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Creating the Right Look for Your Website

By: Vadim Smokvin at PickySite

Submitted on Tue, Sep 15th, 2009 5:12 am

Many internet users have often wondered what it would be like to be able to create their own web pages, but for many, web design remains a realm where they dont dare to venture. Web sites are built on code skeletons, code written in languages like HTML or CSS, something most internet users know little about. But building a website is not as hard as you might think, because the web has unlimited resources, including all sorts of tutorials that will take you by the hand and guide you through all the steps of web building. Aside from knowing how to code, a very important part of a website is the look. This involves everything from the color theme you choose to the graphic style you use for your icons and animations.

Choosing the color theme of your website can be quite tricky, because while you might have a few favorite colors of your own, unless its a purely hobby related website you are building, you must keep in mind that the first and foremost attributes of the colors you choose should be that they inspire confidence or help drive the message of your website home. As such, shades of red can suggest love and romance, but can also suggest strength energy. Unfortunately, shades of bright red can also sometimes be associated with danger, anger and other such emotions, and in order to appease that, if you choose to use red on your website, you must make sure that the other colors you use have the gift of balancing out the less desirable attributes of red. Coupled with blue, red can suggest strength without suggesting anger or danger. Coupled with yellow and orange, it can suggest fire, and as such, energy, velocity, strength but also danger and excitement. Red combined with black, brown and gold can suggest sensuality and romance.

Blue can suggest reliability, calm, cool, but on its own, it can seem too cold and bland, as such, its indicated that you either play with various shades of blue, from the warmer, friendlier baby blue or azure, to the deeper, darker blues. If you want an eco-friendly look, you couldnt do better than by adding some green and white to your palette. If you want a web 2.0 look, you should mix blues with blacks and silvers to get that cool icy effect.

Yellow, not unlike red, is a double edged color. On one hand it can suggest cheerfulness, youth and joy, but on the other hand, it can also induce a certain uneasiness which should be countered in your website by either using yellow only as a secondary color, or by using it very cleverly, either in a pastel shade and combined with several other colors for a youthful, child-like feel, or combined with purple, which happens to be the complementary color of yellow and which brings that added comfort to the color scheme. Purple is a color that lends itself to many combinations, aside from a vivacious combination with yellow, it can be used in combination with white, cream of pink for a highly romantic feel, or with other muted colors for a very elegant and delicate look.

Orange and blue are also complementary colors, and if you want to use orange on your website, you would be well served by also using blue to counter its effects. Orange can be a very cheerful and vibrant color, but not unlike its familiars, red and yellow, can appear a bit jarring if used indiscriminately. If you blend orange with blue and purple, you will achieve a much better result, colorful and vivacious, but also pleasant to the eye.

Green and brown will first and foremost symbolize nature, warmth, relaxation, and the two colors used in combination will generally have a very soothing effect. On their own, brown and light pink, champagne or gold can appear very elegant and subtle, while green and yellow or even red can appear vibrant, vivacious, youthful and energetic.

Black and white are the two base colors that can truly define your website. If you choose a predominantly white look, your site will denote simplicity, cleanness, purity, confidence, whereas if you choose a predominantly black theme, your website will implicitly denote mystery, elegance and refinement. While black animations and graphics on a predominantly white website can seem very serious, frugal, newspaper-like or even morbid, a black website with white graphics will seem mysterious and slick but can also fall into the bland category. None the less, its not recommended that you only use these black and white as colors for your website. Use something to break the monotony, if only one or two bright colors in small doses.

Fonts and graphics can also be very important to the look of your site, for instance, you should use a pleasant, yet austere design if you are creating a website that needs to give the impression of professionalism, but you can go all out with colors and gadgets if the purpose of your website allows it. The fonts you use should also hint at the same things that the pre-chosen color theme hints at. If you are going for something clean cut and professional, your font should be basic, not extremely ornate or extremely experimental. If, on the other hand, you are going for a theme website, you can use something that suits the message you are trying to send.

You should also decide what kind of look you want your site to have before creating the animations and graphics, and even before choosing the font. You might either want a state of the art, slick, glossy look on your site or go for a more traditional approach. Even though there are those that love the new Web 2.0 look, there still are some who are thoroughly put off by it, so if you are looking to appeal to varied tastes, you should make sure that your website resides somewhere in between the ultra-innovative and the ultra-traditional. If you respect some of these principles, you will have a great looking website in no time.

About the Author

Vadim Smokvin
Vadim Smokvin, Founder of PickySite - Community of Web Professionals: Web Designers, Web Developers, SEO Experts and Internet Marketers.

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