Thursday, October 31, 2013

6 Colours Great for Online Stores

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Like design, colours are equally important for your online store's layout. It tells a lot about your business and what sort of image you want to portray. Each colour in the colour family symbolizes a meaning to your personality and possess certain qualities. It has its own effect on your audience, therefore it is important for you to know what sort of colours you want to have as your identity in order for you to:

1. Make your store recognizable by your customers
2. Make your customers feel comfortable so that they want to come back again

Here's the logic: If you are not a big colour pink fan, would you walk in the store that is bright pink with colour pink-related products? Of course not!

The idea of having a store that is drowned with splashes of pink gives you the impression that it's meant to attract really girly girls.

Me? I definitely am not quite a big fan of everything pink. I appreciate the colour pink just like how I appreciate other colours, but I am not quite a fan of it. And with that, says quite a lot about me. Colour preference really does tell a lot about a person.

Looking for a suitable colour for your online store? 

Here's a tip or two:

1. List out your top 2 most favourite colours:

There's a rule in the principles of art & design; i'm not a person who likes rules and authority, but when it comes to to principles and elements of art & design, I am one to follow and there's a solid reason why. It is called the Rule of 3 and it is applicable to colours and typography. Well, actually most designers would try to stick to 2, but in some cases the maximum is 3.

Now that you have selected 2, then choose an additional colour that can support your colours while making sure it is not a big difference. Example: Orange, Red and Green.

Try not to exceed 3 because then your layout will lose its theme and it will just look like another lost design where there's too much colours all over the place.

The 1st colour is your Main Colour, your 2nd colour is your Complementary Colour and your 3rd colour is (I like to call it) your Supporting Colour. It is usually for enhancing your Main Colour and your Complementary Colour.

2. Learn to understand colours and its meaning & effects:

If you appreciate all colours and you cannot decide what you want for your online store, you can start with listing out the nature of your business. Then look up and do a research on colours suitable for that field. Each colour has its own meaning and purpose. For example: Red is usually used for restaurants because it makes customers feel hungry after a long day of shopping.

To get you started, I have selected 6 Colours that are great for online stores.


Despite its plain and clean slate reputation, the colour White is quite a popular colour in the business world. It suggests a simplicity, clean and safe outlook; safe especially if you are unsure what colours you want, and if you are looking for a colour that is spacious and not messy, you are safe with White. If use it wisely, you can use White and still look pristine and sophisticated. You can give your customers the impression that your business is well-planned and organized. Another added advantage is that you can focus on playing around with different typefaces (3 maximum for typography rule) while using white as your Main Colour.

Ahh, purple... I like the colour Purple a lot. Whenever I visit an online store that sells fantasy paintings and products, I am glued to it especially if it is Purple. This is because, Purple has a mysterious, fantasy and creative effect on individuals like me. The colour Purple itself is rich and feminine, so if you are running an online fashion store, you might want to consider a nice gradient hue of purple colour; maybe in deep purple to violet and burgundy for its Supportive colour?


The colour Brown is another safe tone, just like White. However, instead of it being clean, Brown has a practical and earthly effect that suggests a comforting and down-to-earth feel. Not only it gives a wholesome and healthy exterior, but this colour is inviting and also sophisticated if used wisely. Too much of a dark brown colour might result to a "dirty" and "dull, depressive" effect. Other than that, if coupled properly with other Complementary tones, the colour Brown can result to a mature and elegant style. A plus point, use it minimally and the colour Brown might be able to give a person a homely feel.


If you are looking for the winning colour for business with communication effect yet calming and convincing, the colour Blue is your choice! Take a look at successful internet businesses today like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and more- you will notice that their Main Colour is the colour Blue. Blue is a popular colour in the business world because it possess a strong and unifying image. It has an orderly and responsible exterior look for business, and when it comes to lifestyle interest, the colour Blue gives a calming, stylish yet peaceful and inspiring feel to your audience.


There is a myth among Asians that the colour Black brings "bad luck", but truth be told, it doesn't have that sort of effect. The only negative energy that comes from is from the person's mind. Of course, the colour Black has an authoritative and powerful effect. It is also a sultry, sexy and mature colour, which is why it is commonly used in the fashion industry. The colour Black also has a sophisticated and stylish look, it is seductive in its own way, which makes it even more interesting for an online store. But of course, you need to see what sort of products that you are selling and who are your target audience. The colour Black appeals the youth, because it portrays cool with an edge!


The sweetest colour of the lot, yes I am ending my 6th recommendation with the colour Pink despite what I have said earlier about Pink. Even though it has a ditsy impression if it is over-used, however the colour Pink does have its advantage. Light pink or pastel pink coupled with suitable Complementary and Supportive Colour, can appear elegant and appealing to your audience.

The colour Pink not only gives a feminine touch to it, but the colour is warm and has a calming effect. This might make your customers feel comfortable and at ease when shopping on your store, considering that shopping online requires long hours on the computer screen. Since staring at the computer strains your eyes, try using Pink in its softer shade for your audience. Recommended especially if you are targeting young girls, not older women of age 30 and above.

Finally, these are only my recommendations. I personally think that for online stores, especially if you are
running a business, you would want to try and have suitable colours that are pleasing to the eye. After all, you want your customers to feel comfortable when viewing your products on the screen.

So, what's your favourite colour? Hope you have decided on one already!

*Photos courtesy of Squarelet

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for providing basic information about colors. You have described the great combinations of 6 different colors.