Principles of Website Design: Contrast

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Nearly all of design involves contrast, because the human eye both loves and hates it. Contrast touches every other fundamental design principle in its own way, which makes it one of the most important ones to understand. Find out if your website has the right mix of contrast and consistency by getting ideas from various types of this fundamental principle of design. This is part of our four-blog series where we explore these fundamental principles: Focus, Alignment, Repetition, and Contrast.


It may sound oxymoronic, but when it comes to web design, contrast should be consistent. Varying what people see on a web page but delivering on what they expect to see is key to a great design. The way contrast plays into that can be both large-scale in terms of site-wide colors, or as fine-tuned as how big your fonts are.


Color is a clear indicator (for most people, anyway) of distinguishing one element from another. Let’s say you offer both surgical and non-surgical procedures at your practice. One way to distinguish those categories on your site would be to have different colors for the menu buttons that carry through to the headers on each of the pages underneath those categories.

Your brand also heavily relies on color. Bright and blue can indicate vibrancy and technological advancement. Darker hues and gold can make people feel like they’re getting VIP-level treatment from the first impression. Color drives emotion for those who are already interested in something that you provide, which means the right color scheme can entice the people you want to see in your office.


Larger means more important. But what many average designers misunderstand about size is how different sizes interact with each other. When it comes to headlines, there’s definitely such thing as too big. And when it comes to granular details about a procedure or prescription side effects, there’s definitely such a thing as annoyingly small.

Great designers know that size matters, and relative size is even more important. If your graphics are too small, people won’t notice that they help interrupt a block of text. If your headers are too huge, they’ll take up valuable space where people have to scroll to get the information they are looking for. (This is especially true on mobile devices, which are more popular web browsing devices than ever.)

Emphasize important things by making them bigger, but not so big that they extinguish the attention someone might pay to other parts of your website, such as descriptions under before-and-after photos or too-small text on a main procedure page.


Website designers are only partially limited to “canvas space” compared to artists who paint on physical canvases. However, this doesn’t mean that the blank space, or white space, used on a website is limitless. The scale of a website can be overwhelming or impressive; these two feelings are close but distinct. When you have to scroll for minutes to find what you’re looking for because information is so spaced out between photos, testimonials, and other elements, you’ll likely lose interest. But when you find a site that has reams of information and credible authority, it can engender trust before they even pick up the phone.

Knowing how long a procedure page or blog post, or even photo gallery should appear on any given device is a key distinguisher of good vs. great designers. Great ones know when to end the page to encourage people to click to see more. That’s the beauty of web design at an appropriate scale.

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If you’re looking for a top-notch website that will not only catch people’s attention but convert them into paying patients, DLM has designers that can help you turn an outdated site into a compelling layout to help boost leads. Find out more about our comprehensive medical marketing services and our philosophy of design and content creation by calling us or contacting us online today.