In addition, complementary colours are less fatiguing to the eye.
According to Frank Vodvarka, associate professor of Fine Arts at Loyola University Chicago, “The use of green in surgical operating rooms is, in fact, an effort to neutralize the constant exposure of the surgeon to red-violet of human organ tissue so as to prevent spatial depth illusions.”
Well, colour is used in many ways; use it to your advantage.
Purple is a luxurious and self-indulgent colour; it is associated with royalty, wisdom, imagination, sophistication, inspiration, wealth, and mysticism. Varying shades of purple convey various meanings and look especially nice with green. By the same token, purple is rarely seen in nature and therefore takes on an artificial air. I’m willing to bet that most financial institutions would not choose purple as their primary web colour. It’s more of a romantic and whimsical colour and sparks the imagination.
In nature, this is the colour of the turning season; it is the colour of fall. It is associated with creativity, energy, vibrancy, stimulation, health, activity, and sociability. It is less aggressive than red, but also a very good call-to-action colour. It draws attention without seeming so emphatic about its cause. It works very well with blue and is often used by financial institutions that are trying to reach a younger market.
Black is associated with night, death, power, weight, sophistication, elegance, formality, seriousness, dignity, solitude, and mystery. White text on a black background is a bold move on the part of a web designer, as it makes the text difficult to read. However, many artistic sites use this to create a feeling of dissidence. Black has been known to represent secrecy and intrigue, which makes it a great choice for mystery writers, especially when it is combined with the colour red. When used properly, black can be very sophisticated.
White is associated with purity, innocence, perfection, virtue, cleanliness, softness, sacredness, truth, and simplicity. It is the easiest colour to read lettering against and is often the best choice for a background, as it gives the other colours prominence. Sometimes, simplicity is the best way to convey your message. However, when you consider that computer monitors are light-emitting screens, it would stand to reason that too much white just might give your reader a headache. No one wants to stare into a white light for any length of time. A white website with black text and no imagery to break up the noise is a bad choice for any prudent author.
This is a great colour for photography and art sites because it rarely evokes emotion and allows for the colours of the art to take the spotlight. Gray is a balance of white and black; it is its own complement. Gray is associated with neutrality, balance, security, reliability, modesty, classicism, maturity, and intelligence. Blue and gray are classic colours for financial institutions and universities.
As you choose your colours, think about the harmony of nature and the audience you wish to attract. Be consistent with your colour choice. Remember that this becomes part of your branding, and you would be well served to make sure that it looks good with your logo. Context is your first concern—this comes from knowing your audience. Strive to attain contrast; this is the basis behind complementary colours and why they are pleasing to the eye.
Also, take into account that not everyone sees colour the same. In fact, 6 to 9 percent of males and 0.8 percent of females are colour-blind.