Colours In Web Design

March 23rd, 2010 | No Comments »

This blog post is all about colours in web design. I hope it gives you some ideas for your own website when choosing a web design colour and also gives you a better understanding of the importance of colour in web design.

One of the key and fundamental aspects of web design at the heart of any web design process is the choice of colours.

Choosing A Colour For Your Web Design
How do you choose which colour to use and how many colours should you use on your website?

All important questions and at the end of the day colour is very subjective – so you need to think carefully.

We all have favourite colours and trends change. In recent years trends for colours in web design appear to be quite minimal although there are signs that stronger colours are coming back, a tendency to funky, retro designs, often with a bold display of colour balanced with simple design to minimise the chance of information overload.

Psychology Of Colour In Web Design and Marketing
Put simply a strong colour will grab your attention and can be a very useful draw to a commercial website. Also positioning strong colours in key areas of your site, like red or orange, or a strong green or blue can be useful for drawing people towards a particular location on the site – a contact number or a link to an important page.

The strong use of colour in a brand can also have a brilliant effect. For instance, think of Cadbury’s chocolate and you think of purple.
The AA motor organisation – yellow and black. Easy Jet the airline is another good example of a strong colour in branding – orange.

One common mistake to make is picking too many colours. One main colour with one or two other colours to contrast can work well, dozens of colours for most people is off-putting, it’s disorientating for the senses.

A lot of research has been done into the combinations of colours and also the psychology of colours.

Red is a strong indicator of power, passion and attraction and also red for danger.

Black can mean authority – think of police uniforms or black limousines – as well as mystery and danger.

Purple is often used to associate with luxury or a more sensual experience. Silver and gold can be a sign of success or luxury for obvious reasons. Often executive cars are silver.

Green is calming. It was often used in factories and around machinery so as not to encourage sudden movements. Green colour in web design conjures up a natural feel and is reassuring, although for some off-putting.

Blue can be a cool experience but also indicating professionalism and reliability, honesty and financial security so is a good choice for a mature audience. It’s also one of the more popular colours, generally speaking.

Yellow is a very positive colour which generates a pleasant feeling, the sun, flowers, hay in fields all life giving and uplifting associations. Use of yellow is a strong statement although use wisely.

Brown conjures wood, earthliness but some find it dour and uninspiring.

White is important and most websites use white to some degree. Contemporary, clean, stylish. Truth, purity and honesty. Just some of the qualities of white.

Grey is associated with authority and reliability, not being flash but conservative and mature, but for some it can be dull and lacking personality.

Fragility and sensitivity can be seen in pink, especially lighter pink and also white. Pink is also stereotypically associated with femininity and can also be a very calming colour. Think Pink is a slogan amongst rock climbers when they need to remain calm.

Web designers need to think very carefully about their use of colour and the markets they are hoping to connect with.

Cultural Differences Related To Colour
Web design colour choices can be cultural. What is Ok for web design in the US may not be good for web design in the UK, for instance. Why not take a look at some different sites? and see if you can spot any trends in web design colours. In the UK and generally speaking through western eyes red is a strong indicator of power and passion although it means good luck and celebration in China.

So you have to think about your markets. Is your market partly overseas or just UK based? Have a good think about colours.

Pick Your Colours Carefully
One thing is for sure, the importance of colour cannot be underestimated in graphic design and web design because much of your immediate and ongoing reaction to a site design will be based on the colours and your personal association to them.

If you are a web designer choosing colour or someone employing a web designer and thinking about the colour of your site – why not think about your own reactions to different colours and discuss with others in the context of what you want to achieve with your site?

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