Colors For Your Japanese Website

What is your process for designing your website?

Do you look up common trends for companies’ websites in your specialized area? Or did you focus on being unique?

One of the most important things that can get overlooked is the color scheme when making a website. Certain colors hold special meanings in Asian cultures.

For example, black traditionally represents sadness, fear, or even death. 

So you will find that websites in Japan tend to stay away from darker tones. This could be a result of this belief or maybe darker color scheme websites are hard to look at. Perhaps a mixture of both? So what color palettes do Japanese websites tend to go towards?

Lets take a look at a couple!

For more examples, click here!

Looking at these pictures, we can see that Japanese websites tend to stay on the lighter side, making use of flattering color tones. Clicking the link above allows you to see that most websites tend to go towards brighter colors. And the most common theme color is white. So what does the color white mean in the Japanese culture?

White represents purity and cleanliness. While it can also represent mourning, white is mainly associated with the former meaning. Even without looking it up, the general image of Japanese people is clean and neat.

When visiting Japan, you will find almost no trash cans, yet there is barely any litter. The design of Japanese websites reflects the culture of cleanliness. These websites from the link above are also neatly organized, don’t have overbearing color schemes, and are still visually pleasing to the eye.

However, from a western’s point of view, these websites can appear a bit messy, since several colors (sometimes flashy) are usually displayed. Also, on Japanese websites, more text is written and the structure of the website itself is different such as the location of the menu, image sizes, etc. Also, note that red doesn’t have the same meaning in Japan as in the West, so it is way more used to attract Internet users.

Read our article about how to make the best Japanese website design for more.

If you are curious about what other colors mean in the Japanese culture, check out our articles on culture and color here or this helpful article!

Simple Tips To Remember:

  • To be safe, stay away from only using darker colors.
  • Use flattering color tones to make your website easier to look at.
  • A lighter color palette is commonly used.
  • Several colors can be used.