Web Design: Best Web Color Schemes for 2014

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Given that humans are image-oriented creatures, color palettes and combinations are very important for enhancing your web design portfolio. Right off the bat, you need to make sure that the colors you use for a website mesh well together; then, you can look to the finer points of aesthetic design. It’s a proven fact that CTR (click-through-rates) increase when a website is both attractive and easily-navigable.

Color Design Basics

After you get the basics in place, web design comes down to color palettes and arrangements. The best ones all tend to have a handful of elements in common:

  1. The text must be easily readable. This means that no matter what combination of colors you use in your web design, the contrast between images, background and text must be stark – red letters on a pitch-black background does not make for easy reading. Effective background color schemes usually involve white, grey, blue or black.
  2. Avoid uncommon colors. Strange greens, colors like taupe, maroon and others may attract too much attention during reading. How can you get your message across when the reader’s eyes want to look at everything except the text? Additionally, there are colors like vibrant red, light green and medium blue that naturally cause eye-strain for humans – minimize the appearance of these color combinations. Distracting colors do have their places sometimes; for example, at the top of the page around a company logo, or in a sidebar the visitor must see.
  3. Color SchemesAfter you’ve taken an accounting of the above advice, it’s time to choose between three and four colors that you want to dominate your web design. You can certainly use more than this, but you should have a core of reoccurring colors to form the base. An attractive web color scheme is all about color harmony; blue, white and teal can do wonders for a business site, whereas you should tend towards bolder colors for a travel site. For the latter, you need something that more or less encompasses the many different destinations in the world. Different shades of the same color, coupled with one or two bold and different colors that don’t clash, also works well for web design
  4. Lastly, the primary region your audience inhabits plays a big part in the colors you use. Different countries attach strong meanings to certain colors; for example, in china, you don’t want to have white gift-wrapping around presents, because white makes a person think of his own death. Yellows is best avoided here too for marketing purposes. In the West, using certain types of green connotes sickness or illness when associated with food, whereas in china it means the exact opposite.

Restaurant-Color-PalletteUltimately, whatever color scheme you choose depends strongly on what your website is all about. If it’s a culinary site, then the vibrant colors of the food groups are a necessity; at least, it’s a proven attraction. If your targeted region is in the States and your website is geared towards bridal showers or preparation, then white is of course a very good color to dominate site design. If you’re selling music or writing about artists, white, black and a few other colors should figure prominently on your site. Look at similar sites in your industry and come up with your own design – it’s the best way to see what works, as well as to have some artistic input in your creation.

Chris is a father of 4 and works full time as a network engineer. He loves The Office, P & R, brewing (and drinking) beer, and of course Web Design and SEO.

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