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!
Photo by Jonathan Gray