Let’s continue talking about the use of color on your blog’s design. In the last issue, I talked about what different colors typically convey so that you can select color schemes that will actually fit your branding.
But, let’s talk about the use of color and how it mixes together.
Lots of people end up just using what their blog theme came with. Often because they don’t really know how to change the colors. And… many people who DO know how to change the colors end up choosing some truly odd color schemes. 🙂
One of the biggest mistakes I see is not using enough WHITE.
White space is your friend.
White is space. Human beings desire space just innately. It is why whenever you get to anyplace with a view, you’ll see people flocking to viewpoints. Out here in the western U.S. where we are now, you will almost always find people flocking to points where they can see a lot of space.
When it comes to web design, the color of white is how we create space. We use it for backgrounds, for spacing, for padding.
White is also ideal for readability. As a background color, placing black text on it IS the de facto standard for readability for a reason. I highly suggest you don’t get “creative” and use dark background colors or (worse) background images with text on top. It’s nasty and it isn’t user friendly.
When it comes to spacing between elements on your site, use a lot of white space. In fact, what often looks good to people might end up being more spacing than you might think. Often, when designing our own sites, it is easy to get tunnel vision on trying to fit things into the viewport so people will see them. The mistake is having fairly little padding between things. But, often, the best looking sites have quite a lot of padding. I’ve seen background rows where they’ll have 80 pixels of padding all around – and it actually looks great.
So anyway, I know a lot of this is open to interpretation. However, my overall point is that you should lean toward using more white space than you may be doing now. That space just “clicks” with the human mind… and we can’t fight human psychology.
A few more tips on color choices…
Calls to action will many times work better if you select and use an action color on your blog. An action color is a bold, high-contrast color that stands our visually when compared to everything else. Red and orange are common action colors. A lot of sites use a yellowish-gold color as an action color.
This action color will be used on buttons, primarily. Things you want the user to see and click on. You wouldn’t use it necessarily for EVERY button or link… we’re talking primarily the more important (money-making) buttons.
For non call to action links, use a nice complementary color to the rest of your site.
And, for hyperlinks within your content, try not to get artsy, my friends. 🙂 The standard hyperlink color for the web is BLUE and underlined. Now, you can modify this if you want, but make sure you have a good reason for it. There’s nothing dumber from a web design perspective than having links within text that aren’t underlined or use some oddball color. Sometimes you can’t even tell it’s a link unless you hover over it. That’s plain stupid, folks. Generally, I just recommend that you stick to some shade of blue and keep that link underlined.
One last thing…
I know that sometimes you might run up against your own technical limitations when it comes to making modifications to the look of your site.
This is one of the major reasons that I and so many other bloggers use Thrive Architect and the other tools from Thrive Themes. It allows you to change all of this stuff – and so much more – without knowing a lick of HTML or CSS coding.
Thrive Architect is simply da bomb. 🙂 Best thing to happen to WordPress in quite some time.
Oh, and if you’re already using a theme you kinda like, Thrive Architect will work with it and doesn’t require you to switch to a new theme. How cool is that?