Colours to use for the background

The colour brown and its lighter cousins in tan, taupe, beige, or cream make excellent backgrounds, helping accompanying colours appear richer and brighter.

Use a neutral colour for your background:

  • White
  • Silver
  • Grey
  • Ivory
  • Gold

Don’t use black as a background colour if your website has a lot of reading content. White text on a black background is difficult to read and fatigues the eye.

Related Links

White

Clean and innocent

White is pure, clean and cool. It’s a symbol for both birth and death in different cultures and it goes well with almost any colour.

Positive

  • White is the colour of snow. It has a cooling and restful effect.
  • White is a symbol for purity, simplicity and empty space.
  • White denotes truth and sincerity.
  • White is a symbol for birth, virginity and weddings in Western countries.

Negative

  • White it a symbol for death in Eastern cultures.
  • White is cold and clinical. It’s associated with hospitals, doctors and dentists.
  • White can cause headaches due to its brilliant colour.

Where to use

  • White can give a pure and clean look to your website.
  • White can be used as a neutral background colour. But less brilliant colours such as pastel tones, beige, ivory, and creams are better.

Related links

Black

Sophisticated and mysterious

Black is a powerful, mysterious and elegant colour. It goes well with almost any colour but it can have both positive and negative meanings.

Positive

  • Black makes us feel elegant, powerful, and sophisticated.
  • Black symbolises the night and the mystery of the outer space.
  • Black is the colour of the elite. It connotes success, wealth, and wisdom.
  • Black is formal, pure and constant.

Negative

  • In Western countries black is the colour of the funereal. It’s associated with grief.
  • Black can conjure up thoughts of rebellion, black mystery, satanic ritual, and the underworld.
  • Black can put us in a pessimistic mood. It denotes loss and discord.

Where to use

  • Black is the best colour for typography on the web.
  • Black can give your website a sense of being part of the elite.
  • Black can be used for photo galleries. It makes photographs look brighter against the background.
  • Black makes lighter colours such as yellow, red, blue and green stand out.

Related links

Purple

Royal and creative

Purple is the colour of royalty and spirituality. It’s the bridge between warm red and cool blue. Purple is the third favourite colour after blue and green.

 

Positive

  • Purple is associated with royalty, wealth, or prosperity. Kings, queens and emperors have worn purple for many centuries.
  • Purple is a rare colour in nature. It’s associated with lavender, orchids, and lilacs.
  • Purple is different. It’s the colour of individuality and attracts people who like to consider themselves different from the common herd.
  • Purple denotes stability and balance. It calms down the mind and nerves.
  • Purple offers a sense of spirituality and mystery. It’s the colour of good judgment.
  • Purple is the colour of trendy, powerful and sophisticated young women.
  • Purple is associated with nostalgia.

Negative

  • Too much purple can cause moodiness.
  • Purple is the colour of intrigue.
  • Dark purples are heavy and can evoke depressions.

Where to use

  • Purple is often used for visited links.
  • Purple can give a creative and individual look to your website.
  • Purple can be used for websites addressing creative people such as artists.
  • Light purple can be used to create a romantic and nostalgic feeling.

Related links

Brown

Dirty and tasty

Brown represents earth and dirt but it can also be associated with chocolate, coffee or dark wood.

Positive

  • Brown represents the earth and its natural resources. It gives us the feeling of being close to nature.
  • Brown reminds us of the taste of chocolate and coffee.
  • Brown evokes a sense of wholesomeness.
  • Brown is associated with natural material, dark wood and furniture.

Negative

  • Brown represents dirt.
  • Brown often needs language associated with its design to properly connote the right mood.

Where to use

  • Brown can give a tasty or natural look to your website.
  • Brown can be used for websites that deal with natural resources like wood.

Related links