The Significance of Warm and Cool Colors in Web Design

As a web designer, one must be aware of the fact that colors in web design are extremely important. At the same time, you should also understand that colors are extremely dangerous, so you must pay attention at the following lines, because they will prove to be a great help when creating the layout of your website.

The reason why colors are known as being dangerous is because they are very subjective, in the sense that what could be perceived as beautiful for a person could easily be seen as ugly for another. Besides our sense of beauty, the culture and the environment we have been brought up in could influence our preference towards certain colors. So you should be fully aware of the fact that some colors which may stand for happiness in a country may represent mourning in another.

Why are colors in web design important?

Maybe some of you are wondering what is the connection between the emotions people get when seeing some colors and something as technical as creating a website. Well, you want your site to be visited and read by people; therefore its design is crucial in getting their interest. This means that you must combine the colors in a way that will speak for your website.

In fact the combination of colors represents the non-verbal communication, in which every shade or hue will speak for itself. In case you cannot see any difference between shade and hue, then you should know that the hue stands for the pure color of an item, while the shade shows the degree to which a color is mixed with black.

In this struggle of finding the right colors for your website, I believe it is essential to talk about the two classifications of colors, the warm and the cold ones. In this way, you will know what you should use depending on the object that your site promotes and the significance of the main important colors: red, orange, yellow, blue, green and purple.

Warm colors

I bet you all knew that red, orange and yellow (and their variations) are also known as warm colors. They can be seen in fire, in the autumn leaves, in the color of the sunrise or the sunset and they symbolize energy, passion, excitement, happiness.




When thinking about red, we instantly see fire and blood and this image could be associated with energy, war, power, danger; but also with determination, desire, passion and love.

However, I believe you would like to know: what does this color do for your web site. It is not all about the image or the pictures you use on your website, the text is important too. If you want it to be emphasized then you should use red, color which will bring your text to the foreground. It is perfect for making people take quick decisions, so you should definitely use it for call-to action buttons, such as “Click here” or “Buy now”.

Also, red is favored in advertisement, for instance when expressing erotic feelings (red lips, red nails, and so on). Not to mention its major use when peril is involved. I have mentioned before that red stands for energy. So, if your website promotes energy drinks, games, cars or sports items, then feel free to use this hue.

If red stands for passion, joy and love, pink represents femininity, friendship or romance. Dark red is associated with anger, evil and will, while red brown stands for the harvest and autumn. So, have these facts in mind, when you will think about adding some red to your site.




In web design, orange is used to get the attention of the readers. It could be compared with red, but the difference stands in the fact that orange is less overwhelming than the latter. It is considered a welcoming and friendly color which stimulates both mentally and socially. Besides working with the excitement and creativity of a person, orange also increases the appetite.

In case you want to emphasize certain design elements, then you should definitely use orange because it has a high visibility. At the same time, one should know that orange is very effective when promoting food products.




In general, bright yellow stands for happiness and joy; while pale yellow gives a sensation of calmness and tranquillity. Dark yellow or golden yellow could make a person think about antique objects, prestige and durability. So, the main idea that one should have about yellow is that it produces a warm and cheerful effect and it stimulates the mental activity.

Just like orange, yellow is often used to promote food products. Besides that it is associated with baby products and leisure related items. It is highly efficient when one wants to attract attention or when emphasizing the most important design elements.

Cold Colors

It is no secret that blue, green and purple are the cool colors. They represent the water, the nature, the night and they have soothing and relaxing properties. What you should know is that these colors will give to your website a balanced, stable and calm appearance.




Although it is associated with sadness in English, blue stands for calmness, responsibility, for something that is refreshing, for power, confidence or peace. The thing is that the symbolism of blue is different, depending on its saturation, intensity or value.

Everybody loves blue and it is a hue that brings pleasure to the eye, which is why its use could be versatile. For instance, it could be used either for a holiday website or for a corporate site.




Green is abundant in nature; it stands for life, health and environment. Besides that, one could easily notice its soothing properties (from blue) and its energetic side (from yellow). When designing your website you could use this hue, if you want to get an effect of balance and harmony. Also, green is appropriate for sites promoting such topics as: the nature, renewal, fortune, durability and global warming.




Purple is related to luxury and high quality; it is a combination of red and blue so it is both passionate and relaxing. One should also know that it is a romantic color, perfect for websites promoting flowers, but at the same time this hue could cause sadness if it is used too much. Not to mention that it is perfect for a website which has as a topic a special event.

So, use these tips and combine the colors of your website in an intelligent manner, in order to get the interest of your readers.

Adrian is a passionate blogger and chief of the team behind DesignModo website. This blog is a great resource where you can find tons of tutorials, high quality articles and amazing freebies. If you want to stay updated with the latest web design news, follow us on Twitter.

Adrian – who has written posts on Artatm – Creative Art Magazine.

3 Responses to “The Significance of Warm and Cool Colors in Web Design”
  1. Ifham khan

    Yes, colors play major role in designing whether its a Web designing, graphic designing or logo designing. It is also plays major role in marketing. As a designer we should know which colors forces what. Like a green color force user to take immediate action that is why most Forex website uses green layout while red color shows emotion or romance. Superb Article like it

  2. Suffolk Graphic Designer

    Naturally, I love orange. It’s a very fresh and exciting colour! But remember that colour theory is just that – the colour has to suit the theme, regardless of preconceived ideas surrounding a colour. You can MAKE it work!

  3. K Bharath @ Inspireden

    Nicely written article, as you mentioned colors plays a very important role in web designing.

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