Picking a Winning Website Color Scheme

Posted by on Jul 8, 2011 in Web Design

Alright kids, line up against the wall, it’s time for public humiliation.

No it’s not time for a spelling bee, it’s time to decide on a color scheme for that new website of yours!

That means get out the Kuler and the Color Scheme Designer, do some google searches for “best website color combinations,” and let the hair-pulling begin…

While coming up with a new color scheme is eerily difficult (at least for some), it is a guaranteed creative experience that can even be fun at times. Seeing things start coming together makes you feel special, even if its more through trial-and-error than simply putting the “I swear this will look awesome” image in your head down on paper. I’d imagine there are those select few that breeze through this process – but we’ll forget about them for the purpose of this post.

Use a Graphics Editor

For starters, I’d highly recommend learning and using an advanced graphics editor (Photoshop, GIMP, Paint.net…). Both Paint.net and GIMP are free while Photoshop is a billion dollars. Yes, it’s less than that, but Paint.net is still my recommendation. You will want to spend a few hours learning the basics of one of these because of one reason: Layers. Go ahead and use MS Paint – it works (check out these MS Paint Tricks), but you will end up saving time and accomplishing more with something better.

Why use any graphics editor? Well, it is the quickest shortcut to a website mock-up that I can imagine. You can basically draw out your website without even thinking about relative or absolute positioning. I find I am more likely to try more ideas since I can change it back in a flash while also being able to compare two options side-by-side instantly. Added Bonus: removing the limits of having to think in code also allows you to expand more creatively with “unlimited” possibilities.

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