Acupuncture Website Design - Using Colour
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This is the Griffen Mill Design Guide to designing websites for acupuncturists. This section focusses on the use of shape and related aesthetic decisions. Other parts of the guide focus on choosing images, colour and making appropriate content and copywriting decisions. Click to return to the main guide
Colour for Acupuncturists
As with any website and client, individual client preferences are paramount, however in our experience certain colour choices and palettes are more popular with acupuncturists. These tend to be colours associated with calm and warmth along with a sense of energy and well-being, such as reds and maroons or soft greens. Acupuncture website designs, very often, are built upon the history of this complementary therapy and include colours and tones that illustrate this well. Rarely would we create an acupuncture website with sharp vibrant colours such as pink and yellow, which may not create the right feel to its visitors. Acupuncture websites are better suited to a slightly more "medical" feel. Although, there is always a balance to be met when designing for acupuncturists, as the website aims to be professional and grounded, yet it is also vital to create a warm and inviting appeal, sensitive to the nature of the client's work.
Another factor that will of course influence colour is the image choice, and acupuncture websites are likely to include images of treatments taking place or ones with more of an oriental feel, linking to the long history of this medical practice. It is key therefore to ensure your palette complements this.
Colour Palettes for Acupuncturists
There are a number of tools online which are suitable for experimenting with and choosing colour palettes. Here are a few that we have used often for acupuncture websites. Different therapists will have a leaning to different styles of palette, depending on whether they wish to present a more individual and vibrant look or something more low key and businesslike.
Option 1: Naturally Calm
This scheme is based on a single colour tint, and uses only variations made by changing the saturation and brightness. An acupuncturist may wish to use this scheme to maintain a consistent design, in-keeping with their logo or existing business literature. The use of lighter shades as a background tone along with darker headings will balance the design well. A deeper tone of green can be used as an accent colour, which can complement a monochromatic design well by highlighting or softening certain elements.
Option 2: Complementary and Warm
This colour scheme uses an analogic model, which complements the primary colour with its adjacent colours set at either side on the colour wheel. By using a tone only 20 degrees from the primary colour, a natural and dynamic complementing scheme is created. These soft, yet energetic colours can work well for an acupuncture website as they create a warm, healing and inviting appeal, whilst maintaining a professional and grounded outlook. The colours within this scheme also complement many of the tones found in natural skin tones or oriental plants, likely to be used within acupuncture websites.
Option 3: Soft Contrast
In this palette the primary colour is supplemented by two colours, placed identically on both sides of its complement. Unlike the sharp contrast, this scheme is slightly softer on the eyes when using the less saturated colour options within the palette. Starting from these basic colour choices, the palette shown gives the option of choosing more muted shades or richer more vibrant choices. The complementary turquoise can be used for links or subheadings, with the brighter greens used for features such as links, rather than for headings which could be shades of more muted darker turquoise or maroon to tone down and ground the overall design.
Example Acupuncture Websites
The website for the Alternatives Complementary Therapy Centre website has been created for them by one of Griffen Mills junior designers. It is a Silver design in the Action Hero format. This design is mobile responsive and can incorporate 2 images that fade in and out of each other. The centre has chosen to have one static image which is a lovely scene of a track winding through a spring wood. The vibrancy of the colours in the image has been picked up in the colour scheme which has given the site a harmonious feel and green is in fact very appropriate for a therapy website. It is said to instil a sense of balance and growth and also self reliance which will go hand in hand with the benefit of acupuncture and other complementary therapies. These observations and comments were made on July 29th 2016 – the website may have been updated since then. www.alternativesnorthwood.co.uk
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