Drawing Through Color in Web Design

Working with color can be so much fun. Color can set the mood and tone of a design. Color can make a design appear clean or messy. Another thing we can use color for is to draw attention to a desired piece of content or element.

In this post, we’ll go over the various way in which color can be manipulated to draw attention to something. Some of the examples will talk about repetitiveness, some about photography and others about how a lack of color can be a strategic thing too.

Let’s get started in analyzing how to draw attention through color.

Nursing bras, photography, and attention

There are a plenty of website designs out there that make use color in a strategic way. Color is so versatile and comes in all different shapes and forms. For instance, when I speak about color in design most people assume about things like text or buttons. We’ll get to that. For now, I want to talk about the less obvious way we color effects a design, through photos.

Storq is clothing store for pregnant women. Overall, the website doesn’t feature too many colors. However, on the product pages, the photos command attention. Part of it has to do with the fact the photos are large. The other part has a lot to do with the fact that the photos are the only elements on the page that have color in it.

The photos feature darker shades and similar shades too. Storq uses photography that fits right in with the overall design. They don’t use dramatic or stark colors in the photos to draw attention; that would be too much and unnecessary.

Neon or contrasting colors are not the only ones that can draw attention when thought through with the context of the design.

Colorful texts can draw attention too

Let’s talk about changing the color of text such as headings or large pieces of copy. I have found two amazing examples of how text colors can leverage a visitor’s attention too.

The first example is that of The Nature Conservancy in California. The website is a great example for two reasons.

First, the design leverages color but also a hierarchy. Hierarchy is a fantastic design tool in pinpointing what is the most important to the least. It’s clear at a first glance, what is important to look at first in the above screenshot. “Our approach” is the darkest piece of text in that whole section.

The rest of the text is the same color but what is more important is determined by size. In this example, color is a unifying factor, except for the heading off course. At the same time, color is used to draw attention away from more trivial elements like the numbers on the left-hand side of the headings.

It’s nice to know the order of the sections but, more or less, the numbers are irrelevant to the experience. Therefore, they are lighter in color.

Additionally, we have an example of Founders. By the time you make it halfway down the home page, you’d have seen at least three different font colors.

When you first take a look at the green hero text, it grabs your attention because of its front and center. But the second you realize it’s actually a dark green color, it gets to keep your attention for a little longer. Here the green is a little unexpected so it keeps a visitor a little curious.

At the very least, if the green headline go unnoticed, it’s hard not notice the change of color in the text within the middle section again.

The headlines are a dark blue while the supporting content is gray in color. The contrast of the light gray against the blue heading gives a lot more prominence to the headlines themselves. The gray makes the headlines stand out a whole lot more. I love that such seemingly irrelevant but highly effective manipulation can be done with just color.