Colours not to have on your website

Colours not to use on your website

Pure black and pure white are two colours not to have on your website.

It might seem counter-intuitive because using black and white look crisp and easy to read. This is true of physical content – books, leaflets, and so on – but it’s not true for screens.


Two reasons:

  1. Black and white create too much contrast, which makes us squint. Given the amount of time we all spend on screens, squinting unnecessarily for long periods of time can cause headaches. Making your website screen contrast more acceptable gives your website visitor a better experience. That means visitors can stay reading your content for longer.
  2. Any visitor to your website with visual impairments may find it hard to read content with very high contrast. Using alternatives to pure black and pure white ensures that your website is accessible to all your visitors.

Too much screen contrast makes visitors squint

What is pure black and pure white?

These are the hex numbers to avoid:

  • Pure black is #000000, often shortened to #000
  • Pure white is #fffffff, often shortened to #fff

Colours not to use on your website - pure black or pure white
Pure black (#000000) and pure white (#ffffff) don’t work for screens because they create too much contrast for the eye

Great alternatives to pure black

  • #202124 (as used on Google Fonts)
  • #241c15 (as used by Mailchimp)
  • #1f1f1f (here, on our on Flat White website)

Great alternatives to pure white

Avoiding the colours not to have on your website is such an easy way to improve the experience for visitors, which means they spend more time on your content – great for everyone!

How we can help you further

We’re here to help you improve your website.

Here are links to two more blogs we’ve written to help you improve your website:

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