When designing a web site, most of the web designers give attention to two major factors; the design, i.e. the graphics and logos of the site, and the content. However, color too plays a very important part in the design of a website as it defines the mood and emotions of the visitor and reflects your identity and image branding.
Color can be Classified as a Form of Symbolism
- This is why we often say a person is green with envy or perhaps red with anger.
- Colors play a great deal in affecting us psychologically and can thus stimulate our appetite and also suppress it.
- There are strong colors like red and orange, and peaceful colors like green and blue.
So depending on the mood and scheme of the website, colors have to be chosen wisely.
- Modern computers are capable of displaying millions of colors on the screen. However, web design is limited to only 216 colors as Mac computers and PC’s both use different color palettes that are common to both.
- These 216 colors are considered to be “web safe”; meaning that the web site colors look fairly consistent on different computers, be it Mac or PC, different operating systems and even different browsers like Internet Explorer and Mozilla.
Choosing the Right Color Scheme
Choosing the correct color scheme for your site can be selected from the various types of color combinations there are.
- The monochromatic color schemes use a single color where different values of the chosen color are used to create the feel of the different colors.
- These schemes are basically harmonious and peaceful as using a single color creates unity and thus helps to create and tie things together.
- Visually appealing schemes created by using colors that are related, but not the same, are called analogous color combinations.
Analogous Color Schemes
Examples of analogous color schemes are a selection of blues and purples or of reds and oranges. While two colors can be used in an analogous color scheme, one color is usually used as the dominant color in the website while the others are considered to be accents. colors that are opposite are used for contrasting color schemes that are complimentary and pleasing to the eye.
- For example, yellow and green and purple and pink can be considered as contrasting colors. Contrasting color combinations doesn’t have to use startling and obvious colors as new combinations too are pleasing to the eye.
However, there is a word of caution to be kept in mind while using contrasting colors in the website. Usually the eye has difficulty focusing on contrasting colors at the same time. So it is always better to use contrasting colors for your accents and to avoid using strong contrasts as background and type colors. Then there is the triadic color combinations which are color combinations with three opposing colors. Red, yellow and blue make a great triadic color scheme.
As in contrasting color combinations, it is not advisable to use full strength and startling color combinations in triadic color combinations. Instead, using a more subdued value of one or more colors very much help in creating better readability for the site.
Color is all around us, in nature, furnishings, cars, and in the hundreds of designs we see in the web and in print. When you happen to see a color combination that thrills you, just jot it down and save it for the future as you may never know when you may need it for the color scheme of your website!