Randy A Brown

Web Design Trends for 2017 – Bold Color Choices

March 31, 2017
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Color can have an influence on the reader. Readers expect certain colors for certain genres. Expect an increase in awareness of color choices. As designers explore and become more creative with color choices, I would also expect to see some creative ways that designers are successfully breaking the rules or blending genres.

Purposefully Chosen Colors

In the past website owners have chosen colors they enjoy rather than colors to affect their readership. For 2017 websites will focus more than ever on color choices specific to their audience and purpose. Color sets the mood, tone, thoughts, and even affects conversion. Colors should be chosen carefully.

Color Psychology

There’s a lot of science behind color theory and psychology. Here’s a short list of how color affects readers and how to know which colors you need based on your niche:

  • Black – sophistication, power, edginess, timeliness, seriousness – great choice for backgrounds.
  • White – cleanliness, purity, virtue, simplicity, seriousness – great choice for backgrounds and for minimal and simple sites.
  • Ivory – comfort, simplicity, elegance, softens colors, complementary – excellent for highlights, secondary, and background colors.
  • Gray – formal, neutral, sad, professional, traditional, seriousness, calmness – great choice for backgrounds.
  • Beige – humility, promotes the traits of surrounding colors – excellent for highlights, secondary, and background colors.
  • Red – importance, power, danger, youthful (bright colors), comforting (warm colors).
  • Pink – youthful, feminine, innocent.
  • Orange – friendliness, energy, movement, uniqueness.
  • Yellow – happiness, enthusiasm, youthful (bright shades – great for children), comfort (using middle shades), antiquity (using dark shades – great for showing authority), versatile.
  • Green – growth, stability (using dark shades – great for environmental and financial themes), relaxing, honesty (using lighter shades).
  • Blue – calm, safe, friendly, open (with lighter shades), reliable (with darker shades).
  • Purple – luxury, mystery (using darker shades), romance (using lighter shades).

Pantone Color of the Year

Pantone provides color palettes that work in many industries including graphic design with each year focusing on a single color. For 2017 Pantone has determined that the color of the year is green. More specifically, Greenery 15-0343. Pantone provides color-paring charts to create 10 palettes of neutral, bright, pastel, metallic, deeper shades, etc. Expect to see Greenery 15-0343 and its surrounding palettes used a lot in 2017 as the various shades are well-suited to many genres.

Material Design’s Color Palettes

Google’s Material Design is becoming more popular among designers and in turn so will its bright color palettes. Google’s Material Design Palette allows you to choose two colors and it provides a palette that works with those colors.

Material UI

Another Google Material Design tool is Material UI. This tool has lots of features to choose color palettes for flat UI, social, Material, metro, HTML, Hex, and lots more. I expect this tool to become even more popular for choosing color palettes.

Let’s Discuss

1. Do your color choices follow the common color trends?

2. What are your favorite color tools?

Let us know in the comments. Thanks for reading and please subscribe if you haven’t already. 

Image by Kyler Nixon


  1. Maureen Denny

    Congrats on the launch Randy! I am happy to know I’ll be able to read more of your work. Recently I have been reading about color theory and psychology so this is great timing! I’m trying to be more deliberate with choosing colors. My go to up until now is Adobe Color but Material Design palette looks interesting. Maybe you can do a post on Material Design, what it is, how it’s used, for those of us rather design challenged.

  2. Brandi

    This is great! Thank you for sharing! I definitely want to use this to refer back on! My main site colors are grey and orange – and it looks like, according to the list you have that I’ve achieved exactly what I was going for!

    • Randy A Brown

      Thanks Brandi! Your site looks amazing! I love the colors 🙂


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