In the digital age, managing your company’s Web presence is one of the most important things you can do. Chances are, you either need a website designed and developed or you need your existing site updated. Before you start fiddling with your settings to see how things look, keep in mind your site’s use of color conveys secondary messages to visitors. Whether you decide to do the design in-house or hire an outside design professional, knowing trends and tricks with color will make your website memorable and effective.
Use the right tools:
Before you start selecting colors for your website, take some time to explore the color wheel. This tool lays out primary, secondary, tertiary and complementary colors in a way that is easy to use. Online tools let you explore different color combinations and how they may look or be used on your website. To help you decide what color combinations communicate your style best, check out the numerous design pages devoted to exploring and explaining good and bad examples of color use online.
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Know color meanings and moods:
Aside from being eye-catching, color usage can evoke specific moods in viewers. Blues and greens are typically more calming, while reds and yellows can evoke a sense of urgency in visitors. Color meanings vary widely across cultures and should be researched before entering foreign markets. While green may convey a sense of money and profit in the United States, it can symbolize exorcism in China and hope in Islamic faiths. Luckily, web design professionals will be able to guide you through the design process.
Look to trends:
If you are uncertain of which direction you want to go, look to trends that have dominated the Web, films and other digital media over the past few years. Blue is a very popular color to use online, in part because it’s easier on the eye during dim, late-night computer surfing and works well with many other colors. Chrome, white and black have seen increased usage as well, contributing to sleek websites with clean lines and minimalist design. Sometimes the best research you can do for web design is to visit your favorite pages and see how effectively they use color to guide your eye across the page.
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Complement your logo:
Be sure your use of color complements your logo’s design. Pepsi’s iconic blue-and-red logo is always tied to a background of complementary whites and blues to make sure it pops for the eye. Make sure your logo will not disappear in a sea of color: keeping your brand imagery strong alongside a well-designed website will ensure visitors remember your company.
While picking out a color scheme for your website may seem overwhelming, there are many tools to help you make an effective decision. Whether you use a color wheel or look to Pantone’s favorite colors of the year, careful selection and planning is key to effective design.