There are many who underestimate the importance of proper color choice within web
design. For those who delve deeper into this art, however, will quickly realize that it is incredibly
essential to the successful construction of a website. Every color has attributes associated with
it, and depending on which part of the world you’re in, different meanings. An entire category of
science has been dedicated to analyzing colors, their effects on those who view them, and how
various colors interact with each other. In web design, understanding the various effects and
meanings of different colors and how they can influence your target audience is crucial.
Colors have a wide range of effects on their viewers (Chapman, 2010). Red, for
example, has been shown to raise blood pressure and respiration rates, and also enhance
human metabolism. Orange commands attention and may lead the viewer to receive a sense of
friendliness and invitation. Yellow has a bit more of a range, depending on the value, or
lightness or darkness, of the color. Yellow in general can lend a sense of happiness and
cheerfulness. Lighter yellows can send out a more calming form of happiness. Darker yellows
are known for transmitting a sense of antiquity. Green is known for its balancing and
harmonizing effects, as well as stability. Brighter greens tend to release a more energizing feel.
Blue, in my opinion, is a rather strong color, with a wide variety of effects depending on its
shade. Light blues tend to be refreshing, friendly, relaxing, and calming. Darker blues tend to
lend out a feeling of strength and reliability. Very bright blues have a habit of transmitting energy
and refreshment. Purple has had a long history of reminding people of royalty, hence why
darker shades of purple often give people a sense of luxury and wealth. Lighter purples are
softer to the eye, and very frequently appear with spring-related activities and romance. Black
and its effects often rely on what other colors are used around it. It often feeds a sense of
sophistication and mystery. White, like black, often relies on a combination with other colors to
determine what kind of message it sends. It generally conveys cleanliness and simplicity. Grey
can often borrow some attributes from black and white, and is very common within web design
for backgrounds or typography. Brown is known for providing a feeling of warmth and
wholesomeness. Tan is well known for taking on some of the characteristics of the colors
around it, so it doesn’t provides much of an affect by itself. Cream or ivory is often used as an
alternative to white, and is often used to portray a feeling of elegance and calmness. The
attributes it presents are versatile, depending on what colors it is paired up with. With colors like
brown or peach, it can give a feel of earthiness, while it can be used as a contrast against
darker colors, but one not quite as strong as if white were used.
Being well-versed in the various meanings and effects of...