Best Ways To Use Duotone Images In Your Next Web Design Project

Music streaming service Spotify may have delivered its goods during its 2015 campaign Year in the Music, but they unleashed a new design trend that has become one of the most sought-after visual treats in websites. I’m talking about duotone images.

Recent ad campaigns by Adidas and Mailchimp have also used duotones, which has gained traction in the web design industry.

What is Duotone?

Duotone images are visual static media made up of two colors. These images use two shades of similar color, or black and another tint. This is not an entirely new concept, really – in fact, this visual style was already being used in the print industry. Using an image editor such as Adobe Photoshop and a two-color gradient tool such as colofilter.css can help create a duotone effect.

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When used on websites, duotone images provide a modern feel and an edge against the competition. By pairing bright contrasting colors, websites have more visual impact and aesthetic appeal.

Effective Ways To Use Duotone In Your Website

Here are some ways to use duotone images in your website so that you can maximize their beauty and function:

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As A Dominant Image

Duotones can be used to create a header or featured image for your pages. You can use it to attract attention and use plenty of contrast to highlight the image.

As A Color Palette

Simple is always effective, and this is especially true with duotone images. The user will not find this type of image too visually overwhelming. Duotones work best on websites that have a formal look as you would not feel attacked by loud and varied colors.

As a Way to Increase Readability

Duotone images can be used as a color stabilizer to give your text plenty of space and contrast. Using duotones as an overlay can help flatten different colors in an image, allowing a single-color text to be placed anywhere on the image and still become readable.

While they may not appear as bright and vibrant as full-color photos, duotone images helps to create a highly readable backdrop.

As an Accent

Although duotone images can be more effective in large images, they also produce a great effect on smaller spaces. You can consider using duotone accents in the header menu as well as in secondary images and certain types of content.

Using duotone on smaller areas allows more flexibility if you feel intimated by it or uncertain how it will work on your website. You can pair it with multiple colors for different elements in the design.

Duotone is also effective for card-style elements, as an overlay for video links, or as emphasis on a specific call-to-action. Likewise, it can be effective for minimalist or black-and-white color schemes due to the color contrast they create.

As a Background

Duotone images will look good as a background for your website. Use it for your brand colors or integrate a trendy hue into your design without the need to make a full-scale overhaul.


If you want a website that stands out and attracts attention, you may want to consider the duotone trend. Make sure that your choice to do duotone images is for the benefit of your site visitors and not merely for your pleasure.