Color. As kids, coloring was as simple as reaching into a box of freshly sharpened crayons and picking the color that suited our fancy. Never mind if a person’s face was colored purple or if the sky was raining pink. Coloring was as natural as breathing. As web designers, choosing color can be just as thrilling, yet color is not quite so simple. Done correctly, the right graphic designer will make it look just as easy.
One of the most important decisions on a website is the background color.
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. Our website, for instance, is dark with light text, but for our blog, we created a light background so our readers can easily digest our 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.
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.
Decades of research has been done to determine how people respond to color. Use it to your advantage!