Trust is defined* as, “the reliance on the
integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc. of a
person or thing.” In relation to Web design, it
involves honesty and competence, and a subtle,
yet powerful way to achieve that elusive
trust factor is through the use of color.
Color theory is a set of principles used to
create harmonious color combinations, or
color schemes. When determining which color
is right for a website, you are not just choosing
one color (e.g. make it blue). Your designer
will actually be choosing and applying an
entire color scheme to a website. Knowing
the types of classic color schemes is essential
when influencing an end-product.
Monochromatic color schemes use variations
in lightness and saturation of a single color,
whereas analogous color schemes use colors
that are adjacent to each other on the “color
wheel.” There are many types of classic color
schemes (complimentary and split-complimentary,
triadic and tetradic) so let’s instead look at
the basics of the colors themselves and how
they are perceived by end-users.
Red is considered to be an emotionally
intense color. While red is commonly associated
with danger, it is also used to stimulate
people to make quick decisions. Red is highly
visible, so using it to bring text and images
to the forefront makes it a perfect color for
"buy now" or “add-to-cart” buttons.
While not as aggressive as red, orange is
also a highly visible color, ideal for calling
attention to or highlighting the most important
elements of a design, without causing stress.
a warming effect,
activity, and generates
muscle energy. Use
yellow to evoke pleasant, uplifting feelings.
You can choose yellow to promote children’s
products and items related to leisure.
Use yellow carefully however, as a dul
yellow represents caution.
Green is the color of nature — symbolizing
growth, harmony, and fertility. Green has a
strong emotional link with safety and is
considered to be the most restful color for
the human eye. Green suggests stability
and endurance, making it a perfect fit for
finance-related design, but is also used to
indicate safety, making it a viable choice for
Blue, often associated with stability, symbolizes
trust, wisdom and confidence. Blue
has been shown to produce a calming effect
and is often used to promote products and
services related to cleanliness. More accepted
by males than females, it is a preferred color
for corporate America.
Black typically carries a negative connotation
but carries with it a feeling of perspective
and depth. Strength and authority are also
attributed to black. Although black backgrounds
diminish readability, combined with
other intense colors such as red, they remain
aggressive and unique, good for attracting a