Choosing WebSite Colours

I haven’t posted on here for ages but hopefully everyone’s as helpful as when I was last here! :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m no graphic designer or web developer but I’m trying to redesign my mum’s website for her business and having big problems trying to figure out a good colour scheme. I’ve had a look at the online tools (Color Schemer, Color Blender etc) but just can’t get anything from them.

My mum’s logo is made up of a navy blue (#00468B) and an orange (#FA702B) and I’ve been trying to base the colours on the site using them but going no where.

Has anyone got any tips about the kind of approach I could use to get around this problem?

Many thanks.


I’d be surprised if the colorpicker services aren’t being helpful… once you’ve got the colors its up to you to do something with them, perhaps you just need to get the colors and lay them all out to get ideas. Whenever i get a palette from online, i always put swatches together in illustrator and shift them around, and then they start to form in terms of which should be dominant, contrast etc.

also try run by prettyboy, because it’s really good for unusual (i.e not formulaic) palettes.

otherwise, look at some images that have the colors you like, and try forming a palette using colors from the image or the shapes or something.

It would be helpful to know what type of business it is.

For two additional colors, I would try using a hue of red and also teal.

Or, you could also go with a hue of purple and a hue of green.

Definetely play with the saturation of these and let these colors play a [U]minor[/U] role.

Of course white is always good to keep a nice contrast.

Otherwise, if you are just looking for one color to add then yellow will be your friend.

Just as important the main colors are the complimentary or secondary colors. White would be a good start. I use a tool called colorImpact when I have color issues. Also a good thing to do is get the color picker extension if you are using Firefox and go to some websites that have a nice color palette that appeals to you and swipe a few colors.

Navy blue and orange eh? Hows about this:

Navy Blue
Beige (khaki)
darker beige (instead of black… too much contrast)

I invision blue/orange header, beige content, beigy backrgound

But then again i know nothing about your moms business

The trick to good colours for a website is you choose two main, prominant colours (ie the blue and orange in this case) and add light-soft-non-distracting colours

In all honesty, please for the sake of everybody’s eyeballs don’t listen to what CanisMajor suggested… why introduce more emphasized colours when you already have blue/orange. Keep it simple!

A big mistake I see a lot of people make (And i mean A LOT) is that they just use black for their body text colour. Most of the time, when they do use black it contrasts way too much with the background colours and looks awkward…

Re-use already used colours don’t introduce new ones just because you’re lazy is what I’m trying to say

[QUOTE=CanisMajor;1985187]It would be helpful to know what type of business it is.[/QUOTE]

Thanks for the posts so far guys. My mum sells jewellery (mainly pearls from China), oriental carpets and textiles. The jewellery is the main focus of the business. Since a lot of stock is from China, I could maybe use a deep dark red that you often see in Chinese furniture. But that would be another prominant colour and may not go too well with the navy blue and orange.

Is it common to pick your site’s prominant colours from a logo? Maybe I shouldn’t even bother with those colours.

see, orange and blue is a very tough combo to pull off.
a) only a small number of shades of blue and orange go well together
b) looks too much like blue and yellow which is are two HIDEOUS colours when put together (in most cases, i have yet to see a decent blue/yellow design)

Definately do NOT introduce red into this… if you do, its almost the three primary colours.

Since its jewelry, i’d suggest a normal black and white layout, choose ONE accent colour, maybe pink, blue, green or red (something bright and not lame) and use shades of grey black and white to vary the colour scheme.

Theres really only one way to choose colours. Experiment. You also need to have good taste in colours, and a solid concept of colour theory. Only way to achieve those skills is to: Experiment.

Please feel free to post any rough drafts on here, I know I’ll try my best to steer you in the right direction.

**edit: with respect to the question about choosing colours from a logo:
Its perfectly normal, but keep in mind:

  1. The logo may be very old, and hence, outdated
  2. Some logo designs look like the designer who designed them in the first place has no skill.
  3. The logo is not the be-all-and-end-all, if you don’t like the colours, or its just not jiving with your design, then CHANGE the logo to suit.


For jewelry what I would do is make a trip to a jewelry store and see how they are presenting their stuff and translate that into web format. I can tell you that black would pop pearls off the screen rather nicely. Which is why most brilliant jewelry is shown on black velvet (or another high contrast color). I can see blue and black for the primary colors and orange for highlights and links. Jewelry is a very nice subject matter to do a site based on. Good luck.

I always go to, with a couple of colours in mind (in your case navy blue and orange) and see if I find a nice pallete with similiar colours.

Ha, pearls from China. My color scheme was correct. Anyone that dissed me been to China? Huh?

Apparently Faster is not aware of a “double compliment” and notice that I said play with the saturation.

Of course you would not want those at full sat together. Duh!!

Having taken Color Theory recently in college those colors happen to fall together and used in CORRECT portions do work. You know like a border or something small.

And yellow with those colors make up a TRYIAD, (duh) and happen to look good.

Hmm, red in an oriental jewelry site you say? Of course that goes. Hmm, who mentioned red with those colors?

Does the red have to take over the scheme? NO! But red is a really huge color in the Asain culture.

Or forget about your mom’s customer base and go with Faster’s scheme. At least you will have done it your way.
Haha, gray on an Oriental based site!!! MYGawd you gotta be kidding.

You could darken the blue a bit more and just use the orange from the logo
and then go with a red. And oh yeah, a bit of teal somewhere in there would go together.

Or at least all of the color wheels, and all of the college art professors I have sat under say so.


I’ll admit, I know jack about the technicalities of colour theory, and yet, all my stuff works
…wierd… just shows how much formal training will get you places: big fancy words but no talent to pull it off. I’m not directing this at you Canis, and don’t take this as an aggressive reply, I’m just saying, in general, just because you have formal training, all that means is you know some big words like I said, its experimentation and doing it yourself that does the trick.

You might be able to find something here:


Keep in mind that I know jack about design.

Keep in mind, the content of the site doesn’t always have to dictate the design as Canis has been implying, the best sites out there are good because they are different then what you would normally expect a site of that genre to be.