To quote jazz legend Miles Davis, “It's not the notes you play, it's the notes you don't play.” I think the same can be said for web design — it’s about the colors you don’t use. So today, we’re going to talk about monochromatic websites.
A monochromatic website is one that uses just one main color in its design. Whereas many modern websites today bombard the viewer with images, graphics, and dense color palettes, monochromatic websites tend to pull things back and simplify, making for a cleaner and ho[pefully more pleasant browsing experience.
They may not be the flashiest websites out there, but monochromatic designs deserve some attention too. So, we’ve found 12 examples we love — feel free to use them as inspiration for your own site, whatever that may be.
Best Monochromatic Websites
What we like: First up on our list is Kiramoon, a beauty company with a site that employs a red-pink color scheme. This is an excellent example of a color scheme that reflects the colors of the products themselves, making the entire experience feel cohesive and meticulously planned.
As you scroll down, you’ll see how the designers have cleverly used different levels of color saturation to differentiate page regions and elements while avoiding a jumbled look. Importantly, the key CTA button on the home page is the darkest shade of red to jump out at new visitors.
What we like: Restaurant websites offer some of the best design inspiration on the web, and the Clove Club is no exception. It’s about as stripped-back as a website can get, placing all focus on the featured animation on the homepage.
Despite the home page’s emphasis on one color — blue — the background is still animated to add visual texture. This background is constant, even when you open other pages on the website. We also love the clear “Reservations” CTA, and a menu accessible by a minimal “+” icon in the top right corner.
What we like: Olfaction’s website is all about making you feel at ease. Offering scented candles and oils, this simple site is tied together with a nice shade of merino white background and interspersed with product photos.
Given this website’s use of whitespace, it helps to choose a single background color that’s easy on viewers’ eyes. It might sound like a small detail, but it matters when making users feel comfortable while browsing — they’ll be in a better state of mind, and more likely to make a purchase.
What we like: This bakery website takes the cake (pun intended) for one of the best uses of color and illustration on a home page. The use of green throughout conveys an earthy feel, evoking nature and wonder. However, it also divides the page into sections with occasionally different colors for some variety.
Wildwood Bakery’s site doesn’t overdo it on the illustrations, either. Rather, they’re incorporated subtly. You might not even notice that some of them are animated at first — the entire site just feels so organic. Even the cart icon is a custom illustration.
What we like: Calendly’s website might not be as “artsy” as some other design examples here, but that’s exactly why we wanted to include it. It’s an example of what modern corporate website can be — minimal, clean, and easy to understand.
Clearly, the primary color here is white, but it’s accented with touches of blue, which is the main color in Calendy’s branding. Blue is reserved for the most important page elements, the key pieces of text and CTAs. As this example demonstrates, you don’t need to go overboard when designing a monochromatic site.
What we like: WeProfit takes the same principles of Calendly’s design in a slightly different direction. While it implements clean shapes and text, it also strips away page elements and adds animations and colored regions that highlight different products.
Our favorite part of this site is the cart animation on page load, a quirky way to communicate what it is WeProfit does. Just because a website is monochromatic, doesn’t mean you can’t add delight moments like this one.
What we like: Here’s another fantastic minimalist website, this time for the brand Heresto Vodka. Yellow is the star of the show here, with only hints of black and white to complement it. To avoid monotony, the site implements a cool scrolling effect in which a bottle rotates as different sections of copy come into view.
Also note that Hereto’s website avoids many of the cliches we see on other vodka/alcohol websites — namely stock photos of people partying and pretentious copy (trust us, we’ve seen a lot of websites). Instead, this brand establishes itself as a drink “for the people.”
What we like: Soilboy sells plants, planters, and soil for all your home gardening needs. This website also takes more of a minimal approach, with an off-white background color that doesn’t distract, but gives a sense of warmth that you might not get from a #FFFFFF hex code.
The use of images on this site is also on point, and shows how you can make simple products look visually appealing. It’s important that your shots look professional if you want to include photos on your site. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to hire a photographer, though — see our guide to taking good pictures with your phone.
What we like: Going in the complete opposite direction, Digital Cover employs black for its monochromatic palette. The creative agency subverts your expectations of how a typical website behaves, with an almost cinematic series of scrolling effects that put their talents on full display.
The bold, white text against the background makes the company’s messaging stand out. It’s easy to click off the home page to explore Digital Cover’s highlighted projects, or access them from a slick navigation menu that opens when you click the icon in the top right corner.
10. Hieronimus Félix
What we like: The online portfolio of french designer Félix Hieronimus is a delightful masterclass in minimalism and monochromatic color schemes. The home page, including the background, uses only different shades of pink. In concept, that sounds questionable, but Hieronimus has managed to come out with something tasteful and elegant.
Do yourself a favor and explore the featured projects on the website. The project pages incorporate visuals from various mediums but retain the signature look and feel. If you’re a designer crafting a personal website, take notes.
What we like: The website for Flaner shows us how adding textures can add another dimension of character to an otherwise typical website. In this case, the animated static laid on top of the monochromatic green color palette is meant to mimic analog speaker systems and vinyl records.
Try hovering over the images, too. When you do, you’ll see the images come to live as color seeps in — another fun touch on this fascinating website.
12. Jones Bar-B-Q
What we like: At HubSpot, we love our orange websites, which is why we always enjoy calling out good ones when we see them. Based out of Kansas City, Jones Bar-B-Q brings a monochromatic color palette to its website that turns up the heat.
Built with Squarespace, this website’s home page expertly mixes images with copy. Despite only using one main color, everything here is full of character and invites you in to sample the cuisine.
13. Kreativa Studio
What we like: The second design agency featured on this list, Kreativa Studio is a “forward-thinking digital design studio delivering meticulous experiences that talk to people.” Check out its website for yourself and see if it speaks to you.
The homepage greets you with minute green text over a deep purple background before the green fades over the background as you scroll further down the page, then switches back to purple. So, no, it’s not technically monochromatic. However, we can still learn from how the designers expertly transition us between different sections of a page.
What we like: To close out our list, Junoco creates environmentally sustainable hygiene and beauty products, and its website implements various off-white shades in its background and featured photos. Though minimalist beauty websites like this are common, we think this one pulls off the look particularly well.
You can tell there’s care taken to how information is presented on this website — products and deals are mixed with company messaging, but every section is paired with a CTA to increase conversions and purchases.
"Monochromatic" doesn’t have to mean "boring."
Let’s be honest — ”monochromatic” is kind of a boring-sounding word. When many of us think of engaging designs, we think splashes of color from every part of the visible light spectrum.
However, this isn’t the ideal choice for every website. And, as these designs show, you can pull off a monochromatic look that still manages to engage visitors and create a unique atmosphere. Sometimes, more really is less.