Savvy Internet users have their own sense of style and trendiness. Currently, there are four popular basic color schemes for websites for 2013, and they all have one attribute in common: The beauty of any web design is really in its readability. According to design expert Kim Krueger, "Designs must enhance a site's reading experience and complement the structure that best lends itself to readability, rather than distracting from the content." This principle holds true for website color schemes as well.
One popular and effective new trend is a full-screen, grayscale background with pops of two or three bright accent colors. This design easily highlights important information and interactive elements, and users find access friendly and uncomplicated. It is a simple, direct presentation that gets the job done. One such bold color scheme is demonstrated by www.lotuscars.com. A black sports car sits amid grayed scenery. Limited use of bright yellow and bright red creates a striking impression. The message is clean and uncomplicated.
Muted pastels are also popular for 2013 website color schemes. Mixing soft neutral tones and a variety of light pastels creates a friendly, inviting screen. Because none of the color tones are too bold or overwhelming, a larger number of muted shades can be added. This color palette tends to invite hand-drawn, organic typefaces and charming, folksy illustrations.
Part of the revival of the 1980s color schemes includes bright neon colors. This isn't really a new trend, but it definitely remains popular today and may be around for some time to come. Neon colors speak of excitement and energy, attitudes that many websites want to actively promote for their products. There are so many possible neon combinations that these choices remain fresh and interesting. They seem to practically shout "fun" to visitors to the website. However, designers are not limiting themselves to just the primary colors. They are having fun with trendy shades such as "web green," "peachy red" and "lilac purple."
Color blocking is a trend right off the runway of famous fashion designers. Website designers love the versatility and functionality of this color scheme. Specific colors are used to define categories, single elements and entire sections by creating clean, crisp fields. Color blocking tends to draw on powerful colors that can stand in where busy, graphic presentations might otherwise be needed. Minimalists love the straightforward look of blocks of vibrant color filling their website screen. "Macaw Hues" could include bright blues, oranges, greens and yellows.
Thoughtful use of a monotone website color scheme can also make a powerful impression. "Tender Shoots" plays on Pantone's color of the year: Emerald. "Flora Red" explores the many variations of poppy red. "Color Splash" captures the diverse shades of ocean blues. By adding white or black to a single color, designers can create a unified but interesting color palette. A variation of this principle occurs by taking any single base color and varying it slightly by adding another color. While blue remains the most popular website color, adding a green tint can totally change the visual effect.
The introduction of flat UI design has also impacted website color schemes. Without the extra 3-D effects, shadowing, feathering and flourishes, the result is a clean screen that looks good and makes sense to visitors. By using only flat lines and colors to separate limited content, designers have greater freedom to focus on four or five bright color choices rather than the usual two or three shades. Symbolset.com is an example of flat color design that works. Emerald green and white colors with limited type creates an easy-to-read, attractive home page. Matching tone and saturation is really the only guideline when it comes to choosing a palette for this website design.
If asked to define the website color trends for 2013 in one word, that word would be "diverse." Staying trendy and relevant in website design may be easier now than ever before. However, bear in mind the message you wish to convey by purposefully choosing a dominant color that most reflects the intrinsic value that your company's product or service promotes.
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