Understanding Aspects of Color in Design

Understanding Aspects of Color in Design

February 27, 2020

Color is one of the most powerful aspects of web design. It is one of the preliminary touch points your business makes with your audience and has a profound impact on how your brand is perceived by people. With the growing number of options, attention spans have considerably reduced. Businesses are left with less than 10 seconds to catch the eye of the audience. In a situation like this, the right choice of color can increase your brand recognition by more than 80%.

Let us Decode the Psychology of Color of Web Design

Color has always shared a close connection with the human psyche and picking up the most suitable color for your website has to be based on many filters. A particular color may trigger a certain response in one person while leading to a completely different response in others. This can be a result of cultural cues, previous incidences, or personal preferences. Good designers, go deep down into this territory to ensure there is no trespassing in any area and that everyone is able to perceive the intended meaning of the color. At times, a subtle change in the hue can make a huge difference to the end result. Let us take up the basics of color that are needed to attain the finesse in design.

What comprises the Basics of Color in Design?


The most basic of all color terms, it refers to the color of the object. When it is said to be red, blue or green, it is talking about the hue. Every hue has a different significance and meaning attached to it. Red, for instance, is said to be wild and furious, while greens are often linked with peace and nature. It seeks to pacify the mind of the visitor. No wonder, the use of earthy shades and colours is on a rise! You may use a combination or go for the pure lines. It all will be based on the audience. In fact, almost the whole set of choices you make for color will rest on the mindset of your audience.


This refers to the color purity. When a hue has a high tinge of black, grey or white, the chroma will come down while a high chroma will only no to a negligible amount of these additions. Chroma is not saturation but is the level of brightness of color when compared to white.


This refers to the way a hue is received when placed against certain conditions of lighting. Saturation can be weak or strong. It can also be pure or pale hues. Designs that use colors with similar levels of saturation generally make up for more cohesive-looking designs and vice-versa.


This refers to the lightness of colors. Light shades have higher values like black has the lowest value in any hue while white has the highest. When designers often think of applying colors they have to pick their favorite colors which come with different values and also the ones with high chroma. Colors that have high contrasts in values often come in better and more pleasing designs.


A tone is often created when grey is added to a hue and is thus much softer and dull than the pure hue. Tones are much more easily used in designs. It has been observed that an added usage of grey often lends a vintage appeal to the design. They also add to the sophisticated or more elegant looks.


This is created when black is added to a hue and it is made darker. Designers also make use of highly dark shades that can serve as neutrals and avoid the use of black. When you bring together shades with lighter neutrals, a heavy or a dark look is generally avoided.


This is the lightening of a hue by the addition of white. Highly light tints are referred to as pastel shades. However, even if a slight amount of white is added to a hue, which still leaves it bright, it still technically remains a tint. It has been noticed, that tints are more used to depict feminine designs or the ones that have a vintage appeal. This is not a generalization but the way these colors are referred to.

The Earthy Shift to Colors in Design

Environment, climate and green have all become synonymous terms. With increasing levels of stress, noise, and options all around, people have started to go back to the natural aspects. This apparent shift in preferences to the earthy signs, patterns, colors, and even themes has made designers rethink their strategies and go back to their design workbooks, to pick the ones that best resonate with the earth color appeal.

What are these Earth Colors?

Earth colors generally point towards all those shades that provoke an earthy appearance, appeal, and tone. These are rich in browns, beiges, greens, and even ochre, umber, etc. Initially, artists used to pick these from natural minerals to make the perfect earth palette. The synthetic colors made foray only in the later paintings. In contemporary designs, these colors are often produced by using dark tints of colors like orange, red, yellow, etc. The most commonly occurring earth colors are:


This color takes its name from the natural clay-earth element and is suggestive of the earth pigments that include yellow, red ochre, etc.


This is darker and takes its name from the pigment that contains the iron oxide and the manganese oxide. When heated the earth color is transformed into dark burning umber.


This color derives its name from the Italian city of Sienna as it was initially produced there during the Renaissance years.

Burnt Orange

This is a rich orange with a burnt appearance that gives the feeling of deserts and autumn leaves.

Complimenting Colors

Earth colors are said to be highly versatile and most easy to work. When putting together they present harmony and act as a treat to the eye. They team well with each other but also make great companions with other colors from the natural palette that is inspired by nature. For instance, Olive greens, Fern greens, Maple, Chamois, Amber, etc. Also, when put against colors like black, grey, etc. they give a highly sophisticated appeal. Surprisingly they also gel with the neon and pastel shades to which they lend a neutral appeal.

As these shades are generally found in nature so they are known to have a highly warming effect on the audience. Also, as they often share the hues with highly plush materials like mahogany, leather, etc. so they have also held associations with fineries in life. So, when they find a place in various interior schemes they give a high luxe appeal. Moreover, they are a great fit for the start-ups who are trying to make an eco-friendly appeal.

Earth colors and patterns in design have a great calming and soothing effect on senses. In web designs, there is a whole spectrum at your disposal, but it will much more than just designing skills to boil down to your mellow yellow. Earth colors are a great fit in the contemporary design styles and have that natural push to bring your web designs to life.

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