Understand Your Color

Understand Your Color
 by: Lala C. Ballatan

Any design on a web application involves the effective input of color scheme in order to impress web surfers, instill a certain image or identity associated with the kind of web site it represents, and add impact to the web pages. However, very few possess the talent and skill of developing a harmonious color scheme. There are even very talented Web programmers who can develop just about any kind of application, but, for the life of them could not understand anything about color schemes.

If you ever wondered where designers get the almost-mystical ability to declare if a color is or is not ?working? or effective, then this article is for you. It may also help other web surfers, web design enthusiasts, novice and even professional web designers who are interested in elevating their understanding of color schemes and color selection for Website design.

Actually, not all people, especially painters who work with colors have the uncanny knack or natural ability with understanding color harmony. You can also acquire this skill from a basic understanding of color theory.

We challenge you to think like a painter that use a subtractive color method. This method is in stark contrast with the light additive method in your beloved computer. This means that, as more of each color is added, you get closer to white light. By telling you to think like a painter, think about colors as combinations of red, yellow, and blue, and realize that, as you add colors, you get closer to black.

A simple color wheel is the most critical tool you can use in order to mix colors and eventually gain a painter?s way of thinking regarding to color and color combinations. You also have to know the principles in understanding the three main sets of color schemes from the color wheel. These three main sets are analogous, complimentary, and monochromatic.

Analogous - adjacent to each other on the color wheel. If you pick any range of colors between two points of either triangle on our color wheel (ie yellow to red, orange to violet, red to blue, etc), you will have an analogous color scheme.

Complementary - consist of colors located opposite each other on the color wheel, such as green and red, yellow and violet, or orange and blue. But don?t ever commit the error of placing complementary colors on top of one another. Some colors are also not directly analogous but are not complementary either. Watch out for colors like cyan and red.

Monochromatic ? is when you create an imaging using only tints and shades of one color.

Many variations of these three color schemes has been coordinated since. But these three are the foundation principles. Basically, in order to understand color and come up with nice color combinations for Web design and application, just keep your eyes open and befriend the color wheel! -30-

This article was posted on March 23, 2005

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