Choosing colours for your site



Thanks for inviting me to check your new site. It’s great to see you sharing your knowledge of the subject we both value, and to see you tackling the technical challenges of creating your first-ever website. It’s quite a learning curve, isn’t it?

You weren’t to know this, of course, but I do a bit of web design so I looked at it from a more technical point of view than most of your first commenters.

Functionality is fine – congratulations! Everything nicely laid out and  easy to find. I’m afraid the colour scheme is not so successful however.

You obviously like the saffron colour, and I can understand that completely because it relates so well to your subject matter, but using that much of it is always going to be problematic from two points of view.

Firstly, you need a good contrast between the text and the background for readability. I checked that through the tool at and the results weren’t good at all, I’m afraid. Secondly, colour creates mood, and orange is often some kind of danger sign, subliminally arousing energy and excitement, perhaps, but also tension and anxiety.

One solution is to use your strong saffron for feature areas (e.g. header image) and a much lighter version of it (e.g. #f3d3af) as the background for your main text area. Another is to make your saffron even darker and the text very light, but I think it’s going to be a bit oppressive – still not conducive to the mood you want.

You might like to try some of the colour-design tools from The 28 best tools for choosing a colour scheme at Creative Bloq, which is (full disclosure!) where I came across the colour checker.