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How to Color a Minimalistic Design

Posted on May 29, 2012

Category: General

No matter how you slice it, one of the hardest things to master in web or print design is coloring. It seems like we spend only a third of our time designing the project, and then the rest of our project hours simply trying to pick the hues that best convey the emotions and the message of the piece. However, all of this can get particularly tricky when the design is minimalistic. It’s a hot genre to be in, but if you’re not careful with your color choices, you’ll very quickly turn what was once a stellar design into a busy body’s wet dream. To avoid this, simply check out the coloring tips we have stockpiled below.

  1. Don’t Overdo It: Right out of the gate, be sure that you’re not adding too much color to the piece. White should be the predominate element on the page (that’s why it’s minimalistic) and if you’ve got too many other hues running around, you’re defeating the purpose. Every time you want to add a new color, ask yourself what you’ll be accomplishing. What will the new hue add to the overall work? Is it really necessary? Nine times out of ten, we’d like to think it simply isn’t.
  2. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat: On that note, be sure to repeat the colors you do add as often as you bloody can. Don’t add new ones unless it’s an absolute necessary. Otherwise, go heavy on the blacks, heavier on the whites, and then duplicate the others.
  3. Emphasize Tastefully: Lastly, be sure to emphasize the page elements that matter most to conveying your message. What we mean is, don’t waste your time or energy on coloring pieces that aren’t going to add anything to the over work. Have a nice section header that needs to be highlighted? Throw in some color, and wham! Your design instantly focuses on that one piece. Want to highlight your business name in a portfolio piece? Do the same thing, and then you can rest assured that most viewers likely went straight to that name. In the same way, be sure to use photos quite sparingly. They’re excessively detailed, and will stick out like a sore thumb on a minimalistic page. However, that doesn’t mean they’re without a proper time and place. Just be mindful, and always, always be an artist!

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