Sure, you want a website to look great, but picking out the best shades and hues is more than a random exercise in choosing colors that you like. Believe it or not, there is a whole science to using the best complimentary colors for your website.
First, it is important to understand that complimentary colors are those which essentially make one another stand out. Complimentary colors are those which are found opposite one another on a standard color wheel. Hence, purple and yellow are complimentary colors, red and green are complimentary colors, and blue and orange are complimentary colors, too.
(A completely unscientific elementary school playground trick is to mix any two colors together using paints or markers. If the resultant hue looks like any shade of ordinary mud, you have probably chosen complimentary colors!)
So how can complimentary colors help create an appealing design?
In a nutshell, complimentary colors just look great together. Thus, they make people FEEL good when looking at them. It may seem crazy, but it is a psychological response in humans. It is also why the color wheel is used by many logo designers, marketers, and advertisers.
However, you will need to do a little homework before simply slapping any shade of purple with a similarly randomly chosen shade of yellow. This is, again, where having a color wheel handy will help tremendously. For instance, a darker shade of purple and a lighter shade of yellow do not compliment one another nearly as well as a darker shade of purple and a darker shade of yellow do.
Knowing this, when organizing your website, keep in mind that darker colors are easier to see than are lighter ones. Thus, if you choose a text color other than black, make certain it is the darker shade of whatever complimentary color you are using.
Additionally, be careful when using too many colors on your site. Choose two to begin with (complimentary colors, of course), and see what you can do using different shades.
In the end, you will have to enjoy looking at your website (after all, it IS yours!) However, it would behoove you (and your design team, if you have one) to consider always using complimentary colors to maximize your traffic and intrinsic user-friendliness.
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