Making the most of color

Your career requires you to maintain a professional appearance and your online presence is no exception. Of course you want prospective clients to get a good first impression of you, but this doesn’t mean you have to shy away from color.
Most legal websites I have encountered stick to the same types of color palettes: gold and red, blue and green, or white and brown. These colors, from a design perspective, have been overused and offer little impact to the viewer. Professionals have gotten used to fearing color, but fear no more! Using new, fresh colors does not translate into a negative impact on your web presence, and could be a way you differentiate yourself and stand out.

Some palettes to consider

You can use color to your advantage when designing your legal website and still assure clients that they will benefit from your services. The website ColourLovers is a fantastic resource where you can browse color palettes, patterns, and the color schemes of existing websites, all for free. Here are a few schemes – taken from ColourLovers – to consider when building your law firm’s website. Generally, you don’t want more than two or three colors on your website at the risk of visually overwhelming a reader; you can choose one or two colors from the strips below – or from any palette – and apply them to your design.
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You have probably noticed that none of these colors are particularly bright or intrusive. Using one of the more bold colors as a main accent color (like the rusty orange in strip #1, or the pinkish red in strip #4) can add a lot to your website and make it current and relevant.

A quick tip!

What’s your favorite color? Find a palette that already exists and that incorporates your favorite color.
Here is a disability lawyer who took some risks with her colors. Notice that the pink and green accent colors do not take over the page, but instead complement the colors in her portrait and draw attention to the important elements on the page.

 

Not ready to make the switch?

If you want to branch out of the blue zone but are still afraid to make the leap, try choosing a different shade or tint of your comfort color. If blue is your default color, try adding black or white to it.

The first color on the left is my original blue. The one in the middle has white added to it, and the one on the far right has black added to it. You can apply this technique to any color that you are not yet ready to change in order to branch out and mix things up.

Some final notes

Whatever colors you end up choosing for your new site, make sure the text is easy to read. Placing light text on a dark background or vice versa is a way to ensure that site visitors don’t struggle to read your website’s useful information. I generally tend to stay away from a completely black background with white text on top because it can tend to look unprofessional. If you really want the background of your website to be black, try placing dark text within a light-colored text box.

Still stuck?

If after trying out different colors you still can’t seem to find a perfect fit, browse the web and find websites that use colors you like. Take advantage of the resources that are out there and don’t be afraid to experiment. The use of color is a brilliant way to add creativity and still convey professionalism.
That’s it for this week’s design insight. Until next time…

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