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Elements of Design: Color & Value

By Corrie Oberdin   •   1 August, 2014



Elements of Design: Color & Value

In Design, Web Design by Corrie Oberdin     Comment Bubble  Leave a Comment      Like

We’ve talked about line & shape, and we’ve talked about texture & form. In this post in our Elements of Design series, we are focusing on color & value – two related elements that are integral to web design.


Elements of Design: Color


Color is one of the most familiar elements. The result of light reflecting from an object, causing a visual sensation that we perceive as a specific hue, color is all around us, and difficult to ignore. Colors can be described with a wide range of names, from the simple (red, yellow, blue) to the complex (Pantone colors, for example!).




In web design for businesses, colors are most often linked to branding.  Colors used on a businesses website need to reflect & support an organization’s branding.  You’ll note in the St. Francis Mission website, for example, the colors we use within the page reinforce the colors used in the logo. Color can also be used to emphasize important areas of the site. For example, the “Donate now” button at the top is in yellow – differentiating it from the black background.



Elements of Design: Value

Value is related to color, as you can differentiate objects, images (and parts of images) based on how light or dark they are.  The same color can be given different values depending on how light or dark it is made.


In web design, value can be used to highlight important images or sections of a page. In this website for Godfathers, the images and graphics are all designed so that the Godfather stands out.  The value of the images darkens towards the edge of the page so that the focus is on the Godfather and the content at the center of the page.  Also, the value of the navigation menu emphasizes the buttons while fading out to the background towards the bottom.<br>

Godfather's Website

What is your favorite use of color in a website? Let us know!

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