In our recent blog post on how your website can better your business, we have stressed that a good first impression on an eye-catching site is crucial. Here are a few examples on how we can achieve just that using well-matched colours.

Dominant colour

The primary colour of your logo is defining for your brand, and as such it will be the dominant colour on your site. It should guide your visitors to crucial parts of your website like the navigation bar (whether it’s used as its background colour or the font colour) or highlight important content, such as the description of your business, a contact form etc.

Making sure your dominant colour is not overused is vital. If it overwhelms the visitors, they will get lost and most likely leave your site. Use it sparingly, but make it stand out so that your clients know where you want them to look.


You don’t want your website to be plain. To avoid that you will need a few accent colours – usually 2 or 3. These colours are going to highlight other attention-worthy elements like buttons. Have you ever wondered why Amazon uses a yellow “add to cart” button or why Dell’s white and blue site has the green call to action buttons?

Amazon's call to action button
Amazon’s yellow “Add to Cart” call to action button grabs visitor’s attention right away.

Colour mixing is an extensive subject but there are great tools that help to find the sweet spot based on colour theory. Adobe Color CC is an excellent example of a tool where you pick your dominant colour with colour harmony and in return, you get a set of four colours that match the primary one. If you feel your site should look like a painting you can even go as far as uploading an image and getting a colour palette from that – neat!

Adobe Color CC tool
Matching shades of the primary colour (highlighted by the arrow) obtained from Adobe Color CC.

The background

Background colour can make or break your website. In a way it’s very similar to the dominant colour – the colour of your background dictates where your visitors are looking. It’s closely bound to the purpose of your site. In general, you can divide background colours into three groups corresponding to the type of your business.

Neutral backgrounds are great for eCommerce, promoting service and websites focusing on content. Your visitors shouldn’t be distracted by a bright background colour. Instead, you want them to buy your product or browse your content. For that, you will need a white or very light background, while keeping the attention on the bold primary colour and accents.

“Dominant background” can be a great way to promote your brand identity based on the psychology of colour. You might quickly find that some colours can be a bit too bold and bright for a background. The Adobe tool comes in handy in that case. The monochromatic colour harmony provides you with the best shades of your primary colour. You can use them interchangeably as a background for different sections of your website.

Last but not least, graphics-intensive, colourful backgrounds work pretty well for the creative industry, restaurant websites and similar businesses. Here the sky is the limit – as long as your site is legible.

NerdCow takes care of all of that, and much more, for you so whether you know what your website should look like after reading this post or you don’t, contact us and together we will breathe new life into your website.

Originally published Aug 22, 2018 2:46:09 PM, updated January 12 2022.

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