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5 Colors to Avoid in Web Design

Colors to Avoid in Web Design

Colors are beautiful! Combinations of different shades and hues can spark up your web designs and even your business. Some colors are a big NO! NO! when designing for the web. Designers are always keen on grabbing the attention of their target audience, but people pay attention to what they see first before they start reading. 

When you misuse or mismatch colors, you grab their attention, but it won’t last long, and that will only damage your brand and cripple your reputation. We will discuss five colors to avoid in web design here in this post. So grab a cup of coffee and read on:

1. Neon Colors

The neon color can be striking and dramatic when used in illustration or art. Beyond this, neon is distasteful and irritating when used in web design. The idea is to grab your audience’s attention, not to hurt their eyes. Used for texts, neon colors are too bright and cause problems on both light and dark backgrounds. Neon backgrounds as well can be very overpowering, and this is not going to hold the attention of your audience. 

If you must use: Get some of the brightness out from the neon colors and leave them with a dark and ‘easy on the eye’ look.

2. Rainbow Colors 

When dealing with colors, less is more. Sometimes, people get too bright-eyed when creating a new design and try to combine too many colors to make their design stand out from others. Rainbow colors are overpowering, and using them in your web design only catches the attention of your audience for a moment. After a short period, it gets annoying and frustrating. Why? The dramatization of colors makes it difficult for people to read and understand the message you are passing across.

If you must use it: Try color-blocking instead and create a situation where colors and elements can associate easily. This will create a sense of organization.

3. Vibrating Colors 

When you combine two intense (high-contrast) colors, you get the “Vibrating Effect.” For instance, if you use an intense color for both the font and the background (red and green are great examples), the result would be aggressive and uncomfortable for the readers to read. This is known as color discord, and you should avoid them in web design. 

If you must use: get rid of this issue between 2 vibrant colors is to add a neutral color to the mix.

4. Combination of Light Colors 

Combining light on light is one of the most common mistakes web designers make. You might think to match a light background with light text would make it simpler for the readers, but it’ll only create readability issues, and we don’t want that. Just because it works for print projects won’t make it great when designing for the web. 

Where it gets really annoying is when hero headers pair white texts on images, and the text then falls on the light part of the image. The words get very hard to read. This increases your bounce rate. 

5. Dark on Dark / Bright on Bright 

If you can’t use light on light, then you definitely can’t use dark on dark either. Using colors with similar color saturations together will always cause problems. For readers with a form of color blindness, it’s difficult for them to make out the colors. To be candid, be careful with monotone color schemes. When in doubt, go for more contrast.

If you must use: Make use of multiple dark or bright colors as options for screens in scrolling websites. You can easily use all the dark or bright colors you want while maintaining usability and readability. 


Colors are fun but don’t try to overdo it if you are not familiar with the color theory. The biggest reasons to avoid combining and using these colors in web design are contrast and readability. Know your colors, and know what works for you, stop trying to make it pop; instead, try making it talk.

Avoid the color combinations mentioned above, and you’ll do just fine.