It can happen to the best of us.

I was building a super sales page for one of my clients this week. I had a list of her brand colours, pictures and logos to fit around her carefully crafted sales copy. I just needed to figure out how best to present the information to make it easy to read and easy to buy.

Now, as you probably know by now, I love to use colour in my designs to separate out information and to guide the eye as we read, especially if the copy is really long as it often is on sales pages. I’ll break the sections down into bite sized chunks with lovely blocks of colour.

This time, the problem was I got a little carried away with the overall colour scheme.

I forgot that my lovingly crafted text boxed also needed to be easy to read – resulting in the pink writing on a blue background disaster. The wonderful pink headline was less than fantastic inside the blue box. Yuck!

So … as I was giving myself a good talking to I thought I would put together a list of no nos for making your web copy readable. And before you exclaim – I would NEVER even think of doing this – I’ve seen many a website that does.

computer colours

 

Dark backgrounds may look good but be careful not to use too much contrasting colour as it will make reader’s eyes weep after a while (and it can look very 80s as the old computer screens used these colour combinations)

pinkandblue green and blue

Ow! There are, of course, loads of colour combinations that just don’t work. Just take care to have a good look at your website to check that you haven’t used them, regardless if they are part of your brand!!!

3d2 3d1

Need I say more? These colours actually trick your eyes to produce a 3D effect.

high contrast low contrast

The most common background to use is a plain white (#fff) with a black contrasting text (#000) BUT it can tire eyes out if you have reams of copy to get through. Try taking your black text down a couple of notches into a dark grey (80%). High contrast may stand out, but with small text and lots of copy readability is Queen.

green1green3green2

Using a mono palette can look very calm and comforting, but can easily lose impact

The moral of this story?

ALWAYS read every word of what you write on your website. If you struggle, your customers will too.