Much has been written about the use of colour in web design. Back in the day there were stark warnings. Pick as few as possible, seemed to be the general advice, and be sensible about your choices.

I covered the main points when I wrote about colour and web design five years ago. A lot of that advice still stands up but there has been a definite shift, and nowadays it seems that more and more designers are embracing colour like never before. The polychromatic web is upon us!

The combination of flat design and blocks of saturated colour is certainly a winning combination from where I’m sitting. It’s a trend that is perhaps underpinned by the growing number of devices with retina screens in circulation.

A strong, clever use of colour can be great for branded web experiences, web apps of various flavours, and agency websites. That said, I’m not fully convinced that this design trend is ideal for retailers with hundreds or thousands of product pictures, as too much colour can be overpowering, but no doubt there are some good examples out in the wild.

So then, here are 24 websites and apps that are not remotely afraid of colour. See what you make of them, and be sure to share your views in the comments area below!

Colourful blocks / tiles 

This is a definite web design trend, particularly among fans of flat design. Windows 8 has been rather influential, it seems, so let’s start there…

Windows 8

Piclab

Fizy

Fitbit

Calendar

Gary Johnson 2016

 

Weather app 

Weather widget

Sun

Yet another weather app!

Flat UI Colors

Ultimately, a lot of these examples remind me of colour palettes like this one…

Colourful bars

Some sites make great use of coloured stripes and bars. Here are a few examples…

Blue

I featured this colour weather app in a recent post on beautiful mobile design.

Coloured Lines

A super-colourful website…

Minimal Monkey

Svpply’s mobile app

Daily Routine

Colourful backgrounds and washes 

Some sites and apps go well beyond blocks and lines… 

Wacom

Scroll down and see the colour change. I bet you’ll want to scroll back up again.

Lowdi

 

Trinto

Triplagent

Blocks and washes galore, using gentler hues…

Red Bull Studios

 

Colourful cards

‘Cards’ are increasingly being used by web designers, for all manner of reasons, but perhaps largely due to the growth in mobile / smaller screens, and following on from the widgets that were all the rage in the Web 2.0 era. This is a good thing, I think. Instead of focusing on designing whole web pages, we should focus on designing the content and functional elements that make up web pages. 

Pravda

A responsive WordPress theme that combines a strong use of colour with cards.  

 

Google+

An unused card-based design aimed at helping users to get the most out of Google+.

Colourful icons

I thought I’d throw in an example of how colour can be used to group different types of icons, representing different kinds of functionality and information. This sort of thing can be subconsciously persuasive, if you get it right.

Dribble (concept)

A design concept for a Dribble Android UI, featuring some vivid icons.

Branded colour coding

We see this a lot in the world of design, and here’s one website that closely mirrors the colour of its product. Scroll through the products and the colour changes…

Purity By Monster

 

What other colourful websites and apps have you noticed recently? Do you think that this is a growing design trend that is might stay the distance, or will we be saying that “it looks so 2013!” in a few years time? Do leave a comment below! 

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