Design Tips: Color Combinations For Your Blog Made Easy
By: Taylor Davies

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When you think about the world around you, color is one of the most important things we see. It affects our mood, can bring us joy, strike up memories, or draw attention. Think about how absolutely dull our world would be if we only saw it in black and white!

I think there’s a myth in the blogosphere that your site can’t look professional or classy if it isn’t designed in black and white. While traditional publications like magazines and newspapers generally still rely on this basic look, blogs and digital publications have an opportunity to play with color for maximum impact.

The key with color on your blog is how you use it. This includes:

  • Where you use it
  • How much of it you use
  • What combinations you choose

 

Some creative types find color pairings come as second nature, but don’t worry if designing a color scheme for your header and blog design proves more difficult to master than pairing your scarf and coat this winter. Your secret weapon? It all starts with the color wheel, made up of primary, secondary and tertiary colors:


There are a lot of amazingly helpful websites out there that can give you color inspiration for your blog design. For a brush-up on the basics, Tiger Color has a fairly comprehensive easy-to-understand break down of color terms and schemes. For example, they show you how basic color schemes work, from complimentary and analogous to triadic and rectangular:

These schemes are called color harmonies or or color cords, because of how well they go together (like musical notes) and consist of two or more colors with a fixed relation on the color wheel. The more detailed of a color wheel you reference, the more color schemes you can imagine and create.

The more complicated element of working with color is “color context” which is how color behaves in relation to other colors. For example, red appears more vibrant next to black, and more dull next to white. Take this in consideration when thinking about foreground and background colors.

While color theory is a science, what color scheme you (and your audience) will find most pleasing is ultimately very subjective. What excites and invigorates one person may depress or turn off another, and these reactions can come from personal experience as well as cultural background.

Whether your blog is mostly black and white with pops of color or a monochromatic scheme of yellows, you have to decide for yourself what kind of design elements best highlight your content – both written and photographed. Trial and error! Ask your friends, fans and followers for input as you experiment! Have fun!

For pairing and palette inspirations, here are a few color-centric blogs we love:

 

*Please note this post is meant only to be a brief introduction to a bit of the science behind color and it’s appeal, to give you inspiration for blog design – we’re not professional color theory experts!

How did you decide on a color scheme for your blog?

Comments

  1. Avatar of Sonnyphoto
    Sonnyphoto says:

    I actually find this really interesting, and a good concept for a post. I personally decided that my blog’s background and basic elements should me a soft monotone and some orange contrasting elements to match blogspot’s default icons and such. But I chose the black and white to help my mix of photographs colours stand out and go without clashing.

  2. Avatar of Lauren - Slowburn Fastburn

    Loved the article, color theory is fascinating!

    lauren
    http://slowburnfastburn.com

  3. Addison says:

    Color theory is really fascinating… but I personally prefer my blog to be only black and white aside from the cover photo. I think it really does just look more professional, as you said!

    Awesome post.
    willcodeforclothes.com

  4. Avatar of Rhythm and Ruffle

    A great reminder for bloggers! I don’t know where the myth began, but it has become the coveted “default” option for a fashion blog. When used well, colour can be a winning element – particularly if the blogger already has a very colourful personality or way of dress. It’s true, black and white is effortlessly polished – but it tends to work much better when the bloggers brand reflects minimalism and/ or their personality is more laid back. Again, it’s all about staying true to your brand and getting its message across in every little and big thing.

    http://rhythmandruffle.com <3

  5. Chloe says:

    One of my tutors showed me this site when I was a Uni, I always turn to it when I’m stuck, it’s awesome…

    http://adobe.ly/mSvIjD

    enjoy! :)

  6. Carla says:

    As a graphic designer I feel black and white on fashion blogs a little overrated. It’s classic and cool but does not show too much personality. Choosing colors for a layout can change the view of who visits your site and keep people visually interested on what you have to show.

    xx

  7. Wendy Hewson says:

    This is a really great talking point, I think – too many blogs are simple, uncluttered black and white default designs, which is classy, but a tad boring when you’ve looked at the fiftieth webpage in white with black outlined boxes of text and photos…

    For my own fashion blog ‘The Fashion Police Files’, I also went with the classy black and white colour scheme, because it doesn’t clash with any photo you put into any post header – as my posts usually start with a big photo with a bright colour border and a title of the same colour, it’s important not to have too garish a background that limits what colour I can use. However, I decided to funk it up enormously with a black and white print instead – and then I use a sticky post which has a brilliant colour design at the top of the page…

    Colour is extremely important to me as I’m a Stylist and Visual Merchandiser in my full time job, and to me, use of colour has enormous visual impact and cannot be underestimated !! Besides, it’s interesting to play with the colours on your site just to try out new things – and it also stops your website from stagnating – perhaps people aren’t brave enough to just play sometimes !!

  8. Avatar of MY FLOORDROBE

    Been learning all about colours at college so love this post! xo
    http://my-floordrobe.blogspot.co.uk/

  9. Avatar of Blondies Style Fix <3

    I’m a colourful person, and failed completely to stick to black and white when I started up my blog!
    It’s currently very purple, but will have changed by next week! It’s fun to play around with colours, but you have to always keep in mind; preventing from distracting the audience away from the content of your posts!
    Grace
    http://blondiesstylefix.blogspot.co.uk/

What do you think?