Questions about color mixing guidance and the visual impacts of specific color combinations.

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101
votes
11answers
6k views

Tips and sources for beginning designers

Thanks to the internet, graphic design and programming are becoming increasingly overlapping fields. As a programmer, I constantly find myself needing basic knowledge of Graphic Design, but have ...
30
votes
8answers
1k views

Is there a good resource or tool to help build a palette/color scheme around colors I select?

No matter how nice the composition, flow, and lines of my design are, if I am not copying directly from nature, I have a very difficult time picking a decent color scheme. It either looks too drab, ...
30
votes
8answers
2k views

Sources for Color Theory or Psychology of Color

Does anyone have a recommendation for a good book/blog/forum that focuses on design principles such as psychology of color, specifically where it relates to picking a color palette for a communication ...
21
votes
4answers
5k views

Why is it that this color gradient is so much more attractive than others?

I've been playing around with some gradients on a site I'm developing, and I'm really interested in the psychology or other meaning behind why certain colors appear more attractive than others. ...
10
votes
4answers
392 views

Do high-content areas of a website need to be white/light-colored?

Many websites that are designed to be easy to read (eg. nytimes.com or ilovetypography.com) use white backgrounds with black fonts to make the content easy to read. Is it necessary to only use light ...
10
votes
3answers
525 views

How do I work with a logo that has what seems like too many colors?

The company I'm designing a site for has an logo that I must work with. All of my ideas for standard color palettes and layouts are challenged by this logo.. Most [good looking] logos I've worked with ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

How to make a color appear the same on different backgrounds?

Background on color perception: Due to the nature of the human eye and visual processing by the brain, there's an optical illusion that the same color will look different depending on the background. ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Which is easier on the eyes: dark-on-light or light-on-dark?

While working on my latest website, I started actually wondering if what I learned in grade school was true. I've been taught that programs like Word default to use a white background with black text ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Why do yellow and red look good together in this photo?

I've been looking into complementary colors and appealing color schemes, and I couldn't find any which suggested that this shade of yellow would look good with this shade of red. However, the picture ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

How to calculate other colors with the same perceived lightness as a given gray value?

This is related to a question I asked on tex.stackexchange, which has a color aspect. The result of that question is the following image: I have drawn a series of gray squares on the left, with a ...
7
votes
3answers
519 views

What colors are good to avoid eye fatigue in dark environments?

I'm working on a program that requires a dark interface, because it's mostly used in dark rooms. After some thought I decided to add a light version too and let the user swap them, but both still have ...
7
votes
1answer
110 views

Is there a metric for “apparent” chroma?

I'm not sure this is the right place to ask, but is anyone aware of a metric for apparent chroma? Now I understand that "chroma" and "chrominance" are very overloaded terms, so to clarify, I ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the relationship between hue, saturation and value?

I see people adding color on top of a gray-scale drawing and their colors look great, but when I do myself, the colors look terrible (dirty, not the color I seem to pick from the color wheel). People ...
6
votes
1answer
170 views

Tips for using poor colours well

This is less of a question with a definitive answer and more of a request for some tips. I am hoping that some of you may had had this problem yourself and can offer some advice. I have been ...
6
votes
4answers
313 views

If these colors all have the same lightness, then why does my brain tell me some are lighter than others?

My human brain has a certain sensation of how "bright" a color is. More formally there is Lightness: Human vision has a nonlinear perceptual response to brightness: a source having a luminance ...
6
votes
2answers
177 views

Name of illusion phenomenon of bordering colors

Look at this picture: All the squares are filled with solid color without any gradient, but at the borders between the colors we see as if gradients were used. In the past I tried to create ...
6
votes
3answers
495 views

How to calculate the best type colour for a random background colour?

I might need to present content at multiple levels depending on the distance of the observer to a display. Let's say from far away the user perceives a flat colour, but from a close distance the user ...
6
votes
3answers
596 views

Designing interesting looking websites in greyscale, minimal tones

I know a business that wanted a website to match their brand, and it would seem that they are allergic to colour. I think designs in greyscale can look amazing, especially in print, but it feels near ...
6
votes
2answers
15k views

Good color to go with black & white design?

What's a good color to go with a black and white design, if there will only be one color on the site? I've tried using color palettes but they're not very helpful, because if the first two colors are ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I select a high-contrast color set for a map?

Obviously, black & white are the highest contrast. I also want 2 sets of colors, so that regions on the map can be colored with good contrast. For instance, one region might be red, another ...
6
votes
7answers
2k views

Is there a good way to establish a Green-Yellow-Red colour scheme?

Basic colour theory tells us that a colour palette of Green, Yellow and Red is a laughably ugly, they are colours that clash. If we take Green as the prominent colour, the analogous colours that go ...
6
votes
1answer
850 views

Color harmonies math:triada, complement, analogous, monochromatic

I need help in color math. I have one main color and i want to know how i can calculate other colors of chosen harmony. I need such color harmonies: triada, complement, analogous, monochromatic. Any ...
6
votes
2answers
460 views

How do you avoid bands of prominent color in gradients?

So this is more scientific visualization than graphic design, but I think the theory is the same. In colormaps used for visualizing data, there are often bands of color that stick out when they ...
6
votes
2answers
608 views

Is there a single text color that is acceptable on both dark and light background?

Is there a single text color that, when used on either dark or light background, produces a readable (or at least tolerable) output? If it makes it easier, constraints can be put on the hue, ...
5
votes
2answers
97 views

Studies about people's reactions to fonts and color schemes?

I'm a pianist, composer, and teacher, and I'm building a website to promote myself. I want the site to convey both a sense of elegance and old-world discipline, but also sleek modernity. I was going ...
5
votes
1answer
185 views

What are some techniques in designing around a colorful logo?

I usually have to make websites based around logos that are very colorful (4-5 colors). Let's say the colors of the logo is similar to the logos of Chrome, eBay, Joomla, MSN. What are some of the ...
5
votes
1answer
173 views

Given a number, how to find that many colours that are well-distinguishable?

I'm interested in getting an method for obtaining n well-distinguishable colours, where n is just a given number. The purpose is for it to be implemented in an algorithmic way. I have read other ...
4
votes
6answers
709 views

Improved splash screen design

The splash screen at the moment for my application is far from catching, but I'm no graphic designer and apart from the fact it looks bland and boring, I can't really work out what I need to do in ...
4
votes
5answers
363 views

Colors in Website Design

It's not a kind of question but rather it's a kind of thing which effects a lot in web designing. What are some important rules to follow for making a color combination in web design? I always fail ...
4
votes
3answers
594 views

How to design sites with dark colours (red and black palette)

The graphic designer for my club created a red and black logo (major color is black highlighted with red). Everyone thinks it looks great, and I agree. The issue lies with designing the site. We've ...
4
votes
3answers
338 views

A selection of colors that spans the range of the RGB color spectrum?

Below is a screenshot of a small application I am building. I would like to cover the most significant colors from whole color spectrum, but I am missing lots of colors. I don't get the intended ...
4
votes
3answers
663 views

Should your website and logo have the same color scheme

I am working on a completely new blog from scratch. New logo, branding, house style, everything needs to be done. Now the logo that is designed for the website has 3 colors, brown, green and black. ...
4
votes
2answers
241 views

How do two different colors match in strength?

I am not a designer, just an average man with no business in graphic design. But sometimes I see two colors in an ad or in the clothing shop and I can say that they are a perfect match. As if they ...
4
votes
3answers
98 views

How about a fourth primary additive color?

I'm currently reading Color Design Workbook: A Real World Guide to Using Color in Graphic Design, but it's a bit short on color theory basics. I was wondering: in CMYK, black is added to the three ...
4
votes
2answers
963 views

What colors stimulate learning

What colorschemes do you think stimulate learning and attention seeking without being distracting?
4
votes
2answers
798 views

Looking for suggestions for making type more readable with a drop shadow

I want to show a menu with indented items on top of a black background. I tried a lot of colors but can't find the right ones. I'm using css property text-shadow: text-shadow: 1px 1px #191919 , -1px ...
4
votes
2answers
364 views

How to maintain color consistency across a website

I am a web developer struggling with design issues. I have a blunt eye for colors and my design skills suck (I try to improve though). I'm having issues with the feel of particular pages, I wonder if ...
4
votes
2answers
189 views

How to choose a color palette for a website

We're completely color illiterate on our team. Our internal site has a lot of black and white, but I've heard that too much contrast is bad. And people don't respond well to the look of our site. ...
4
votes
3answers
229 views

What factors do these colors share?

Colors below seem to share some kind of "tone" together. For example, colors like this or this seem too bright to fit into this group. What exactly makes this "tone"? I want some technical ...
4
votes
3answers
79 views

Can adjusting color (or grayscale) properties of an image affect its visibility in daylight?

I'm trying to find ways to make images more visible under daylight (i.e., when daylight reflects off the image screen/print). For my project, I want to display digital images on an electronic display ...
4
votes
1answer
247 views

Is there an equation to easily convert a color to its matching color in another hue?

I am trying to design a site with a couple color schemes. I am looking for a way to make color schemes that match mathematically. For example, I know that #FF0000 matches perfectly with #00FF00 and ...
4
votes
1answer
285 views

Designing GUI for mobile apps working in bright sunlight environment

I'm going to create GUI for a mobile app that will work in bright sunlight environment (inside a car so it will not be fully exposed to sunlight) and the usability and visibility of certain GUI ...
3
votes
4answers
3k views

What are the true complementary colors and their values ?

Being a webdesigner I learned that Green= 00FF00 Blue= 0000FF Red= FF0000 Yellow=FFFF00 Correct ? And color theory says that Red is the complementary color of Green. Yet when I use ...
3
votes
2answers
545 views

What is a good illustration (or example) of the Helmholtz–Kohlrausch effect?

While reading on the Lab color space, I stumbled onto the Wikipedia page for the Helmholtz–Kohlrausch effect. I can honestly say that, while all the words in that page make sense individually, I ...
3
votes
4answers
393 views

How to find complementary colors

I often find myself trying to determine which colour is the "complementary" one of (or would nicely fit with) two colours imposed by the client brand. At times, only one colour is imposed, and I want ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there a worldwide applicable color-emotion chart?

Colors are used to represent emotions; especially in advertising. People have even come up with color-emotion charts like this one: Yet, depending on the country, some colors have different ...
3
votes
3answers
181 views

How to make red icon on gray background less jarring?

My app has a button to record or play videos. When there are problems with this feature, we notify the user by overlaying an exclamation point. This "red !" UI works OK elsewhere in the app but on ...
3
votes
4answers
853 views

In color theory, what are primary and secondary colors?

I went through an article on color connotations and it did not explain why colors are grouped as primary and secondary so I don't know if it is important to know the reason why we have: warm color ...
3
votes
2answers
272 views

How can I make this footer “more corporate”?

I created a footer for a dental lab. I was trying to keep it warm and inviting, but now being told it "looks too casual" or "looks too simple". I heard the blues and grays are "too subtle" So before ...
3
votes
4answers
209 views

Color Theory: Is there a measurement of “colorfulness”?

I was adding some colors to a Windows application. A column was going to be colored in order to indicate groupings to the user. So in Photoshop i first selected some colors to use. Being ...