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The Web and the Correct Use of Colours

Published on 30 May 16
The world around us is full of colour. The way we react to it, whether consciously or unconsciously, affects our choices more powerfully than you might think. By harnessing the power of colour for your brand, you can seriously boost your sales. Here are some important things to remember when choosing colours for your website.
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Brighter Isn't Always Better

Simply because colour is a powerful tool, it doesn't mean you should use every colour of the rainbow. Too much colour can make a website look rather cheap. It can also prevent the reader from taking in the information on each page, which is, after all, the most important part of the site. Use bright colour sparingly to draw people's attention to key areas of the site, and try to limit the range of shades to three to create a cohesive feel.

Some research also suggests that natural colours are more pleasant to the eye where website design is concerned. This doesn't mean that only khakis and taupes can be used. After all, anyone who has spent time in a blooming garden or seen the vivid coral of the Great Barrier Reef knows that nature is full of radiant colour, but it does mean that clashing lurid and neon colours should be used with some caution.

Identify Your Target Audience

The colours you choose for your website will be most affected by your target audience. Fashions come and go, but people tend to remember connections between certain colours and important memories from their lives. While one generation might associate magnolia with drab wall paint, another may see it as chic and tasteful.

This is especially important when choosing colours for websites aimed at the extremes of young and old. Generally, the young will gravitate towards brighter colours, and the old will prefer more restrained, sober hues.

Think Practically

It bears repeating that the most important element of each website is the information it aims to convey. Therefore legibility should be at the forefront of every web developer's mind. Black is generally considered a safe bet for text, as it is what most of us are used to. It is also worth bearing in mind, however, that some people find reading black from white backgrounds difficult. Many people who have dyslexia, for example, claim they find it easier to read with coloured backgrounds. A good web design agency will be able to advise you further on this.
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Whether you choose to follow the norm here or not, the key point is to choose a text colour that contrasts with the background shade: if your background is dark, choose a light shade, and if your background is light, use a dark shade.

Colours and Their Meanings

Before you pick your colours, it's worth knowing a little bit about their symbolism. Here are some of the words that are associated with the most common colours:

Black - elegance, secrecy, mystery.
White - purity, youth, peace.
Blue - coolness, spirituality, sadness
Red - energy, passion, danger.
Green - life, naturalness, health,
Yellow - light, optimism, joy.
Violet - wisdom, sophistication, celebration.
Orange - friendliness, warmth, energy,
Pink - romance, femininity.
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While there are some important things to consider before choosing your website colours, it is also a time to enjoy the creativity of building your brand. Inject a little of your personality into your site, and make it something you're really proud of. When was the last time you got the crayons out? Have a play around with colour and see what you find.
This blog is listed under Open Source and Development & Implementations Community

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