If you ask me to pick the two most pivotal elements of design, without a hesitation I would nominate: Colour and Typography.

The colours strongly influence your audiences’ mood and a perception of your site, they will affect if visitors feel comfortable to extend their stay on the website and motivated to come back. The colours identify the sites: if you apply a different colour scheme to the same site (structure wise), you’ll achieve various looks:

  • cool colours (blues, greens and purples) would give your site a more professional look. IBM Blue comes to mind right away. Many bank sites are using blue or green colours. Purple colour is often associated with Royalty
  • warm colours (red, oranges and yellows) are exciting and not for everyone: apparently the Red colour increases blood pressure not only in bulls but people too. They should be used sparingly – you want to get your visitors attention but not scare them away
  • neutral colours (gray, black, white, beige) are unifying: they emphasize other colours or soften colours that might be overwhelming on their own

Websites with good Typography not only look easy on the eye, make the content more legible and readable, they also make the site appear more professional. Most websites contain more content than imagery, so learning good typography principles are essential for designers.

Cameron Moll has said that good designers use “good typefaces”, but great designers use “good typography”.

I’m planning on writing more on Colours and Typography for Web. Tomorrow I will provide you with 8 essential bits on colour and typography resources on the Web, so stay tuned.

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3 Insightful Bits in response to “Visual Design Essentials”

  1. I guess my blog has a lot of warm colours.. or shall I say HOT HOT HOT! :D

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  1. DOs and DON’Ts - Colour » Inspiration Bit

    [...] while the printed words activate the left brain (logic)? Colour and Typography remain to be the two most important elements in design. When you harmoniously combine them all you attract a quicker attention to the subject, [...]

  2. Lilula » Blog Archive » Opticks: What is Colour?

    [...] the most common colours used for cars. It’s a passionate and dangerous colour, and like every colour invokes unique emotions and thoughts. That seems to be the universal way to interpret colour but the weight any colour carries is [...]

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Hi, I'm Vivien. Thanks for visiting my Inspiration Bit. I often find myself scouring the internet looking for either answers to many questions I have or websites that inspire me, sites that I can learn from. On what topics you might ask — any topics that interest me, anything from web design to typography and art, from blogging to entrepreneurship, from programming to open source.
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When I'm not blogging, I design web sites, teach, play with my daughter and try to balance family, work, friends and a somewhat active social life on