The Color Wheel

Our world is a wondrous world awash with color. Designed by the Designer of all, it is a true masterpiece. The beauty in color is the richness and depth we can perceive and of the symphony of hues that together create a wondrous sight. Looking back at photographs taken before the advent of color film, we find it harder to perceive the world as it was then. The greys and blacks of the old-time photos portray a more serious and solemn world. We know that they had happy times and family fun and celebrations too but the lack of color gives a different feel. When we discuss web design the same concept applies. So much of a website’s success is dependant upon the colors chosen for the design. Appropriate colors can really lead a website on a successful track!

The color wheel is divided into a couple of categories: Analogous colors is a basic set of three colors found next to each other on a standard color wheel. Analogous colors can be changed by adjusting the hue or tone.

Monochromatic colors are as their name connotes. Mono- which is one, one hue. Monochromatic colors are one color with a variant in the tone or shade to produce, darker, lighter or bolder variations of the same color.

Complementary colors are colors that are located exactly opposite to each other on the color wheel. An example of complementary colors would be yellow and blue.

There are many other color group is but for now we’ll just focus on these simple ones. When designing your website you can choose any of these ‘groups’ to use for your design. Human intuition will play a big role in your design. If something is following along the rules of your chosen color group but it still doesn’t look right, follow your intuition and change it to suit your taste.

A general rule to follow when picking color is to choose five base colors and work off them, adjusting the hues to suit the different features of you site. Say if you decide you want to try monochromatic hues on your site and you choose the color green. Choose five varying shades for green to base your site off and then proceed from there. If you feel that certain parts of your site could use a little sprucing up you an bring in a more yellowish green or something like that. Creating a site with only one color or shade can tend to be a bit boring. Contrast is the key to design an exciting looking site. Be creative when designing your site, the colors should speak to the customers about the site. Calming colors may be more pleasurable to browse through while bolder colors lend an urgent tone, increases heart rate and facilitates quicker conversions.

There are some computer programs available that feature step by step help in the choosing color process. One such program is Adobe Kuler. You can play around with the varying features, shading colors and experimenting with compatible colors to create a really neat design. Kuler is also compatible with Illustrator and Photoshop.

Another great program is Color Scheme Designer which allows you to play around with multiple color schemes. They have an easy to navigate interface which greatly enhances the designing experience. Color is so fun and really impacts the message you want your site to deliver. Sometimes it may be worth your while to ask the advice of an expert web designer to achieve the ‘look’ you are aiming for. A little advice from an expert can take your unique website a long way! Enjoy the colors and let them speak for themselves!