The colour scheme of your site defines the success of the look of the site more than any other element in the design. It is this combination of colours that is on the screen that gives the right balance. Not enough and too plain and the site is boring. Too numerous and too contrasting and the site will be shocking. Likewise, only select a few colours that do not go together well and it is a disaster.

A design I have been working on recently showed this turnaround very dramatically. The client had chosen a shade of green as the main background area and the web site laid out nicely, but it just did not look right so I suggested a slightly lighter shade of green. And this seemingly minor change took the web site from dismal to very sensible and clean looking and suddenly a web site to be proud of.

And this is because layout aside, certain colours work well in bulk and certain colours do not. A black background could be very striking and contemporary looking as might certain greys. But the wrong grey will not work and becomes dirty and strange looking.

I do not intend going into complicated lists of colour shades that do and don’t work together because it is not just the colours but the exact shades that matter. Dark and mid blues can work very well on a site and the more paler blues work equally well on other websites, but they all have their own complimentary colour palettes to work with.

You could look about in every day life from decor, logos, other web-sites and printed matter to see various colour combinations in use. And whilst doing this, think of how the colour palette is being used. Certain colour palettes suit lively and bright situations. Yellow and greens combined can work well, but the brightness is often associated with workers in emergency situations where they need to stand out!

Looking at nature, look at the plants with their green stems and the colours of their flowers that look so beautiful on top. You might find a nice blue shade on clematis or white on lilies. This might give you several ideas for colours and highlights.

Picking the colour plan for your website is very difficult. If you have already had a logo designed then that at least does give several colours that you are going to be starting with, but it is highly prospective that you will need to investigate other colours that you can add to the screen to form highlight and to break up the screens.

Trying to work out the colour scheme is no simple job, but it is impending that if you are not 100% delighted with the look of the finished site then one or more of the colours need changing slightly. Choose a clever colour plan for your site and you will end up with a smart looking web site.

Written by Keith Lunt, who offers a web design Formby service. For more useful tips, call into the web design blog.

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