Show your true colours on the Web

Author:  Nola Young

Colour is a strong consideration for anyone designing a Web site. Colour elicits emotion. And effects such as luster, luminosity and iridescence can be created to intensify that emotion and to add more appeal to your site. Always choose colours that will be true to your site.

Web site colours should be chosen based on the following factors.

  • The colour palette used in your current promotional materials: You will want a look consistent with what you have been showing your existing client base, but also that will be appealing to new
  • Emotions you want the customer to experience: Blue is cool. It might be just the thing on a vacation cruise site, for example. Red is hot – appropriate perhaps for an exciting theme park or amusement centre. Light green or peach, on the other hand, can foster a sense of relaxation. Black can create a classy image, sometimes referred to as a “tuxedo “
  • Speed and load time: Your Web site designer should understand how colour will affect the speed (load time) of your site. Consider using browser-based or “safe” colours that won’t sacrifice the esthetic appeal of your
  • The mix-of-colour limitation of the RGB (red-green-blue) system that monitor screens rely on: Monitors rely on mathematical values to mix colours. Each colour contains a percentage of red, green or blue. A Web site designer may want to create a site that is outside of the safe-colour palette. If so, careful consideration should be given to the target audience and to what you know about the computer technology those people are using. If little is known about the end user, then testing colours on various monitors at low resolutions (for example, 256 colours) is important. If the colours seem to dither (become grainy) at a lower resolution, your site may be one that isn’t visually appealing to many of your potential customers.

Quick tips

  •  Be consistent in your choice of colours. Use the same colours for your Web site that you use, for example in printed promotional materials.
  • Use colour effects to intensify the appeal of your site and to help create the emotion you want visitors to your site to
  • If you must design outside the safe-colour palette, test your site on monitors set for low If the colours dither, or load slowly, you may want to change them.

Nola Young is the president of KW Digital Solutions. Send your comments or questions by email or call 519-741-7641.