Web Aesthetics: Why Black and White Themes Are Great for Websites
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Web Aesthetics: Why Black and White Themes Are Great for Websites

By Mainak Biswas October 31, 2012 - 744 views

Most web design students learn a lot about colors and the psychology behind colors. They are taught how to use photo illustration and 3D tools and how to mix and match colors in order to communicate with website visitors effectively. However, there is a school of thought that sees web designing in black and white, literally. They believe that colors are not necessary in some cases, and by just sticking to black and white, one can communicate with the audience ever more powerfully.

Encountering a website that only has black or white can only be successful if one understands the idea behind such a design decision. In fact, any website must reflect a company’s personality and character and by choosing just these two colors, companies will communicate certain things subliminally and subconsciously. Let us understand what these mysterious messages that black and white websites send to their audiences.

Black and White Symbolism

It is important to understand what black and white stand for, symbolically before we understand why black and white websites are so popular and attractive in spite of being ‘colorless’. Black has always stood for darkness, mystery, enigma, mourning and sometimes even death and danger. White on the other hand symbolizes purity, clarity of thought, justice, fairness and peace.

When black and white are juxtaposed against each other, the results are something very different from their individual symbolic meanings. When black text or creative copy is transposed against a white background, what results is a minimalist and simplistic communication. It is classical, powerful and extremely elegant. This timeless and elegant combination of colors ensures that your website is taken seriously, without distractions forced by other colors.

By using just black and white, companies can avoid all the risks and controversies associated with other colors. Designers can concentrate more on how images and videos appear on the white background alongside black text, instead of worrying about unnecessary details. A designer can better concentrate on typography, which is very important in attracting and sustaining interest of audiences. In fact, a white background and a great typography or font in black is all that a company or business needs to ensure that its communication reaches its audience without any distraction, and that too in a timeless, elegant and stylish manner.

Less Is Always More

When a designer uses black and white themes, he or she can ensure that there is minimal distraction and maximum emphasis on content. This results in sustained attention and concentration, without causing cognitive dissonance, which is very common when a viewer is hammered with several colors all at once, resulting in dilution of message. Like Apple’s Steve jobs always said, less is more. This philosophy is extremely crucial in designing websites and the more colors and text one forces on to the screen, the less a viewer or visitor would be interested in understanding what the website is all about.

Highlighting Creativity

When it comes to highlighting art, images and videos, there is no better background than a white one, as it allows the viewer to solely concentrate on the media than the canvas around it. Thus, almost all art and creative websites use a white background as that helps to highlight what is most important. In addition to creative abnd artistic websites, news and information based websites benefit a lot from white backgrounds as well. When a striking font is used, the text becomes the highlight of the webpage, rather than anything else. If style and aesthetics are important, using a white and black theme is very crucial.

Other Colors and Conclusion

It is a well known fact that in Rorschach Inkblot Tests, when an individual sees only monochromatic colors or achromatic colors like black, white or grey, he or she is judged to be experiencing emotional difficulties. If you want to reduce emotional responses caused by peripheral colors, choosing a white and black theme is necessary. Sometimes, red or orange can be used along with black and white, in order to highlight something that actually requires attention. Notes, remarks and notices can be designed to appear in blood red or bright orange, which adds to the contrast of the website’s appearance.

To conclude, white and black backgrounds are professional, timeless, classic and very stylish and elegant. They reduce distractions and allow viewers and audiences to pay attention what is important, resulting in successful web communication.

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