When choosing colors for your website, a good “rule of thumb” is three colors are best. Three hues are all it takes to create a mood or atmosphere. More colors than that and your site could end up looking more like a kaleidoscope.
For most websites, the goal of color is to help communicate the mood or feel of the website. Rich browns, oranges, and reds make you feel at home. Black makes a dramatic background and has an artistic feel; you will find photography sites using black for this special touch. Light blue and light green make soothing background colors, but this color scheme is over used and has begun to feel pedestrian.
Logos and accent colors will jump off the page if they are red, orange, or yellow. Yellow is considered to be the most intense color and can also be the most offensive color. Be sure to use these colors sparingly.
Bold color schemes use three complementary or opposite colors which contrast each other. For example, the colors red, white, and blue are opposite colors; they use high contrast to create an energetic appeal. White can make a simple background color with red and blue as accent colors; for a good example go look at the Google homepage.
Industry standards may dictate a norm or standard for color use. For example, when we think of natural or organic products, many website will use greens, browns, and tans to communicate earthiness and a back-to-basics feel.
John Bradley Jackson
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