Are the colors, font styles, and font sizes consistent on your website or blog? It’s easy to be seduced by a sexy font or a trendy color, but don’t be. As an artist, you should be more concerned about the visual presentation of your art than about any fancy design tricks. The art should always be shown in its best light.
One way to keep the attention on your art is to be consistent with the design elements. You should do a lot of planning so that site visitors don’t think too much about how things look when they visit your site. They’ll just focus on the art!
Let’s start with color.
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) coding for building websites uses a six-digit number for every color you choose. For example, #CC0000 is the red in my links on ArtBizCoach.com and #C8C1AF is the light gray background on this blog. (Update: these are the old colors of this site.)
You’ll want to choose two or three main colors for your sites, and they shouldn’t be jarring. Instead, they should provide a harmonious backdrop for your art.
You don’t want people to look at your site and applaud your color choices. You want them to applaud your art! To help with your color selection, check out these tools.
Next, let’s look at your font styles.
There are a limited number of fonts that are universal. You want to stick to these styles in your text. (Text in graphics is another matter.) These include, but may not be limited to, the following.
Sans Serif Font Styles: Arial (not Arial MT), Verdana, Tahoma, Trebuchet
Serif Font Styles: Times New Roman, Georgia
Before you choose a serif font, I urge you to view it on various computers and browsers. I initially wanted to use Georgia on my website until my Web guru sent me a screen capture of what it looks like on her PC. It was pretty handsome on my Mac, but it looked awful on her PC. Sans serif fonts are more reliable across platforms and easier to read on an electronic screen.
In addition to the font family you choose for your site, you also need to think about when and how you’ll use all caps, italics, bold, and indented text.
Finally, consider font sizes.
Decide what font size you’ll use for paragraph text, headings, subheadings, and credit lines that go next to your artwork. Pick your color for each one and . . . Voilà! You have a style sheet.
FINAL WORD: Creating a style sheet to use as a guideline for your website and blog will 1) give your site a more professional look and 2) make it easier on you because you no longer have to spend time worrying about what color or font to use.
The podcast is an audio version of this post.