Start your Design Sans Colors

For any designer an important question when designing is whether to start with a simple black and white design and then move on to coloring or to keep it colored from the word ‘go’.

Let’s revisit our kindergarten, where we used to draw in pencil and after that color it heartily. It has its own advantages. So, when you start working on a project, always start designing in black and white first. It will be better if you use pen and paper.

It helps you focus on the basic aspects of designing like the arrangement, balance flow, navigation, usability, interaction and end user understanding. Initial version of the design needs to have just the lines, the elements and their interaction. Color comes in afterwards. This way of designing is quite beneficial.  Basically, you need to address the basics first and then move on to color schemes and gradients. Developing your screens in greyscale propels you to think with clarity and arrange things right when it comes to UX design.

Reasons to make initial design without color:

Increased focus on spacing and layout

When you are working in grey scale your focus is centered on spacing of things to make them look grouped together. Various important aspects like line height, typography, size, call to action buttons, grouping and spacing of elements are brought to focus and your thinking intensifies in that direction when working in black and white or in absence of colors.

Great for high-level brainstorming and collaboration

Early stages of design which are in B&W are better suited for feedbacks from clients and are great for brainstorming.  Early feedbacks make it easier for you to take your designs to next levels and saves your time of reiteration.

Designing come out well defined and minimalistic

Minimalistic well-defined designs are the outcome when we work on grey scale. These simple and clean designs are result of focus on size, spacing, functionality, element layout etc., which can be achieved by working in grey scale where we can gauge the visual weight between elements better.

Brings uniformity

After designing in grey scale and assigning visual weight to elements move on to coloring. Featuring too many colors diverts the attention from central areas so, it’s better to use lesser colors. Having a single brand color and using it selectively in the predesigned B&W version, is bound to draw viewer’s attention towards the best brand element and will have more recall power and impart brand identity.

So, you just need to forget colors when you start designing on Illustrator or any other tool you use. First complete your design in grey scale and then use your color palette.

Happy Designing 😊


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