Art of Color on the Web

Although many designers use colors specific to a website’s brand, choosing the right accent colors, background colors, and font colors is extremely important. Every decision makes an impact on how the viewer feels when browsing your site. And how a person feels when browsing your site has a direct impact on what a person does.

One of the most important decisions on a website is the background color. The background color will help determine the mood of the website.

When selecting the background color for your website, you must first establish the main purpose of the site. Is the goal to encourage the viewer to buy something? Is the website meant to relax or rejuvenate? If the goal, for instance, is for the viewer to read and gather information-such as might be the case on a blog or news site-then choosing a lighter background with dark text would be the best choice because these colors make it easier and less distracting for someone to read a block of text.

Websites that are not as text heavy and display more photos-such as a digital photography site-could use a dark background with light text. This choice creates a dramatic eye catching effect but is not ideal for people to read large blocks of information. Many designers websites can be dark with light text, but it is important to make the blog a light background, so readers can easily digest the posts.

Another important component to choosing color is understanding what each color represents.

  • Blue: Considered a trustworthy color, blue is often used on medical websites and on business sites where the goal is to invoke rest or produce calm. Truly a “gender neutral color,” the choice appeals equally to men and women. Blue is a safe color scheme, when you do not know what color to choose, going with blue would be the safest bet.
  • Red: A dynamic color that alludes power, passion, and energy, red is used to draw attention to a critical element on the page and is useful for calling to action. A “hot” color, red is often found on food industry websites. Red increases enthusiasm and generates energy.
  • Green: Representative of stability, green inspires possibility. Green is a balancing and rejuvenating color that offers a sense of renewal and harmony. Green is a pervasive color on natural websites because of its clear connection to nature.
  • Purple: Originally the color of kings, purple still represents nobility, dignity, and importance. Most often found on beauty product websites, purple exudes creativity and youth.