Elegant or Boring? Gray Color in Website Design
Did you know that the human eye is able to distinguish something around 500 shades of gray? The range of gray lies between two non-colors – black and white. The darker a gray is the more black-like it is, and the lighter tones of gray are growing into white. Depending on the intensity of the color, it has been loaded with various meanings. Light gray shades are very neutral, they are perfect for a background design. Usually, light gray doesn’t evoke negative emotions, and, to be honest, it feels emotionless in most cases. On the other side, dark gray symbolizes mourning, depression, grief – strong emotions. The wide range of gray shades and their associated effects allow us to claim this color to be one of the most versatile and unpredictable.
The Different Perceptions of Gray
First, let’s talk about a common stereotype of gray. It’s the color of business, corporate uniformity. Together with blue suits, gray ones are very widespread in the business industry. That is why millions of people perceive gray as something formal, serious, and boring.
While many who consider gray to be boring and emotionless, others conceive it as very elegant. Suits are established as elegant clothes for managers of big corporations.
Still, colors are extremely significant and powerful in website design and development. If you use colors inappropriately, your next website project will have a horrible look. Colors convey moods; they set the tone for a website and form an impression of you via your project.
Gray is used a lot in web design, and believe it or not, a gray website or any other color site with gray accents can have a classy appeal (but this requires some efforts from you). Here are the main applications of gray in web design:
- Gray color as a background color is unobtrusive. A proper gray tone will point the content out and make the design complete. Still, a website will never look elegant, if you do it in one gray shade. You should make a composition of grays, and do it wisely, it will act in your favor then. In addition, tons of gray background textures can be used for websites of any category. Floral textured background is the one for design studios, wedding or fashion sites; metal textures are for industrial projects. This long list is written on by your own creativity.
- The second use for gray is navigation menus. You can base your design on images and then a left-sided menu panel in a neutral gray will be a peak of elegance. A search box with a gray field is a very common thing for many web projects too.
- Another application of gray is geometry, i.e. use of different shapes. The text content organized in geometrical figures (colored gray or done in a mix of colors) will have a nice look for any corporate website.
- Gray typography, what do you think about it? If you like to design a feminine site, use gray together with pink; in case you are going to develop a site for men, blend gray with deep green or blue hues. A play of colors can help you to build a strong color hierarchy on your site.
Now I would like you to look through the examples below – these are the best website designs in gray taken from all over the web, at least as far as my own taste is concerned…
That’s the end of our little roundup. Did we miss the latest and graytest ;) ? Then help us out in the comments.
Julia Blake is an author of many articles related to web design. She is interested in photography, learning languages, and she travels a lot. She loves learning new things and sharing her experience with others.