Design Resources: Corporate Color

To lend a professional, organic appearance to your website, your best bet is to choose a simple palette of a few matching colors. I suggest limiting yourself to three colors, and using these colors strategically to group related objects or indicate relationships between objects or segments of the page. Designers are urged to "create an identity through all client marketing and products with one or two colors you use over and over. This is a very basic and effective way to tie all your stuff
together in the minds of customers."

Using different shades of the same color, called the monolithic approach, is the superior choice for professional website color schemes. Single colors or Monoliths work best for business sites because of their more subtle suggestion, but this approach can be boring if overdone and may require "adding a contrasting black to make the color combo monochromatic and more interesting.

Another important factor is the age of the target audience. Neutral tones work best with sites designed for an older audience, the target demographic for many business websites. You'll obviously also want to select shades appropriate to your business, if any - as Ralph Hilliard points out in "How to choose your web site colors", a web designer who creates a black and green website for the Red Cross will be out of business quickly. Hillard further stresses the importance of color selection in marketing:

"The BEST color for selling is the color that captures your primary audience emotionally," he posits. "If my audience is new mothers and I'm selling baby clothes, I guarantee you I can sell more clothes with soft pinks, blues and purples than I could using bright reds, greens or black."

When it comes down to it, choosing a professional website color scheme is as simple as the common sense guideline. Use colors that compliment your subject matter and are relatively pleasing to the eye." It seems, then, that classic, rich, onservative, "serious" colors like blues, browns, burgundies and grays are your best bets for business websites.