Have you ever tried to pick out a set of colors for your brand new (or even old!) blog? If so, you’ve probably had my experience a few years back of looking at a bunch of colors, googling color theory, and then collapsing in on yourself like a star about to go supernova.
So what do you do? Take a deep breath and follow these three steps.
- Research colors so you can understand what you enjoy and what inspires you
- Ask yourself, what do I want people to think when my brand name or blog comes up?
- Pick your colors and assign roles
Got it? Good. Let’s dive into step 1.
Here are my top 3 resources for researching blog colors.
Start out first by looking at other website color combinations. I send my clients to look at Canva’s 50 examples and have them pick at least 2 that resonate with them. Then I ask them to tell me what in particular they loved about the colors or design.
I recommend you do the same. Look through the list and find at least 2 that stick out to you. You don’t have to love that exact color combination, but you should have an “ah-ha!’ moment when you see it. Now write down what you liked about those choices. Did you like how the colors made a strong, classic look? Did you like the whimsical, playful feel of the colors? Do you just love yellow? Write it down.
Example number 8, pictured above, is my ah-ha moment. This one stuck out because I love neutral tones, and because I also am delighted by bold colors, like the watermelon color here. So what does that mean for me? It means I want a neutral color theme with at least one bold accent color that confidently says, “Hello! Here I am. Aren’t I gorgeous?” that I can apply to my call to action areas, such as buttons.
I use Design Seeds as a way to find complimentary or themed colors for my clients. Let’s say my client is has a blog about living in a small rural town on the Atlantic coast. I can use Design Seeds to find beach colors.
It’s also great if you found a color you love, but are wondering what colors would complement it. You can search Design Seeds by a color and see all of the color themes that use it. I used Design Seeds most recently to find untraditional colors that complimented a navy color.
As always, Pinterest is a fantastic place to find color ideas. Start off by searching for these terms: “blog color”, “blog theme”, “color palette”, “blog style guide”, and “blog style.” Pin your favorite color combinations and styles that you find to create your own color mood board for your blog. You can also find inspiration in my web design board on Pinterest.
OK, so now you understand what you like and what you don’t like. Let’s move on to step 2!
What Colors Say About You and Your Blog
What do I want people to think when my brand name or blog comes up? Try to come up with 3-4 adjectives that you want people to think of when they see your blog. I’ve listed some examples below:
- fun, whimsical, and educational
- serious, classic, strong, and masculine
- professional, responsible, and business-like
- balance, harmony, down-to-earth, happy
Have your adjectives? Great! Now look back at some the colors that gave you that ah-ha! moment. Which of those colors feels most like your adjectives? Assign at least one color to the descriptive words. I assigned colors to my examples below.
- fun, whimsical, and feminine — yellow, pink, pastel blue
- serious, classic, strong, and masculine—black, red, white, brown/tan
- professional, responsible, and business-like—brown, purple, black
- balance, harmony, down-to-earth, happy—green, blue, brown
Alright, do you have at least one color? Great! Now use all you learned in step 1 to find 4-6 complimentary colors to go with that color. Now add a black or grey color for your text.
Picking Your Colors and Assigning Roles
Here’s where it gets fun. You should have at least 6 colors right now. You might have up to 8. Now I want you to put all of your colors together in a row and narrow it down to the top 5, including the text color.
Looking good? Great! The hardest step is done. Now let’s assign roles. What roles, you say? Why, how the colors are used, of course.
For the example above, the black can be the main text color. The yellow would make for a great call to action/button color, and the peach could be a good link color. The blue and tan would make for great accent colors on sidebars or in logos.
And that’s it!
I hope this helped you pick out the colors for your blog. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments or ask me on Twitter, @hidama.