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Efficiently Using White Backgrounds in Website Design

February 5, 2019 |
Blog, Design, Web Design
Web Design

There were days when dark-colored themes and flashy colors were all over the internet. However, over the last few years, designers have identified the importance of blank spaces, white spaces and have been increasingly using the white color. White backgrounds have gained huge popularity these days. Gone are the dark backgrounds and patterns that have been a big part of the design process for a while. Using a white background may seem like the easiest and the safest path to a clean website design, but that’s not the case. White backgrounds need to work with both your text and image choices. They need to sync in with the overall Website Design and should not look like an afterthought. So what should designers do to best use white backgrounds? Let’s check it out.

Why Use a White Background?

Using a white background is fairly an easy way to go about designing as it is the default setting when working in HTML and CSS, however, colors did gain popularity over a period of time. White as a background color for blogs and e-commerce sites is a staple, but nowadays more and more designers are using white backgrounds for different projects which are more on the creative side. A couple of years ago, the trend was to use a black or dark-colored background, but that trend has surely flipped, and there’s not one particular reason for that.

White backgrounds have a strong correlation with Responsive designs and Flat & Minimal styling. White background regained popularity because it is easy and always looks natural. In some responsive layouts, sites lock to certain pixel-width grid stops and everything outside of those shows a background edge. With a completely white background, this edge becomes invisible without any extra design thought. Simple is still a major trend and a white background is the epitome of simple. White also makes it easy to pair and use many of the bright, bold colors that are symbolic of flat design styles.

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More About ‘White’

White is a simple color, or we can say it is the absence of color. While it has some meanings of its own, it can take on the context of its surroundings. White is the color of purity, faith, light, cleanliness, possibility, softness and generally denotes positivity. As a background color though, white is more of in a supporting role. White maintains some of its own color associations, but the hue also absorbs what is around it, allowing the full meaning of the design around it to come through. For example, when a white background is paired with pink and script typefaces, it takes on feminine attributes. White as a background color emphasizes clarity and removes visual obstacles and clutter. The hue is used to add visual emphasis to other important parts of the design like color, text or images. It is frequently a part of the overall visual aesthetic that is simply designed and minimalistic.

Other Shades of White

Other colors or words that represent hues that are white or almost white include snow, milk, ivory, pearl, paper, corn silk, seashell, linen, cream and alabaster. These include a pinch of another color, typically black, to soften white with an undertone for reading on screens. Some users and designers argue that pure white is harsh on the eye. However, in print projects, pure white is often standard.

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Tips to Use White Background

Keep it simple: The essence of white is simplicity. To create a powerful, beautiful impact, choose a simple or minimally-styled design scheme.

Create contrast: Choose dark or bright colors against the white background to create a meaningful visual impact which will entice the users. Black is the most common and preferred choice for type on a white background; even dark gray creates an almost equal impact. Black and dark gray over a white background enhances the readability and is easy on viewers’ eyes. The same goes for images as well. Select images that aren’t overly white in focus or consider using a black border around images to set them apart from the whitish background.

Use simple images: Photos, graphics and illustrations should blend smoothly within the overall design. Refrain from using complex, loud, confusing images. Use simple images which are easy to comprehend and do not stress out viewers.

Wisely choose the types: Beautiful type is of the utmost importance in a design outline where everything is simple. A visually appealing font will accentuate the simplicity of the overall design. It will help in creating a visually stunning white-based website.

Plenty of space: Remember, white backgrounds are part of an overall look and trend. Wisely use them and give plenty of room to everything that is displayed on the screen. Add extra space around objects if required, leave wider margins between text and menu items and focus on the space as much as the objects within it.

Focus on an accent color: Pick an accent color and use it against white backgrounds with black type to create a visually appealing website. The splash of colors brings focus to certain parts of the design in a more subtle way. Moreover, this works with any hue.


White backgrounds aren’t new, they have been around for years now. Only the way of using them has changed and opened new doors to visually enhance web designs working on white backgrounds. This can bring a modern, sleek and clean feel to almost any type of web design project. So go for it! We’d love to see what you are working on. Share your thoughts with us and discuss your design needs with our experts.

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