A Simple Web Developer's Guide To Color
A Simple Web Developer's Guide To Color
You would think that color theory would come easy to web designers. The truth is, many of us struggle with this aspect of design.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
Learn how error monitoring with Sentry closes the gap between the product team and your customers. With Sentry, you can focus on what you do best: building and scaling software that makes your users’ lives better.
You would think that color theory would come easy to web designers. The truth is, many of us struggle with this aspect of design. Fortunately, even if you aren’t a natural when it comes to selecting the ideal colors for each website you can still learn. The following guide can be used as a primer for any web designer wanting to get a better understanding of ways to use colors to make websites eye-catching and attractive.
Selecting The Primary Color For Your Web Design
Take a look at any website, and you will notice that there is nearly always a base color that is the foundation for the color scheme. The question is, how do you select the right color for a site that you are designing? It’s an important decision. This main color will influence the rest of your color scheme.
Tricks For Selecting Your Base Color
First and foremost, take a look at the colors that are available to you. Take a look at your client’s logo, packaging, written communications, and print ads. Your best bet may be to use one of those colors. This will work with their branding. If they haven’t established these things, you are on your own to pick something that works. Here are some guidelines:
Know The People Who Will be Visiting The Site You Are Designing
Consider Your Client's Industry - Bright Playful Colors Won’t Work For an Accounting Firm
Avoid Stereotyping - You Don’t Have to Avoid Blues if You Are Designing a Site For Girls
Pay Attention to Your Client’s Competitors - You Don’t Want to Unintentionally Copy Their Design
Think of The Emotions You Want Your Color Scheme to Evoke
Finally, don’t worry about specifics yet. Just pick a basic color.
Tweaking Your Base Color
Going forward, let’s assume that we will be working with the color green. Now, it’s time to pick the exact color green that will wind up on your site. One option is to simply go into the color pallet on whatever design software you are using. However, you shouldn’t limit yourself to this. Consider checking out Designspiration to get some color ideas that others have made available. Check out these tips for picking the perfect shade.
Take a Look at Awwwards.com to Get Some Inspiration
Check Out Ghost Professors For Small Business Articles And Advice on Web Content
Remember Bright or Pastel Colors Tend to be Upbeat
Darker And Muted Colors Evoke a More Serious Feel
Remember That This is Your Focal Color: Don’t Overpower Visitors
Create Your Palette
Now that you are inspired, use your color selector to pick your hue. Then, grab the hex value for that color. This is now your base color. Now, if you were creating a piece of art, you might add several colors to your palette. For web design, you will want to be a little more dialed back. Start by selecting a couple of neutral colors. Beiges, white, and grays are good options. Be sure to select a dark grey. This is perfect for text.
Once you have these colors selected, just pick one accent color. This will be used sparingly on your website. You will use it to highlight your call to action, for subheadings, and to make other elements really stand out. It will make your visual content really pop.
One of the easiest ways to find your base color is to use Paletton. All you need to do is enter in the hex code of your base color. Then, you can have Paletton pick the accent color by simply hitting the button to add complementary color. You can also select your own accent color.
If you really need help, just pick a color scheme. Paletton provides you with plenty of options.
Once finished you will have your color palette of your green base color, an accent color, two grays, and a white or beige.
Using Your Color Scheme
Now it’s time to put the colors you have selected to good use. One thing that may help is to use grayscale when you create your page layout. This enables you to get all of your various assets in place. Once that is done, you can start filling in the color.
Since green is your main color, you can apply it to the larger elements. Your accent can be added to your icons. Finally, pick your lightest neutral color for your backgrounds. Then, your darkest neutral will be used for text, borders, and other items that need to stand out without overpowering your green.
If you struggle with color selection, keep it simple. You really don’t need more than a few colors on each web page. In fact, if you look at the websites you really admire, you will find that they go for simplicity and impact. Use too many colors, and your design will be busy and distracting.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.