Tired of seeing the same old blue, black and white websites everywhere? A well-designed site with a bit of color can really make your company stand out. To use color successfully, however, you’ll need to understand it. How will your target customers react to your choices? What are they looking for and how can you be sure of making the right impression?
Setting the mood
A splash of bright color can really bring your website to life, but what impressions do different colors create? This is a tricky one, because the associations we make with different colors vary enormously between cultures. They also vary according to age and gender. This means there’s no standard solution, and you’ll need to think about your particular demographic before you make color choices. In America, however, you can generally rely on blue and green being seen as calming colors, while red is associated with passion. Green is often used for financial materials. Orange can be cheerful if paired with colors like yellow or pink, but often elicits negative reactions if paired with dark colors. Darker shades are usually seen as more serious.
Developing your signature colors
Consistent use of colors is an important part of branding and can be used across all your promotional materials. Most companies choose two or three colors that work well together and suit what they want to convey with their brand. They are often reflected in the company logo. On a website, they should have particular roles that are consistent across the site – for instance, one could be used for margins and another in sub-headers. Using colors well means that people will instantly recognize when they’re on your site, even before they’ve read your name.
Web development tools
If you’re not a fan of doing your own coding, you’ll be pleased to know that web development tools are increasingly incorporating flexible color tools in a way that gives you control over things like this. GoDaddy’s web development tool, for instance, offers a large number of different themes, which can be useful if you’re not sure what you’re doing, as well as the option of setting colors yourself. GoDaddy, set up by Bob Parsons, is a great tool for beginners who are looking to build a website that is professional in appearance. Several different packages are available and the more you spend, the more pre-designed options you get.
Eyes on access
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how good your site looks if some of your target customers can’t read it. Everybody finds it hard to read text written on a clashing background or on top of a pattern, but for people who are dyslexic or color blind, there can be much bigger issues not immediately obvious to the average designer. There are handy guides online to help you work around these problems, so use them!
With the right color combinations, your website will be accessible to all and will be bursting with energy. There’s no need to go crazy and overwhelm visitors with lots of bright hues – just two or three, carefully chosen, can really make a statement.