Why is Color Contrast Important in Web Design?


Web designing is an incredible combination of several factors. Amongst them, contrast plays a crucial role. It amplifies the importance of existing web elements. There is no meaning of contrast with only one thing present. Indeed, one thing is said to be in contrast when it polarises the other one.


Well, it could be a contrast in shape with one irregular and another defined shape. But, color is contrast is the most significant one. But, why? It enhances the visual hierarchy and improves readability. Color contrast is influential in arouse different emotions or illustrating specific paragraphs.


Some designers ignore the importance of color contrast. However, it could cost them losses in traffic, conversion ratio, losing customers, and an increase in bounce rate. So, it is wise to consider it beforehand to avoid making changes at the end moment. Let’s understand how color contrast is a beneficial web design component.



What is color contrast, and what is its significance?


Color contrast is the difference between font light and the background. No doubt, it is a simple web design element but also the most tricky one. If users can’t read written text, what’s the point of even mentioning it. It fails the purpose of web designing entirely.


Color contrast is highly effective in improving web accessibility. It covers people with visual disabilities and even accessing mobile or desktop in sunlight. Further, visual disabilities could be color blindness, eye unable to recognize specific colors or sensitivity to colors.


Yes, there is no need to worry much! Color contrast falls under the web standards to improve accessibility for all. Also, it includes people with other disabilities like motor, auditory, and cognitive impairments.


What are Color contrast standards?


America has laid down the international standard “Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (2.1)” (WCAG). Other than that, World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) also approves it. Well, you must be thinking, what are these standards? These are the ones:


Perfect Ratio

WCAG suggests the color contrast ratio be 4.5:1. It is valid for standard body text. For lighter colors like yellow, light grey, light blue, this ratio decreases considerably like 2.8:1, 1.5:1. With this, healthy people find it difficult to read the text leave the case of impaired ones.


Black, purple, navy blue are much easier to read due to their high color contrast ratio. Designers can highlight Important web elements like call-to-action, internal or external links with neon colors, green, or royal blue. You can access web design servicesto get the desired color contrast ratio for a broad user audience.


Font Size difference

The perfect ratio can vary with the font size differences. For 18 point font or 14 bold point size, this ratio can go up to 2.5:1. Why is it so? With an increase in font size, readability improves.


4.5:1 is the minimum ratio with 20/40 vision. For 20/80 vision, this ratio goes up to 7:1. It satisfies WCAG level AAA. 


Image or logo exception

Image text doesn’t come under the perfect ratio category. Sometimes graphic designers use blurred image backgrounds or enhance other photo designing elements. But, it is better to increase the font size in the image or use the proper font style and color.


Using brand color background

Brand colors are an essential part of improving online brand image, reputation, and visibility. Using brand colors on the home page or landing page could be necessary sometimes.


For darker background colors, use an opaque background for the text. In this way, the sanctity of the brand color retains while maintaining web accessibility.


Tools to test color contrast

Several online tools are available to test your website’s color contrast. The most popular tools are:

     WebAIM contrast checker: It is an easy to use tool designed by an NGO for disabled persons

     Google DevTools Lighthouse: For coding experts, it is a must tool. You can change color configuration with proper coding.


Other important tools are:


     Web evaluation accessibility tool

     Color Contrast Analyser

     Success criterion 1.4.3


Ways to enhance color contrast

Well, it is not possible to achieve 100% web accessibility. But, you can also try to keep its reach to maximum users with these tips:



Shapes enhance the effectiveness of color contrast. Designers can combine circles, squares, or random shapes with contrasting colors.



White is a vital element to substantiate the effect of web elements. For capturing more leads, you can put attractive background images to increase their visual space.



Increase the font size to improve the readability of light colors. In fact, it is true for every design element, let it be images, buttons that remain hidden between the darker shades.



Final words

The bottom line is that color contrast may seem redundant web design part. But, it could rollover your marketing efforts by 180 degrees. So, it requires deep consideration to enhance the user experience with an excellent user interface.

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