Every year, Pantone announces the Color of the Year. In 2014, the Color of the Year is Radiant Orchid. While this may seem like news that only affects fashion designers and paint manufacturers, it also affects web design trends.
Trends Are, Well, Trends
It is more than likely that the average web designer will have at least one request to design a site that is decked out in Radiant Orchid in 2014. Though using a trendy color for a website may draw attention this year, next year Pantone will announce another color. This means that a website that was cool in 2014 may look dated in a very short time. If the clients want to ride the trends, then they will need to update their websites every year, incurring more costs. This is probably something the trendy client didn’t consider, so having a discussion about trends is likely a good idea.
Another thing about using a trendy color is that it’s everywhere. Just like a song played over and over on the radio, people will get tired of this trendy color pretty quickly. That doesn’t mean using Radiant Orchid is a bad idea, but these are all avenues worth considering as a web designer.
Does It Fit The Brand?
Another thing to discuss with your clients is whether or not they are being trendy at the detriment of their brand. Usually, brands use specific colors throughout the company’s lifespan. The right colors for their site generally are ones that echo their brand color. If businesses are choosing a trendy color for their brand color, you may want to ask them if they are sure this is the color they want to use long term. Small businesses without marketing experience may think that going with a color like Radiant Orchid will make them look current but haven’t thought through the long-term consequences.
This can directly affect your work. For example, if you start building a site in 2014, and it isn’t finished until 2015, your client just might send you back to change the color as soon as the new Color of the Year is announced.
If your clients are set on using Radiant Orchid in their web designs, suggest they use touches of it around the site. Small touches will be easier to alter and won’t look like a complete website overhaul when the color changes are made.
Another way to incorporate a trendy color without it looking dated quickly is by using it in a flat color scheme. In flat color schemes, many different coordinating colors are used in a design. This design, while colorful, is also simplistic. Often, the designer will leave out shadows, bevels and other fancy design elements and focus on how the colors work together to create a pleasing look.
So, when you get website design requests for the number one color for 2014, Radiant Orchid, make sure to discuss the color’s uses with clients to be sure they aren’t heading down an expensive road that may not fit with their brand. Then, if they are set on the color, give them several design options that will make the site modern for a longer period of time.