Did you know that color and visual elements activate the right brain (emotions), while the printed words activate the left brain (logic)? Color and Typography remain to be the two most important elements in design. When you harmoniously combine them all you attract a quicker attentionx to the subject, reinforce impact and recognition, help in establishing powerful identities and brand, and set a mood.
Today we’ll examine the DOs and DON’Ts in designing with color, and next time we’ll investigate the topic of Typography.
Babies are color-dominant: they are more attracted by color than form. And even though we generally become more form-dominant as we mature, color still plays an important role on how we perceive the message. For instance, why does red always call to attention? Whether you want to tweak the colors of your site, or design an ad or a poster to attract people to your products or services, or even paint the walls in your house, these color essentials should help you in becoming more color-wise.
circleDO take time to learn the color wheel. All colors are made up of three primaries: red, blue and yellow. When you combine the primaries, you get the three secondary colors: orange, purple and green. When you combine each secondary color with its neighboring primary, you get six tertiary colors: yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-purple, red-purple, red-orange. That’s how you get the familiar 12-color wheel.
Every color has a temperature: from the red/yellow side of the spectrum it’s warm, and from the blue/purple side it’s cool. It has an intensity that’s described as saturation or Chroma. Saturation is determined by how much or how little grey a color contains. High intensity colors are pure, bright and vivid. Less saturated colors are muted, soft and subdued. Every color has a value, determined by its lightness or darkness. When planning a color combination, value and saturation are as important as the hue (synonymous with color).
DON’T miss on understanding the basic color wheel rules:
• Most colors look great when combined with the shades in various values or intensities. These color schemes are called Monochromatic, which consist of colors drawn from the same hue.
• Colors also love to hang out with their next door neighbors. Any three neighboring colors on a 12 part color wheel make up an Analogous color scheme. They are always harmonious as they share the same undertones: yellow-green, yellow and yellow-orange. To add a bit more impact to the analogous group, you can expand it with another neighboring color, e.g. orange.
• Opposites attract, even with colors, and that’s how you get Complementary colors: they are the opposite hues on the color wheel that “complete” each other when used as a pair. Warm colors have cool complements and vice versa.