Web Design Color Usage
Color usage in your business web design can not only help to make your website more enjoyable, it can also encourage your users to interact with the site. Thinking about what your expectations of your website are and writing them down will go a long way toward successful web design color usage. The way you design your page will say a great deal to your customers about who you are and what image you wish to present. Color is a key element in any good web design. Not only which colors, but how you want to display them requires careful consideration.
The Right Color
The color of your font matters a lot. There are many colors that just don’t work well in web design. Yellow, for example, is very difficult to see on a monitor. Even a dark yellow can be tiring for the eyes, and you don’t want to drive away business by causing eye strain. Orange is another color that just irritates people when they are looking at a website. Calm, dark colors are your best bet.
If you chose not to use a standard white background you must select your color with care and make sure not to saturate the screen with it. A nice light shade that is very muted is most appropriate for a business setting if you don’t retain a screen that is mostly white. There are many nice background patterns that resemble marble, parchment paper or linen that can be added to web applications and give your page a bit more panache.
The Right Application
The way to add color to a web design project is to use blocks of color to highlight important ideas. You want the color to grab attention and pull it to unique aspects of your product or business. This is the place to use a new colored version of the same font you used in the rest of the page. It adds dynamic appeal without overwhelming the visitor.
Color photographs are another great way to add color to your presentation. Remember, people are basically visual, they like to see what you are offering, but don’t want to feel assaulted by your color choices. Few things are worse in web design than changing colors throughout the text and using odd, hard to read fonts. This is really a case where less is more.
Consider your Audience
There are times when you can get away with more color but you really must consider your audience. The web design you choose will attract the people you want, if done properly. Bright, energetic colors splashed on your page will generate excitement and oomph. Serious colors like blue will create a more relaxed and mature feel. It all depends on who you want to address.
There are many programs that offer a complete color scheme when you design your website. The colors offered in the scheme are complimentary, and uses for each one are suggested. For example, you may choose to make your headlines in a dark blue and compliment it with bullets done in a steely gray. For a business website that is a perfect use of color.
Another scheme may use a brighter blue or a dark green and accent with dark red. This is an ideal combination for a site that presents itself as young and on the cutting edge. Using several shades of the same color, as long as they are easily differentiated is also a common way to use color in web design, especially when accented with your logo in another, brighter color. Remember to keep your main color easy to read so your audiences, no matter who they are, will be willing to read your content.
A Not so Unusual Consideration
Another thing to consider when engaging in web design is that not everyone sees things the same. There are several types of color blindness that will profoundly affect how someone sees your site. If you can, take that into consideration when you pick your colors, color blind individuals make up about 10% of the general population. Try to avoid those colors that are most difficult for a color blind audience to perceive.
To combat this problem, avoid colors that are typically affected by color blindness, and utilize strong variations in hue, intensity and texture. These visual cues make things easier for the color blind, yes, but they also provide a better experience for those with regular color reception abilities.
The Messages Certain Colors Send
It is no surprise that different colors represent different things. Red may signify love or energy, white-purity, and black, death. Ah, but that is only in the American culture, and the Web is a world wide endeavor. While you don’t have to accommodate every culture world wide when creating a web design, it is good to consider some of the meanings that colors have attained over the millennium.
Red is closely associated with passion, energy and force. A stimulating color, it can also feel very intense and should not be mixed frequently with either a strong blue or green. The visual impact is too hard on the eyes. Red is also connected to danger and warfare in some cultures, so do your market research before committing to too much red.
Almost universally considered a color of good fortune and holiness, blue is viewed as a calming color. It is associated with wisdom, intelligence and stability. Especially when combined with gold, it is viewed as a color that implies credibility. Most cultures find blue to be a positive color, although it is the color of mourning in Iran and represents defeat and sadness to the Cherokee.
Orange is associated with the fall, pumpkins, friendship and joy. A fairly inoffensive color it is still difficult to work with in great quantity. International surveys found that most people view orange as “cheap” and mundane. You just can’t win, can you? Used sparingly though, orange is a fine color that contrasts well with blue in a larger color scheme.
This bright and sunny color is connected to intelligence and learning on the one side and cowardice and avarice on the other. Men in particular don’t like being sold to in yellow and cite that it is a childish color which comes across as untrustworthy.
Mother Earth’s favorite wrapping comes in a bounty of shades. Speaking of new life, monetary success, and healing, green is a very popular color. On the other hand, in China a green hat is associated with infidelity, so it pays to beware and consider cultural differences.
Long regarded as a color of royalty alone, at least in the West, purple has always been difficult to manufacture. In the East purple is often connected to mourning or magic and spirituality. With such different associations you really want to know your audience before using a lot of purple.
The combination of all colors into one, white generates as many responses as it does colors. In the West white is usually a symbol of purity and marriage, medical professionals and cleanliness. In the East, though, it is connected to death and sorrow, to funerals and ghosts. Any web design that is going to be seen in India or China needs to consider what kind of message will be sent by white; after all that is a market of 2 billion individuals.
While black is associated with negativity and death it is also viewed as powerful, classy and elegant. In business presentations it is viewed as a strong color that projects itself and ideas well. An excellent color for use in technical environments, it is easy to ready, direct and with white can be used as a background color for small sections of important text.
Black and White, Together at Last
If you have come this far you realize that color is much more complicated than you though initially. I’m going to throw one more thing in the pot; black and white. Traditional, stable and potentially dull, creating a black and white web design can be remarkably stylish.
Black and white photos evoke an era of class and sophistication. Using shades and variations, texture and movement, you can create a remarkable piece of web design using only black and white. It takes a bit more work, and a superior sense of style to turn a boring piece of web content into a truly attractive website when using only black and white, but the effect is astonishing and achievable.
Using color in a web design project takes some experimentation and a good eye. Start with a number of picture boards and figure out just what kind of presentation you desire. Type out your content and separate it into sections that can be moved around and played with. Try different color schemes on paper before you take them online, you will get a better feel for them as you move them about and combine them in unplanned ways.
In the end diving into web design color usage should be a fun exercise and the beginning of creating something magnificent that will represent your business online boldly. Whatever route you chose, color is a wonderful tool in your web design box.