How to decide which color palette to associate with any app? How do you make color communicate tone of app? Deciding one color is easy, say Gray for serious enterprise theme but what about the rest of the colors in the palette.

I see people picking up a picture and extracting colors from it to complete palette.

  • 3
    Sounds like basic colour theory to me - try this: colormatters.com/color-and-design/basic-color-theory Although I'm not sure if this is really a UX question of if it would be better suited (and get better answers) over at graphicdesign.stackexchange.com May 2, 2017 at 8:35
  • I think it is a UX questions since the associations people have with colours is very much (based on) an experience. May 2, 2017 at 8:38
  • 2
    While some UX Designers have visual-design expertise, you might get more good answers over at the graphicdesign StackExchange. Color is one of the basic specialties of the graphic design discipline. May 2, 2017 at 12:57
  • 1
    Cross-posting is considered uncool on SE. Your second choice is probably more appropriate, so I'd dump this one. May 2, 2017 at 18:38
  • 3
    Belongs on Graphic Design May 2, 2017 at 19:45

2 Answers 2


First you need to decide your brand primary color and then a secondary one if necessary. Once you have chosen the primary color you can use different tools for the color shades and secondary color/s (this one is specific to UI: Material design - Color Tool).

I believe the primary color to use for a brand is something very subjective. You could choose a color that represents your product, if there is a color directly associated to it (like orange if you were building a website that sells oranges, or green for a gardening related one). You could also rely on cultural associations of what certain colors communicate (although this might be very subjective and not applicable to every culture). You could check which color is the most common in other brands from the same industry and use a similar color or a completely different one to stand out.

In the end it probably doesn't matter that much which color you choose as long as you use it with balance.


People have certain associations with colours. These could be different in other cultures of course.

Ask yourself these questions.

What are the values of your company? What do you stand for? What do you want to communicate to your audience? These are all questions to consider.

This might help you decide

There are of course some 'rules' or guidelines to help you choose. For example, signal colours are less popular in applications. Red could be associated with passion and love, but also with danger and stopping.

Of course, blue gets used a lot on the internet because we’re not biased towards understanding something particular out of it (like how red shows errors or yellow important bits).

Source: Why most people’s favorite color is blue

There are also basic colour theories. Try finding some info on the colour wheel. It shows the connection between colour schemes, hue, saturation, light/dark, etc.

Try this:

Basic color schemes - Introduction to Color Theory

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