Using Contrast In Web Design Effectively

Before we mention how effective the use of contrast is in web design, we should highlight its importance in everyday life. Contrast comes in many different forms such as colour, shapes and depth of perception. Something simple as a clever use of contrast can completely transform the way we perceive a brand’s identity.

Contrast has been a major part of brick and mortar marketing for as long as we can remember, likely due to how easy it is to set up physically. Such as the use of bold colours in sales sections of clothes stores to using negative space to highlight products in shop windows. So how does this translate digitally? This is the million dollar question for web designers and we’re going to show you some examples below of how contrast can really evolve a website’s user experience (UX). 

User Experience & The Use Of Contrast

Ensuring that the user experience of your website is optimised to draw your customer’s attention to various aspects is fundamental to creating a user interface (UI) that leads your customers through the marketing funnel. 

Contrast is one of the 5 key design principles that can be utilised effectively to move your customers around your website the way you want them to. When used together appropriately, these principles create a user experience that can rival even the biggest of companies in your industry, to create a stylish and trustworthy website. 

Why Is Contrast Important In Web Design?

When employing contrast techniques to web design, it is important to understand how our minds perceive contrast. When a juxtaposition is present in design, our minds automatically form a comparison between the two objects, this is based on a variety of processes that helps our brain determine depth of perception, space and many other things. 

This in turn forces us to form an opinion on an object based directly on another, which when done right can influence the way we see products and images. 

We also use contrast for visual cues, we have all been to shops where the bright red sales banner is glaringly obvious to us. However, it’s only obvious to us because it doesn’t fit in natively to the rest of the decor therefore, creating a contrast. This automatically draws our eye and gains our attention. 

This can be implemented into web design too, allowing us to draw a customer’s attention to specific areas of a web page. Utilising the dichotomy of importance to make objects appear larger than they are drawing attention to the most important aspects of your site. 

Examples Of Contrast Used In Web Design

Colour Contrasts 

We have touched upon colour contrasts above with bright red sales signs not suiting the native decor of a shop. With web design it’s no different, colours can be used in intelligent ways to really showcase the contrast of importance. Colour can also help to break up sections of a web design to clearly show the beginning and end of certain aspects of data. 

A very common trend in colour contrasts at the moment is the use of light and dark to create stylish enhancements to specific areas. This is common with car manufacturers and industries with very bold coloured products. 

New Product

Unique Seling Point!


Size plays an important part in design in terms of contrast. We use the size of objects in everyday life as reference points for our depth of perception. This automatically creates a hierarchy of importance within us that can influence our decisions.

This can be seen with different sized text throughout a website to show important snippets of data more easily. This draws the attention of a customer to the main unique selling points of a product instantly and adds weight to areas of content that you’re desperate to let the customer know.

Negative Space

A favourite of ours, negative space is a slightly more risky use of contrast as it’s an ‘all your eggs in one basket’ approach to web design. Which means that it’s imperative that it is designed perfectly. That being said, negative space is probably one of the most effective ways to grab the attention of a compelling customer.

Synonymous with sporting goods manufacturers that like to highlight the latest football boot. Equally, giant tech firms also utilise negative space to really showcase the importance and grandeur of their latest phones or tech.

When created well, negative space can really force a reaction of intrigue in customers as the page is completely free of clutter. With the design resting it’s laurels on the old adage ‘let the product do the talking’.

Foreground Vs. Background

Very common in most modern websites, contrasting the foreground against its own background gives a subtle depth of field which can create stunning web pages that can feel more personal to a customer. Often paired with scrolling effects, it gives a locus of control back to the user that they are in control of the content they view somewhat. Which up until this trend was very much non-existent.

This type of contrast is great for highlighting content as and when it is necessary to the customer. A great example of this is educating a customer on the features of a product one USP at a time. The further they scroll down the page, the more information they learn.


Shapes are another very common method to create contrast in web design. You’ll often see product images overlaid on top of a shape. This is a great way of adding colour and again highlighting key aspects of a webpage you want your customers to be drawn to.

Shapes are ideal for complementing your brand image perfectly too! Getting your iconic colour in and reminding your customers just who is selling these amazing products. This type of contrast can be found on online boutiques and very vibrant web designs.

What Goes Into Designing A Website?

As well as ensuring that your website or e-commerce site is functional, responsive and stylish, our web designers consider the best and most creative ways to convey your company’s message and branding. This requires an intuitive and imaginative mind as well as the experience and knowledge to implement it. 

Careful consideration goes into the development of the user interface (UI) of every website we design so that when your customers find you, their experience is second to none. We discuss who each page of your site is built for and how your clientele might react to certain UI designs.

We understand that some brand’s clientele doesn’t enjoy scrolling features and animation but rather a straight to the point user experience. It doesn’t mean that contrast still can’t be a design factor but rather that it is used more appropriately depending on the customer base of your business.

Professional Web Design North Devon

For professional web design in North Devon for small to medium-sized companies, contact us on 01271 603085. Our expert team of web designers will be able to answer any of your questions and get you started on your digital journey.


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