Skip to main content

Color Theory from Raving Software: Using Orange in Web Design

By October 17, 2017May 23rd, 2020Design Tips

How to use orange in your web design

This is part of our ongoing “Design Tips for Clients” series. Whether you’re one of our clients or you’re looking to learn about design, we’ll give you an introduction to color, typography, industry jargon and much more.

Previously, we’ve discussed what red can bring to your website design. Red is a dynamic color that can incite action among visitors. However, it can have a detrimental effect to site traffic if the color makes content illegible or if visitors think the site is full of warnings. If your design calls for a bright, dynamic color and you want to avoid the pitfalls of red, you may want to consider orange.


Orange is often tied to the positive feelings of energy, competition, health, warmth, confidence, and activity. These ideas are good for businesses that want to convey energy and excitement with a fun color.

Different connotations of orange.

However, orange is also used to indicate warnings and products can be viewed as cheap when paired with it.


The precise meaning or tone of a specific color is affected by the other colors used with it. For example, a bright orange paired with other bright colors (such as yellow, blue, or red), would convey a fun tone that is perfect for children. Or you can pair a bright orange with white for a clean yet energetic tone that’s perfect for lifestyle websites. In contrast, a darker, muted orange paired with other muted colors (golds, dark reds, slate gray) convey a more somber tone would fit well with a modern or upscale restaurant.


Different color schemes that include orange.

Orange is a good fit for lifestyle websites, such as those that promote activity and health, and restaurants. A lot of restaurant websites use red in their color schemes because red is believed to increase a person’s appetite. Orange is also believed to have this effect. So if you’re just starting out or redesigning your restaurant, consider using orange in your color scheme. It may help you to stand out from the crowd.

Orange can also be substituted for red in other situations, such as being the call-to-action color, a sales price color, or a warning color. However, if you use orange for the call-to-action color don’t use it as the warning color. Assigning a purpose to individual colors helps your visitors identify an element and conveys a specific desired action.


Tints and shades of orange.

Like a vibrant red, a vibrant orange needs to be used sparingly. To avoid causing eye strain to your visitors, it’s better to use a vibrant orange as an accent color instead of a dominant color. If you want to use an orange as the dominant color, a light tint or darker shade is better suited for the task. (Note: Tints are created from mixing white with a color, and shades come from mixing black with a color.)


Orange is often overlooked, and it can be difficult to effectively work into a design. However, it shouldn’t be written off because it might pose challenges. An effective and unique use of orange in your design could be the component that helps your website stand out from your competitors. You can experiment with Adobe Color CC to discover a color scheme that you like.


Resources: “How to Use the Psychology of Color to Increase Website Conversions” from kissmetrics and “Color Theory 101” by James George.

Is there a design topic you want to know more about? Let us know in the comments or contact us through email.

Keep up with all the latest developments and projects from Raving Software on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.