Color is the most customizable and powerful element in web design. It ignites emotions, creates order, and sets the tone for your website. Whether you’re building a personal portfolio or giving your business a refresh, it’s important to take control of your image by choosing the perfect color scheme for your site.
Choosing a color palette can be daunting, especially when you consider the virtually infinite number of possible combinations. The job becomes distinctly easier when you have something to draw from, which is why we looked to the Shutterstock collection for inspiration.
Explore the 10 creative color schemes for websites (and the images that inspired them) below!
This toned-down berry compote palette has the muted look popular in today’s web design. The lighter intensity lends itself to color blocking, a key element in infinite scroll websites.
Hex: 934A5F / 57648C / C2B4D6 / E5E5E5
Scholar has a distinguished feel, like an old, leather-bound book with gold finishes. Its soft highlights diffuse the starkness of the navy and gold to keep this palette user-friendly.
Hex: 333D51 / D3AC2B / CBD0D8 / F4F3EA
These balmy blues and greens are emotionally and visually soothing. The colors are analogous, creating contrast through shades and tints rather than hue. Harbor is a great choice for websites with simple designs.
Hex: 354649 / 6C7A89 / A3C6C4 / E0E7E9
Gecko is a lively and stylized palette whose array of purples is complemented by a bright chartreuse. Together, the colors are reminiscent of fantasy and magic. Creative websites can boost their energy with this palette.
Hex: 9F4298 / CFDB31 / D1AFD3 / E6E7E8
Brisk is named for its fall palette of amber, gold, gray, and clear sky blue. The colors evoke nostalgia for the crispness of fall air. This palette is strong and graphic and gives many options for rich backdrops and contrasts.
Hex: 4C4556 / 872642 / F6C026 / A0D3F9
This palette pairs luminous beiges with rich grays, juxtaposing light and airy with dark and cozy. This contrast will produce interesting effects if deployed in the borders and backgrounds of a website, creating a solid yet open environment.
Hex: 433E49 / 928490 / DBC1AD / F3E8EB
This palette is an untraditional take on the saturated colors of ketchup, relish, mustard, and mayo. The intensity is toned down and the colors tinted to achieve a sweeter and more complementary effect.
Hex: E2495B / C4BA3B / F4ED6E / FFFEE6
Each of these colors looks fairly neutral on its own, but when combined they become a warm and gauzy palette based on the changing light of fall. The colors harmonize because their value remains consistent and only their hue changes.
Hex: 8E7C68 / ED7458 / FFDC9F / DDC9BC
This palette uses warm and earthy monotones accented by a royal purple. The organic browns are soft and natural, while the saturated purple channels these warm elements with a much stronger chroma.
Hex: 7F056E / C09247 / CAB387 / F2EBE0
Scuba pairs a series of muted colors with a bold teal relief. While the coral, ice blue, and grey make the perfect soft and spacious feel for a website, the teal can be used to highlight and offset important elements.
Hex: 0C4A60 / EF6C33 / ABDFF1 / E1DDDB
Each of these palettes can bring a different ambience to your website, and it’s important to consider how the interplay of colors enhances or inhibits your site’s content and tone. A white background with black text is always convenient, but there are so many beautiful options that can make your website more distinctive.
If you’re struggling with the vast universe of color, draw inspiration from the world around you — the house on the corner, the produce at the farmers market, the ad at the bus stop. All you have to do is look around!
Looking for more tips on designing for the web? Check out this post on culturally relevant web design.