Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Website Color Schemes: The Palettes of 50 Visually Impactful Websites to Inspire You

Did you know that Facebook is blue because Mark Zuckerberg is red-green color blind?
“Blue is the richest color for me; I can see all of blue” says Zuckerberg. While this choice of color doesn’t seem very scientific, it’s still proves that a lot of thought is put into the choice of color.
As Buffer writes, over 90% of our assessment of a product is made on color alone, so it makes sense that color should be considered with care for every design decision, particularly on websites. Chances are, if we don’t like the color palette, we’re not going to stay on the site for very long.
To get you started on your own palette, we’ve gathered 50 beautiful websites with versatile color schemes you can take inspiration from. So without further ado, let’s get knee-deep in some beautiful colors.

01. Fun and Professional

This clean, vibrant palette by Mark Dearman perfectly combines warm accent colors with a clean blue background to make for a crisp and professional, but very welcoming palette. Try using colors that have a high contrast against each other for that clean effect.

02. Art History Inspired

When in doubt, seek colour inspiration from your content. This website for the Van Gogh Museum by Fabrique uses the vibrant, textured colors that his works are recognised for. By pairing warm yellows, rich blues, and cool greens, you get a simple, flexible palette with meaning.

03. Muted Tones

This striking website design by The Martin Agency uses muted gold and off-white tones contrasted against sharper blacks and whites to create a stunning contrast. Simple, minimal, and elegant, this palette is perfect for any sophisticated design you may embark upon.

04. Modern and Clean

This sharp and modern example by Benedict Leicht uses different tones of orange and blue to create a playful, energetic color palette. When using bright tones, try to balance them out with some more neutral whites or light greys as this example does, to keep things fun but not overwhelming.

05. Neon Tones and Sharp Contrast

This website by Play.agency has a color palette that takes a bold, high-contrast approach by combining a strong dark background with striking neon accent colors. By contrasting black against purples, blues, and pinks, you can create a very striking effect.

06. Muted and Minimal

This example by Inga Gudoniene / MIOS pairs softer, desaturated, more muted colors to create an elegant look. You can achieve this timeless and elegant effect by choosing imagery with a cool, desaturated tone and pairing it with a cool grey.

07. Warm and Bold

Fancy mixing warm and cooler colors to create a unique vibe? Take a leaf from Lush Digital’s book — pair vibrant reds and blues with darker indigos and purples for a dreamy, bold effect.

08. Clean and Highlighted

This color palette for Departika is clean and professional thanks to the soft blues, greys, and whites. But, this palette draws attention and highlights focal elements by throwing a vibrant feature color into the mix. Break up your lighter, gentler colors with a punchier tone for a nice contrast.

09. Warm Tones

This example by Studio Recode also keeps things clean and minimal, but does it with a warmer touch. By using warm, very light brown tones as the neutral background color and offsetting them with the warm tones in the imagery and type, this palette keeps things inviting and clean.

10. Sharp and Modern

A great way to brand your website is to give it one dominant focal color, as this example for Frost Festival does. By using a striking turquoise as the focal color and complementing it with splashes of pale orange, greys, and mint colors, this palette keeps things fresh, modern, and simple.

11. Cool vs. Warm

By combining warm hues with cooler ones, you can easily unlock a very punchy palette. This example by Akaru contrasts warm oranges and yellows against cool metallic greys and gunmetal tones to make for a bold, dynamic effect.

12. Pretty Pastels

Pastel colors aren’t just for nursery room walls: This website by B/C Designers uses clean, bright pastel pinks, blues, and oranges to create a fun, bright, and inviting palette. When using pastels, try to mix in a fair amount of whitespace to keep things fresh and light.

13. Bold and Punchy

If pastel colors aren’t quite up your alley, consider looking into bright, punchy, vintage colors as this example by Magoz does. While this example uses a lot of colors all at once, it’s kept cohesive and logical with the warm consistency of the scheme.

14. Tints and Tones

A great way to add dimension to your palette while keeping things minimal is to use varying tints of one color. This clean, elegant web page by Romain Bouchereau and Vincent Fréman does just that by using slightly different tints of a neutral peach color that compliment the focal purple color.
This website’s header image is a carousel of images, each of different colors,check it out live and in action over here.

15. Splash of Color

This example by Magnium Themes injects a couple bright bursts of color into the mix to create a playful, but sleek effect. The contrast of blues, oranges, and yellows against the neutral grey background makes for a professional but vibrant effect.

16. Elegant and Sophisticated

We tend to think of black and white as being the most sophisticated colors, but check out how this example by Julian Damy manages to get that sophisticated look by simply using deep blue tones and subtle gold highlights. Another palette inspired by art history, this collection of colors is timeless and beautiful.

17. Summer Inspired

When we think of summery designs we think of reds and oranges, but check out how this site by StrADegy Advertising manages to capture the warmth of the season with just corals, blues, and tan colors. A simple, minimal, and easy to use summer-inspired color palette.

18. Professional and Modern

Looking for a palette that screams professional, but isn’t boring or outdated? Check out this one as used on Avondale Type Co. The mix of greys, deep navys, and striking yellow tones paired with the sharp, flat, modern layout can make for an authoritative but fresh design.

19. Bold Blacks and Vibrant Highlights

If you’re in the market for a more striking, contemporary design, try to incorporate bold splashes of black and white with some vibrant pops of color, just as this example for Cantina dei Colli Ripani does. The contrast between the highlighted colors and the blacks make for a punchy, bold, and fun effect.

20. Clean Gradients and Fresh Blues

Ever see a website and think it just looks ‘clean’? A great way to do this, as this site by SHIBUI has done here, is to use gradients. This site’s palette is made up of fresh blue and turquoise colors that have been faded into one another in a gradient to achieve a calming, clean and fresh effect.

21. Cheerful and Sleek

This website by Huemor has a color palette that is light, modern, cheerful, and welcoming. By using vibrant colors, plenty of whitespace, and a cool, neutral blue to balance out the warmth, this palette is a prime example of how colors can make or break a site design.

22. Luxurious and Modern

This color palette by Zach Klein brings a world of luxury, sophistication and character to the website design. By pairing navy blues, warm tans, and a dash of bright red, this site is kept modern, minimal, and very sophisticated.

23. Unique and Striking

This professional website by Great Works Copenhagen takes less of a neutral approach to color, and instead chooses a vibrant palette. By choosing a striking red color and mixing it with various blues and navy tones, this site balances its professional air with a unique and fun flair.

24. Unexpected Color Combinations

Purple and green aren’t two colors that are often mixed, but this site byIntesys S.r.l. proves that maybe they should be. The rich purple color contrasts strikingly against the vibrant lime and sharp whites to create a unique and memorable site design.

25. Retro Inspired

This color palette for Lowdi channels all things vintage by using warm, rich colors. This retro-inspired palette has a lot of character and energy with a decidedly modern flair. Consider using a very pale yellow color in place of white to help hone in this effect.

26. Antique and Clean

This simple and elegant palette by Pier-Luc brings a touch of charm to the website design with its elegant combo of earthy red, fresh green and clean greys. By pairing this muted palette with a softly colored image, this site design manages to evoke sophistication and an antique charm.

27. Striking and Energetic

Atlassian’s interactive infographic site created by Hyperakt uses bold, high saturation colors and overlays them in a way that creates stunning effect. Note as well how these striking colors are balanced out with a nice, neutral off-white color. Always maintain that balance!

28. Fresh and Lively

This site by Baesman is yet another example of how bright, vibrant colors can be used to create a professional design. By using light, clean colors and balancing them out with white space and a minimal design, this site maintains a fun and vibrant vibe without sacrificing the sleekness of a professional website.

29. Clean and Crisp

This example by BrightMedia is a paragon of a clean, fresh, and flexible palette. By pairing different shades of blue with a few shades of grey, this palette is minimal and simple without being dull or boring.

30. Colorful Without Clashing

Sometimes using a lot of colors can make for a design that is overwhelming and that clashes. But, in the case of this site by Yoke, using a bright, full palette goes off without a hitch. By muting each color slightly and including a lot of white space in the design, you can create a vibrant, colorful, yet not overwhelming effect.

31. Cool and Calm

Once again, while the typical way to signal summer and the beach is to use reds and yellows and oranges, consider taking a leaf out of Roll Studio’s book. Show a relaxed, beachy atmosphere with some turquoises, purples, and a splash of orange to create a calm, inviting and unique palette.

32. Modern and Muted

The palette of Brdr. Krüger’s website created by Relax, we are the good guysbrings character and life to the website design by simply pairing a few light, soft colors. Thanks to the fact that each color is a consistent muted tone in different shades, they manage to slot in together naturally and effectively, creating a calm yet modern palette with a lot of character.

33. Earthy and Fresh

This palette for Apparecchiato by AQuest draws its inspiration from the earthy tones of vegetables and mixes this with white space to create a stunning clean and fresh palette. Simply use leafy greens, deep reds, and rich purples alongside some whitespace to replicate this effect.

34. High Saturation and High Energy

This palette for El Burro just screams fun, energy and excitement. By using higly saturated colors like hot pink, lime, cyan and yellow, you can replicate this effect and create a design that is punchy and youthful.

35. Warm and Wonderful

Looking for a palette that can accommodate slightly more complex designs? Check out this one for Fieldwork that only uses five colors but manages to keep it intricate and colorful. By mixing a striking cyan with warm yellows, reds, and some deeper navies you can get a playful, engaging and flexible palette.

36. Vintage Charm

Want to create a vintage effect without seeming dated or old? Check out this palette for Cafe Frida that uses warm golds, greens, browns and off whites to create a charming effect with a lot of class.

37. Cool Jewel Tones

This example for Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare byGrowCreate uses beautiful purple and blue jewel tones with subtle gradients to create a very simple but very elegant and eye-catching color palette. Plus, with the occasional pop of hot pink, this palette keeps the site design engaging, fresh and beautiful.

38. Stormy Hues

Looking for a darker, sleeker look, but not a fan of straight up black? Check out this stormy, moody site design by Cinco Design that uses deep purples, blues, and pinks to make for a sleek, sophisticated effect.

39. Clean and Collegiate

Want a professional, tailored palette with a little color? Check out this slick palette by details.ch that uses sharp, clean, preppy colors to create a simple color palette. Don’t be afraid to throw a dash of pink amongst your blues to add a bit of a unique touch.

40. Simple and Fresh

This palette by MadeByShape uses an unconventional mix of colors but throws them together in a very natural way. The charcoal grey, salmon, deep teal, light mint and neutral beige colors make for a unique but beautiful combination.

41. Tropical Tones

This beautiful site design for Thomas Schrijer’s Top 10 of 2014 uses vibrant tropical tones to create a beautiful effect. The use of warm yellows, reds, greens, and blues makes for a fun, easy, and beautiful palette suited to any energetic application.

42. Bold Feature Colors

A great way to keep your palette from getting boring is to throw in a bold feature color amongst the more neutral, muted tones. Check out this one byJoy Intermedia that uses a base of greys, charcoals, and dark navies, but spices it up with a splash of cerise.

43. Antique Tones

The Athena Art Finance website, created by Leibowitz Branding & Designuses beautiful antique tones to create an elegant and sophisticated design with a lot of charm. By taking inspiration from art history and using deep purples, blues, greens and warm golds, you can transform any webpage into a sophisticated stunner.

44. Neon and Bold

This example for Calvi on the Rocks shows us exactly how to make use of vibrant neon tones – by balancing them out. This palette consists of a striking green, vibrant purple and a dash of royal blue, but it balances that vibrancy out with a whole lot of neutral off-white so it’s not overwhelming.

45. Simple but Bold

Want the ease of a small palette but with the vibrancy of a large one? Check out this one for Mambo Mambo that uses yellow, and a few shades of green/blue to form a super simple but super stylish palette. This palette is tropical, fun, fresh, and best of all, easy.

46. Corporate and Sleek

Need a bit less vibrancy and a bit more professionalism? Get inspired by the beautiful colors used on this palette by Ryan Borker, Jermaine Craig, Mike Parsons and Kyle Miller. The bold navy feature color is beautifully paired with the eggshell off-white background to create one simple, sleek website design.

47. Modern and Minimal

This palette by Huemor keeps things very simple and minimal by using a predominantly monochromatic palette and balancing it out with a few splashes of orange to draw attention — this highlights important features and bring life to the site. When in doubt, keep it simple.

48. Fun and Cheerful

Color adds personality to your design, so try to coincide your palette with your site’s personality as Marie Catribs have done here. By using fun, bright blues, purples, yellows, etc, the fun and quirky nature of the design is brought to life.

49. Sunny and Calm

Looking to create a warm, inviting website? Experiment with warm tones asTRAFFIC has done here. By using warm yellows and golds, and balancing them out with deep navy tones, this palette is calming, peaceful and inviting.

50. Pop Art

Is your site youthful? Energetic? Fun? Show that off by using bright, vibrant splashes of color like Visualsoft. The pops of neon pink, yellow and blue amongst the sleek, minimal design bring a whole lot of life and character to this site.

Over to You

Color can make or break your design, so it’s important to choose it wisely when designing anything, particularly websites. Figure out what emotions and ideas you want to capture and try to build or replicate a palette that you feel best suits that idea.
Have you seen a website with a particularly stunning use of color? Or maybe you have some tips to unlocking that perfect palette? Whatever the case, leave your thoughts down in the comments below and start a conversation with a fellow web color enthusiast.