacher in college saying always to mix your paints, and with intention at the beginning of a session – because people who just squeeze them out of a tube are going to find the look of their painting drab indeed.

What we want is a modern color palette that appeals to the refined tastes of today’s consumer. It can be bold and fresh, or earthy and rusty – but it should never look haphazard.

22. A Sleek Modern Color Palette

 

Fashionable Dark Sleek modern color palette for web design

 

Dark Blue/Purple: #111c30

Dark Pink Makeup: #9a4d55

Comfortable Couch Beige: #80756b

23. A Subdued Modern Color Palette

Subdued modern color schemes

 

Tiny Sweet Blue: #b5e9e9

Creamy Light Tan: #fef6dd

Pinkie Pie: #ffe1d0

Yellow Horse: #fff1b5

Green Thumb: #dcf3d0

24. A Fresh Modern Color Palette

Fresh Modern Color Palette

Deep Purple: #1d1145

Trapper Keeper Green: #0db4b9

Pink Boot: #f2a1a1

Modern Pink Backpack: #e76d89

 

25. An Earthy Modern Color Palette

Earthy Modern Color Palette

Red branches: #de493c

Green Trees: #608074

Blue/Green Mist: #daefd9

26. A Rusted Modern Color Palette

Rusted Modern Web Design Color Palette

Deep rusted red: #c1432e

Silver head-dress: #4b6777

Rusted Gold: #ce9e62

Black for Contrast: #2c2c2c


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