Maximising Website Impact Through Minimal Colour Use


A significant feature of many well-designed websites is the use of a limited colour palette. This design strategy involves using a restricted set of colours to create a cohesive and visually appealing user experience.

In this article, we’ll explore the impact of using a limited colour palette on websites, discussing its benefits, best practices, and examples of successful implementations.

Benefits of Using a Limited Colour Palette

1. Enhanced Visual Cohesion

A limited colour palette helps to create a unified and harmonious look across a website. By using a consistent set of colours, designers can ensure that all elements, from the header to the footer, work together seamlessly. This cohesion makes the site more aesthetically pleasing and easier for users to navigate.

2. Improved Brand Recognition

Consistent use of a limited colour palette can significantly enhance brand recognition. Colours are a powerful tool for conveying a brand’s identity and values. When used consistently, they can make a brand more memorable. For example, the distinctive use of red and white by Coca-Cola or the blue and yellow of IKEA makes these brands instantly recognisable.

3. Better User Experience

A streamlined colour palette can improve the overall user experience. It reduces visual clutter and makes it easier for users to focus on the content and key elements of the website. This simplicity can lead to faster load times and a more enjoyable browsing experience, which can increase user engagement and conversion rates.

4. Easier Maintenance and Updates

Using a limited colour palette simplifies the process of maintaining and updating a website. With fewer colours to manage, designers can more easily ensure consistency across all pages and elements. This streamlined approach also makes it simpler to implement design changes or updates, saving time and resources.

5. Enhanced Accessibility

A limited colour palette can improve the accessibility of a website. By carefully selecting contrasting colours, designers can ensure that text and important elements are easily readable for all users, including those with visual impairments. This consideration can make a website more inclusive and compliant with accessibility standards.

Best Practices for Implementing a Limited Colour Palette

1. Start with Brand Colours

Begin by identifying the core colours that represent your brand. These colours should form the foundation of your palette. Consider the emotions and messages you want to convey through your brand colours and ensure they align with your brand’s identity.

2. Use Neutrals to Balance

Incorporate neutral colours such as white, black, grey, or beige to balance your primary colours. Neutrals can provide a clean and minimalist background that allows your primary colours to stand out without overwhelming the user.

3. Limit the Number of Colours

Aim to use no more than three to five colours in your palette. This limitation encourages creativity and ensures that your design remains cohesive. You can use variations of these core colours (such as different shades or tints) to add depth and variety without introducing new colours.

4. Consider Colour Psychology

Understand the psychological impact of colours and how they can influence user behaviour. For instance, blue is often associated with trust and calmness, while red can evoke excitement and urgency. Choose colours that align with the emotions and actions you want to elicit from your users.

5. Test for Accessibility

Ensure that your colour choices meet accessibility standards. Use tools like contrast checkers to verify that text and important elements are easily readable for all users. High contrast between text and background colours is crucial for readability and accessibility.

6. Use Colour Strategically

Assign specific roles to each colour in your palette. For example, use one colour for primary actions (such as buttons or links), another for secondary actions, and neutrals for backgrounds and text. This strategic use of colour can guide users through your website and improve their overall experience.

Case Study: The Impact of Using a Limited Colour Palette for Websites – Scarab London

High end luxury watch supplier's website example.

The website for this high-end luxury watch supplier in London exemplifies the benefits of using a limited colour palette. Scarab London’s website features a streamlined palette dominated by elegant greys, paired with striking bright gold accents. This consistent use of colour creates a harmonious look across the site, making it visually appealing and easy to navigate. The limited palette allows the jewellery to stand out, emphasising their beauty and craftsmanship.

The use of gold as an accent colour not only adds a touch of luxury but also aligns with Scarab London’s brand identity. Gold is often associated with opulence and high quality, reinforcing the brand’s positioning in the luxury market. By consistently using these colours, Scarab London enhances brand recognition and creates a memorable visual experience for visitors.

By enhancing visual cohesion, improving brand recognition, and providing a better user experience, the streamlined colour scheme contributes significantly to the site’s success. For businesses looking to create an impactful online presence, adopting a similar approach can lead to substantial benefits in design and user engagement.


Using a limited colour palette in website design offers numerous benefits, from enhanced visual cohesion and improved brand recognition to better user experience and easier maintenance. By following best practices and selecting colours that align with your brand’s identity and goals, you can create an effective and visually appealing website. Embrace the power of simplicity in your design process and watch as your website becomes more engaging and effective.

Posted on 12th May 2024