There is a popular notion that has been going around since the early days of blogging that food blogs are best designed with colors that embody the warmth of a home kitchen. Orange and yellow-green combinations were among the most used in themes. Where that notion started, I have no idea. For me, it’s just a lot of crap.
To start with, the warmness or coolness of a color is a theoretical association more than anything else. We think of bright yellows and oranges as warm because we associate them with sunlight. We think of grays and blue-grays as cool because we associate them with the darkening skies especially on rainy days. Ever thought of why we describe a rainy day as “gray”?
These associations were carried over in visual design. In choosing colors for a room, for instance, an interior designer is likely to go with blues to create a “cool” effect. The colors themselves don’t affect the temperature in the room. Rather, they affect the visual impact on a person. The visual impact sends signals to the brain and the brain, now forming associations described in the preceding paragraph, tells the person that the room feels cool.
The effect of color on a person then is a matter of psychology. Naturally, that effect differs from one person to the next. So, to say that a food blog design with warm colors will be more appealing (and, ergo, more highly visited) than others is a sweeping generalization with no real basis.
As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t matter whether a food blog’s design uses warm or cool colors.
The colors can even be a combination of highly contrasting cool and warm colors and look fantastic. In fact, a food blog can be practically bereft of color and still look good. Take 101Cookbooks and White on Rice Couple, for instance. The trick is how colors, or the lack of colors, are used.
Food blogs are almost always image intensive with one or more food shot with every post. If the images are small, they will get drowned out in a web design using very striking colors whether cool, warm or a combination of both. On the other hand, bold colors of a web page might make very large photos less overwhelming.
In other words, the colors of a web page must play a complementary role to the content. Put another way, the colors must make the content pop.
So, when you’re DIY designing your blog, think of your content and build the colors around your content instead of making your content fit into what the self-proclaimed gurus say are the best colors for the particular niche of your blog.
Find color inspirations at Kuler.