Your website is an incredibly important cornerstone of your gym. The design elements that you choose will do a great deal to impact every part of your site. Digital design elements encompass everything that is displayed on your website, from the colors you choose to the layout, photos, and font. These decisions convey many unspoken messages to your customers about your business on both a subconscious and conscious level.
So, what is the best way to choose your gym’s design elements?
The best way to find how to express your business online is to start by looking into what your business is and why it matters. Think about the atmosphere, goals, and identifying characteristics of your gym. Think about what you stand for and what separates you from your competition.
Honing in these differences will help you to create a website that matches your gym’s philosophy. Take some time to think of your gym and what it has to offer its customers. Do you have a killer preschool program? Do you run a highly competitive team, or perhaps you have the best birthday parties in your area. Whatever you might come up with will be used to set the tone of your design process.
Another great way to clarify what you are looking to do on your website is to find some example sites that you aspire to be like. Using these sites for inspiration can help make the design process much easier overall. This also helps to find a starting place. Just like any creative medium, starting is one of the most difficult things with website design. Having a general example can help to guide your efforts in the right direction.
How to Pick the Best Colors for your Website
The next thing to do is pick out the 2-3 colors that most represent your gymnastics center. Colors communicate strong messages to customers, that is why many large companies are so specific about their branding and use of colors. McDonald’s is a prime example of the yellow and red that they use are synonymous with their fast food. There is some science behind this that red and yellow specifically increase appetite. I am not sure how much of a role this plays in their bottom line, but the important part of this example is how intentional they are with setting the branding that best represents them.
Choosing Your Colors
So what colors best represent your business? As a general rule, lighter, more vibrant colors are more associated with youth, fun, simplicity, and happiness. Whereas darker colors normally deal with more serious topics, subjects and companies.
Using this rule we can work towards which side of the light/dark spectrum your gym will fall under. Is it more serious and competitive? Then darker shades and colors might work best for your location. On the other hand, if your gym is more playful and light-hearted then it might be better to choose lighter colors. Most gyms will probably fall on the lighter side of this spectrum although there are all kinds of gyms out there that will match many different color choices. Try to start by picking one color that you feel best matches your gym.
Once you have decided on the first color for your business the next step will be to find a complementary color that will work well with it. One of my favorite ways to find complementary colors is on Coolors.co. This website will help you to find many different shades of colors that work well together.
To start using this tool just open the link and select the code at the bottom of the first color column as shown below and add in your first color’s hexadecimal code.
Then click the lock to set that color and press the space bar to randomize other potential color pallets as shown here.
You can keep working through them until you find another color that you like and then click the lock on that one as well until you have built out some great color options for your business.
Once you have your 2 to 3 colors picked rank them from your favorite to least favorite. When designing your favorite will be used as the main color across your site, while your least favorite will only be used in small doses to accent different elements.
How to Choose Your Website Layout
Your website layout is another incredibly powerful design element. The layout that you choose can be used to work alongside other design elements to help create a cohesive user experience.
Unlike colors which are strongly associated with feelings, all kinds of layouts can be used by all kinds of gyms. Here are the main layouts that you will see online.
- Single Column layout – currently in use on this blog (except the sidebar)
- Two-column layout
As you can see nearly every website is a mix of these different layouts. However, choosing what layout to favor is important. So, what layout is best for your gymnastics center?
We would recommend minimalistic, single-column, or two-column layouts. These three layouts work best for presenting visual information such as photos and videos which gyms tend to have plenty of.
Try to avoid making things too dense. Too much information squished too closely together can cause visitors to feel overwhelmed. In the age of short attention spans, there is nothing more important than making things easy to understand quickly. When in doubt lean towards a minimalistic style that leaves more space and room around different elements. It is easy to overcrowd a website, but more difficult to make it too sparse.
Picking Out The Best Fonts
Your website’s font is another important element that says a lot about your business, even if not many people consciously notice it. Clever font choices and pairings can communicate professionalism, while mismatched fonts can make the whole website appear to be slightly “off”.
With millions of fonts out there the options are nearly endless. This makes it much more difficult to find the best font for your business. One of the easiest ways to find a font is to look at what other websites are doing. Check out some of your reference websites and try to find what font they are using on their website. From here you can easily use the same font or find one that is similar by entering the font into WhatTheFont. This will allow you to tell what font they were probably using, or at least get close to it.
Normally on a website, 2 fonts make up the bulk of the content, the titles, and the body text. Make sure that these 2 different fonts match one another or else it can create a different feeling than what you are looking for.
As a best practice, the font for the titles sets the president and the rest of the font follows it up. If you use a fun playful font for your titles then you should use a much more toned down playful font for the body of your site. Likewise, if you use a professional bold font for your titles then use a lighter but still professional base font.
The body font should always be less crazy and interesting than your titles. Titles can get pretty wacky if you want them to without compromising the integrity of a website, but the same case is not true for the body. Especially if you are creating a lot of content, using an easily readable website becomes of paramount importance.
Here is a list of some of the most popular fonts on gymnastics websites:
How to Get the Best Photos for Your Website
The photos on your website are a window into your gym. They are an opportunity to show potential customers everything that your business has to offer. That is why they make such a big difference on a website.
Blurry, low quality and lazy photos will not do your facility justice. Getting fantastic pictures of your gymnasts, classes, and events will help to show customers how amazing your gym really is.
In a sport full of big smiles, amazing movements, and fantastic talent there is no better way to showcase your gym than through photos and videos. Capture the most important parts of your gym and display them for the whole world to see on your site.
If possible we recommend hiring a professional photographer take the photos for your website. If that is not in the budget then you can also take high-quality photos with a newer phone. Try to capture bright images of smiling faces in your gym. Of course, make sure that you have parent’s permission to use them on your site.
These are all of the most important elements of digital design on your website. It can be tedious to piece out this information and select what is best for your business, but at the end of the day it will be well worth your time. Creating a cohesive brand that truly represents what your business is will stick with you forever. We wish you the best of luck designing out there. If you ever need any further help setting up your gym contact us here and we would be happy to assist you.