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Designing for the Web ~ Colour

Form, a German design magazine, uses black and white typography, (and a strong grid), to convey its brand to the users of the site. By choosing black and white for the framework of the magazine, any showcased, full—colour work really stands out. German design magazine, Form. Full colour works very well against a backdrop of stark black and white

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I’d like to focus on the graphic design, but it’s an important consideration that shouldn’t be overlooked. Designing with black and white first will ensure that the solution doesn’t rely on colour to work. I often use colour to highlight specific elements of the design, but generally those elements have a function within the design solution, such as the horizontal lines on this site. Another example might be highlighting a search button, or elements of a navigation bar. Using colour to pick out key functional elements in the interface. The benefit of working this way, like other tools at the disposal of designers such as grid systems, is that it solves a certain amount of problems for the designer. I find it focusses my attention on tone and composition so that I needn’t worry if this colour matches that. Focus on the composition’s tone and, once that’s sorted, move on to the colour.

Begin with grey Next time you start a design, try to follow my simple heading: Begin your design using only tones of grey. Don’t introduce any colour until the design is working in black and white. Chances are, your decisions on palette and colour will be made a lot easier because the design — or elements of the design — aren’t relying on colour for their function or meaning. This of course is very useful for designing with accessibility in mind. I’m not addressing any accessibility issues within these articles, as

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Five simple steps designing for the web  

Designing for the web

Five simple steps designing for the web  

Designing for the web

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