Tuesday, 15 December 2015 06:33

The Modern Web Palette: Color Trends for 2016

Have you noticed more bold and energetic colors around the web? The modern web palette is unafraid of vibrant color. While I applaud these choices, here are some observations of how websites are making this bold new palette work.

Use Bold Color to Portray Energy

For example, Mint Twist uses great shades of neon pink and greens on their site to great effect, and White Rhino does a great job at using various shades of orange throughout the site. Mint Twists color palette helps portray that they are a new, creative agency. White Rhino’s color choices while still bright, are a little more grounded and show that they are a professional, reliable company who is still up-to-date with technology and current trends.

Rhino Website

Web Page Color & Flat Design

Flat design is proliferating web design now, which makes it more necessary to introduce a wide variety of colors to design. Flat design incorporates minimalism and simplicity. It features two-dimensional or flat illustrations that have clean, well- website uses flat design. Below is an example of a web page that uses flat design:

web palette flat design

You can see on this flat design site, that the variety of colors brings back an element of interest, and allows designers to set apart very similar, flat elements to engage the user.

Web Color & Technology

Another major reason for the increase in luminous color choices is advancements in technology that have allowed us to increase the variety of web-safe colors. Many years ago web designers were limited to just 216 colors. Today, the increase in screen resolution and retina displays have opened up millions of new color options.

Who's Your Digital Audience?

While I agree that the use of these colors is often warranted, and most of the time necessary, don’t lose sight of your target audience. Will these vibrant colors resonate with them? If you are designing for a doctor’s office, you should consider the serious tone of the content. Notice how this company makes use of muted tones on their site.


When choosing your site colors, think about your audience and your subject matter. Does it make sense to use neon orange for this, or would a subtle blue be more appropriate? Too often, we like to jump on board with the current trends without analyzing who will be reading that material. Colors evoke different emotions from users, and it’s very important to research and recognize these differences.

Look at Larger Lifestyle Trends

While it has been growing steadily on the web, we are beginning to notice these brighter colors in our clothing and household items too. Website design trends are not solely informed by the internet. Like fashion trends, they are pulled from the world around us.

skirt photo

We can find new color palettes anywhere. Be on the lookout for color inspiration everywhere and try them in your website design.

living room

These color trends are likely to continue throughout 2016 and beyond, so research your audience, and go unabashedly into this bright new world of color.