This article deals with one of the main topics of web design: the appearance of a site. Logos, shapes and colors characterize the perception of one’s presence on the web. In addition to the contents (texts, images, videos, etc.) and to their disposition, it is necessary to give the right value to the aesthetics. In fact, the design of a site contributes greatly to the general perception of the page, with its contents and enhancing the name of the company or the brand. This web design guideline will help you find the right style for your page.
The requirements for good web design
When you begin to take care of the appearance of your site, you must already have a clear idea of what the essential contents will be. In fact, the content strongly influences the form. Make it clear what information, services or products that distinguish your page. What makes your company or your brand unique? And how does your offer differ from that of the competition? It is important that the design of your site is adapted to the content and image you want to give of yourself. Furthermore, in the creation phase, companies must be careful to respect the chosen corporate design.
The aesthetic aspect of a company is called corporate design and reflects the visual identity of a company, but often institutions, organizations, associations and brands also have one. The composition of logos, advertising media, products and their packaging together with websites is essentially determined by the corporate design already in use and includes constants, such as colors, specific shapes and types of fonts that can be found in all products and in the company’s own communication media. So the site is generally only part of the corporate design. If you create a site for an existing company, then you can already orient yourself to a corporate design, using for example the colors of the logo or the font used on advertising materials such as brochures, announcements or press releases.
In case you want to change the look of a previous design or you don’t have any basic model, you should immediately think about the aspect to give to your corporate design.
Guidelines for corporate design
The corporate design reflects a precise image and provides a high recognition value. As a result, corporate design ensures that all publications and media have a unified and simple appearance. This is why the premise “form follows function” is followed, that is, the individual elements of design must not only provide a recognition value, but must also be functional. For the logo and the types of fonts, for example, the rule that must be legible applies.
Below we present the most important components of corporate design.
The logo design
A logo is a graphic symbol and the corporate design that substantially influences the appearance of all other publications. The colors of the logo are found in most, if not all, advertising materials. A logo is often composed of an inscription (or at least one or more letters) and an image or symbol, but it can also be just an inscription or an image. Through the shape of the symbol or the presentation of an inscription, the logo is given an unmistakable design.
A company brand or symbol is essential to get noticed. The logo must be present on every page of your site and is usually found in the header section, the top of the site. Ideally the symbol should be meaningful and characterizing. When you design a logo, some principles must be taken into account:
Understandability: the logo has the function of representing a brand and has the task of highlighting and referring to the brand. For better comprehensibility, the products or services offered may be stylized in the logo design.
Uniqueness: your logo must stand out from that of other companies. If the design of a famous logo is copied and adapts to its brand, it will be difficult to build one’s own identity. In addition, there are also risks of breaking the laws on trademark law.
Incisiveness: simple designs are easier to remember and therefore a logo design should not be too detailed or frivolous.
Reproducibility: a logo is used in different ways. It must be recognizable both on business cards and on stamps as well as on large billboards. In order not to make individual pixels visible, it is recommended to choose high definition logos, which can later be scaled without losing quality. Furthermore, they must be available in different formats (such as jpg, png and pdf) to be used easily everywhere.
In case you want to design your own logo, but you don’t know how to use graphics programs or don’t have the right skills, you can use online services which provide numerous functions for designing logos. Most of the time it is possible to receive the logo designed by you for free, but only of low quality. The variants with a better resolution are paid instead.
In addition to the logo, corporate design also includes other important elements for creating a site. The most important are illustrated below:
Font: as corporate font (also called corporate font) the type of font used most or exclusively by the company is indicated. The character chosen must not only have a high degree of recognizability and be easily legible (even on reproductions of different sizes), but must also adapt to the image, the philosophy of the company or the effect one wants to give. This font must be used in all texts and is often found also in the logo design
images: in many cases it is useful to use images that make the site varied and can awaken emotions in visitors. The set of all significant images, photos, motifs and symbols characterize the language of images. Just like fonts, even the language of images must appear unitary and be used accordingly. Both the content and the style of the images used should underline the image of the company communicated on the site. Generally, non-professional images of low quality are to be avoided because they make the entire site appear to be made by amateurs.
Colors: colors must also be used consciously. In their choice, every shade found in the site’s sub-pages is included. The design of the logo, the graphic elements, the background or other compositional elements generally refer to the established colors.
Precisely the choice of colors introduced just before represents a wide field that must be taken into account in detail in the field of web design. Through the use of specific colors different effects are achieved. Since different meanings are associated with colors, it is possible to enhance some of the company’s own characteristics by means of a specific chromatic choice. For this reason, a deliberate choice of colors is essential in corporate design. In fact, the coloring of a site substantially determines the first impression the visitor will have of the page.
Colors in the field of web design
The meaning of a site’s color composition should not be underestimated in web design. Colors are always, consciously or unknowingly, associated with certain contexts and linked to specific emotions. Basically the colors are divided into warm (yellow, orange, red) and cold (green, blue, purple) shades. Neutral are black, white, gray and brown.
Each shade gives rise to precise sensations in the visitor: e.g. red is positively connected to love, warmth, attention, energy or courage. Red is also a bright color. Negative sensations are danger, fire, violence, blood, arrogance or anger. In general, the red elements in web design are more relevant. Each shade produces positive and negative sensations, so it is best to choose the right colors for your page right away, not just for aesthetic reasons.
Creating a good web design takes time and work. But with a little patience you will get closer and closer to your idea of a professional site. The fundamentals of web design shown in this article are the basis of a web project. There are also other methods by which you can optimize your presence on the internet.