There are many ways to create visual consistency throughout your website. Whether you’re starting with a template, or building a site entirely from scratch, visual consistency helps to establish brand trust which down the road can lead to customer loyalty.
The easiest way to create consistency is to resist the urge to just keep adding. Instead work on editing down the visual elements of your site and creating synergy between each element.
And always keep in mind my favorite design rule: if you have to explain it – you have to simplify it.
Seven “Elements” to Create Visual Consistency on Your Website
- Typefaces (aka Fonts)
- Color Scheme
- Image Style
- Additional Graphics
The layout of your website is directly tied to the functionality and experience your website visitor will have when they come to your site. A website with “a lot going on” may be visually overwhelming to a new visitor. A good layout takes advantage of negative space, has a “clear path” the visitor can follow and each page clearly “belongs” with the other pages of your site.
Typefaces (most commonly referred to as fonts)
Use fonts consistently throughout your site for different text elements like titles, headings, subheadings and paragraphs. Font consistency is a quick and simple way to bring visual consistency to your website. In most cases it’s advisable to limit your site to three or fewer fonts. Different fonts can quickly convey different messaging. Different fonts also have varying degrees of legibility. If you decide to utilize a script font on your website, use it sparingly and almost never in text that breaks into two lines.
Selecting the colors you’ll use on your website (and in your brand) is often one of the first places people start when they think about developing a “brand.” Colors convey a lot of information quickly including emotion. For example, blue is the color of trust and yellow is the color of joy.
While it can be really tempting to start with color, it’s often more useful to work with your website in a “wireframe” colorless state so that color doesn’t get used as a crutch for good content. When you do decide to add in colors to your site, consider using colors that will compliment the majority of the images you’ll be using on your site. Try to limit your color scheme to just four to six colors plus black and white. And within that color scheme you don’t have to use four to six distinct colors, but possibly two to three distinct colors (hues) and then two to three corresponding colors of varying brightness or saturation.
Consistency on your website goes all the way down to the style of images you include on your site. Using images with a variety of editing styles or presets applied can create visual confusion within your site. Find one style that works for you, is “on-brand” and stick with it.
Navigation is one of the KEY components of any website and should be consistent throughout your site. If you’ve ever been to a poorly organized airport where it’s difficult to determine the arrivals from the departures area you might find yourself circling back around to pick up your friend (or your mother) who’s patiently waiting for you to “navigate” your way back to the right location. Keeping your navigation simple, easy-to-find and easy-to-use is essential to building visual consistency within your website.
Some brands have a single logo. Some brands have an entire family of logos. No matter which side of the fence you live on, you want to be certain that there is visual synergy between your logos/marks. Like herd uniformity is preferable in livestock, visual synergy is preferable in the visual graphics/elements you use to represent your brand.
Additional Graphic Elements
Visual consistency matters not just in the logo(s) or mark(s) you use on your site, but also in the additional graphic elements like lines, buttons, frames, circles and rectangles. Any kind of graphic you may use within your design should feel right at home and like it belongs.