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Jan17
Blog Review Questions 36-39 of 200: Blog Color Scheme Tips

The%20Ultimate%20Blog%20Review%20Guide.jpg

We will now discuss Questions #36-39 of 200 blog review questions to help you improve your blog. The Ultimate Blog Review Guide covers all 200 questions in detail.

Previous - Blog Review Question #35: How many links are missing mouseover text?

Next - Blog Review Questions #40-47 all have to do with the text that appears on the blog (fonts, sizes, colors, etc.).

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Rainbow%20Maker.jpgQuestions #36-39 deal with your blog's color scheme.

Blog Review Question #36: How appropriate is the color scheme for the blog's target audience?

Blog Review Question #37: How relevant is the color scheme to the blog's topic?

Blog Review Question #38: How eye-pleasing is the color scheme?

Blog Review Question #39: How unique is the color scheme?

Let's dive in, shall we?

First, what is a color scheme and how does it impact your blog?

A blog color scheme is the choice of colors that you use in your blog design. Dark or black text on a light or white background ("dark-on-light" or "blazing white") is the most commonly used color scheme, but quite a few blogs use a light-on-dark scheme.

Your color scheme will affect the way visitors interact with and respond to what they see on your blog. It may even change the way they feel about your blog, your business and you personally.

A basic color scheme uses 2 or 3 main colors that look aesthetically pleasing together. An advanced color scheme may use several variations or shades of one color (monochromatic) or multiple colors.

There is no single "perfect" color scheme, and your blog does not have to stick to a certain color scheme in order to succeed. However, a carefully considered color scheme is likely to enhance your blogging success.

That's why it's important to learn about color schemes and what different colors may mean when used on blogs.

What happens if your color scheme stinks?

Well, your blog visitors are more likely to leave and never return. They're also less likely to stay at yor blog for more than a few seconds. The worst you can do is actually hurt their eyes and give them a headache - good luck getting on their good side at that point!

Why does color matter so much anyway?

We could fill a book on this topic alone, but the most important thing to remember is that color evokes emotion. The colors you use on your blog are afecting the way your blog visitors feel, right now.

How do you pick a good color scheme for your blog?

First, focus on your vision, your core topic and your core audience. What do you want to accomplishwith your blog? What does your blog mainly talk about? Who is your core audience and what colors will seem appropriate to them?

Here's a quick mental exercise.

Read the following words and think of the colors that come instantly to your mind.

  1. Money
  2. Love
  3. Fun
  4. Peace
  5. Technology
  6. Music
  7. News
  8. Controversy
  9. Politics
  10. Weather

What colors did you think of and why?

Here's what pops into my head first:

  1. Money - green
  2. Love - red, pink
  3. Fun - yellow
  4. Peace - white
  5. Technology - silver
  6. Music - blue
  7. News - black, white
  8. Controversy - red
  9. Politics - red, white and blue
  10. Weather - gray, dark blue

Your answers will depend mostly on your cultural background and personal experiences.

Imagine that you associate the idea of love with the color red. Then suppose that you visit a blog whose title is "The Lover's Daily Buzz - Hot News and Advice for Hopeless Romantic." And imagine that its color scheme comprises several shades of dark blue and dark gray, with no red at all. Wouldn't that strike you as odd? Of course it would. How inclined would you be to trust that blog's content?

So how do you find out what your target audience would judge to be an appropriate color scheme or your blog?

1. Ask them. Email, call and personally talk to the people you know who fit your description of your target audience. Visit forums, blogs and other websites that relate closely to your blog's main topic. Pay attention to the color schemes they use and ask webmasters and other users what they think a good color scheme for your blog would include.

2. Do your homework. Check out color-related resources like the ones listed at the end of this article and study all you can about the way people associate colors with ideas.

3. Experiment. Try switching color schemes for a short time (say, 1-2 weeks) or showing some of your blog visitors a different color scheme. See if your key metrics show any signs of change.

Okay, I've got a basic color in mind. Now what?

Once you've chosen the color that you think your target audience would associate most closely with your blog topic, choose a lighter shade of it and a darker shade (or, if black or white is your base color, pick two similar colors or shades). This is just a suggestion to make the process simple and easy for you. (Hat tip to HomeDecorResource.com.)

Now you have a foundation for your blog color scheme.

Here's a simple technique for using these foundational colors in your blog:

- Lightest = Less Emphasis.

- Medium = Main Content.

- Darkest = Draw Attention.

L, M, D.

Another general rule: Related colors relax; contrasting colors excite. Just think of pink-on-red versus green-on-orange. The effect you want to achieve will influence the colors you ought to put on your blog.

Some blogs with excellent color schemes:

A List Apart - Can you identify the light/medium/dark tones?

Autoblog - Chrome, metallic gray, sporty red ...

Copyblogger - Black-on-white, off-white, vanilla ...

For more "colorful" information, please read:

- The Dimensions of Colour by David Briggs (website explaining principles of color theory)

- Kate Smith's Sensational Color (website) - By Kate Smith and Julie Hoylen. Offers lots of free resources on color, including basic color facts, in-depth color breakdowns, a Color in Business section, and blogs such as Live In Full Color

- ColorSchemer Forums - good forum about color use

- Web Colors - Wikipedia article explaining color use on websites

- Color Balance - Wikipedia article on balancing colors

- ColourLovers.com - A wonderful resource that includes several community aspects, a website color trendspotting area and an informative blog

- EyeForum.info - A forum about vision and eyesight

- ColorJack color generator

- PagePainter - free web page color scheme editor

- WebsiteTips.com HTML Color Charts and color tutorials

- LightOnDark.com - all about light-on-dark backgrounds and websites that use them

- Worqx Color Theory Tutorial

- more links coming soon (as I work on revising this for my book)

What Do You Think?

What's the best use of color you've seen in a blog? The worst? Why?

How useful and accurate did you find this article to be?

What other tips or suggestions would you like to add?


10 Comments/Trackbacks




very true, color scheme of your blog, or any website for that matter, should fall in line with the users vision of what they are looking for. You can also use colors such and red and yellow, to convey power. Research also shows that red and yellow are the most attractive, eye catching colors for marketing.

Thanks Robdogg. I know Business Blog Wire could do a lot better with its color scheme, by the way! I've really enjoyed learning more about color and how it affects our perceptions and emotions and desires (e.g. to purchase or not).

Red and yellow, huh? That's interesting.

This is actually fascinating! Of course, you should also take into consideration what different colors mean in different countries. If you have an international audience, this could be really important. For example, the U.S. wedding dresses are white and lacy. If I were to create a site for a U.S. audience about wedding dresses, then I would probably use a color scheme featuring lace and lots of white. In India, from what I understand, wedding dresses are typically red. If the wedding dress site were for an Indian audience, the colors should be totally different.

Exactly Laura.

Another problem many bloggers have is that they start a blog with a basic template and never get around to updating the color scheme, missing out on a lot of potential branding impact and maybe even lots of traffic. So many visitors nowadays turn away instantly if they see what looks like a boring or bland or canned design, color-wise (and not color-wise).

Never really thought about the colors meaning too much. It has given me something to think about.

Glad I could be of assistance!

Your post makes many good points about the use of color. Nicely done!

Laura makes a good point too about considering your audience and their perceptions of color. In the Color Knowledge section of my site we have a page for the color meaning, symbolism and psychology of the each color and touch on some of how each color is perceived in different parts of the world.

You can find that here:

http://www.sensationalcolor.com/content/category/5/43/144/

Thanks for mentioning Sensational Color and our blog Live In Full Color. We appreciate it very much.

I was reading down the list of colors, and comparing my list of associated colors with yours, very close. I would not have thought of technology as silver, now on reflection it makes sense.

The news color being black and white makes a lot of sense.

I think one aspect you might expand on here is how large scale branding projects work related to color. Many brand consultants gather all of the logos and color schemes of competitors in the same space, and may deliberately choose a color because it is different. What about that issue, should you pick another color because it is different, or does that rather defeat the object?

Kate and John, thanks for stopping by.

John, good question. It can, but not necessarily will defeat the purpose to pick some color scheme just because it is different. It helps to stand out, but you shouldn't throw all caution to the wind.

Thanks , great post,

good luck,

Tracy Ho
wisdomgettingloaded

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