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

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155
votes
12answers
14k views

Tips and resources 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 ...
45
votes
11answers
3k 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, ...
39
votes
8answers
3k 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 ...
38
votes
6answers
7k views

What is the purpose of using a very dark color for text instead of a pure black?

I have seen that some web designs implement an almost black font color (hex #001c00) in their designs instead of a pure black color (hex #000). Does the design actually benefit from this or is this ...
34
votes
10answers
23k views

How can the “dress” optical illusion be accurately reproduced on other images?

By now pretty sure the entire world is familiar with the "dress" optical illusion as it will one day be known. My question is how can this illusion be reproduced on other images? For those living in ...
29
votes
4answers
27k views

How does one generate a palette similar to the ones in Google's material design?

Google's material design specifications have sets of colour palettes: Starting with a base primary colour, which they designate as "500", they then have a range of incremental steps of shade, ...
22
votes
4answers
8k 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. ...
22
votes
5answers
5k views

Why is pure blue darker than pure green?

If I convert hundred percent green and blue to grayscale then blue one becomes like twice as dark. I can see that green looks brighter, but I also want to understand reason behind it. Looking at ...
19
votes
2answers
16k 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 ...
18
votes
7answers
2k views

Better ways to visualise a box of uncertain colour when the possible colours are complementary?

I try to create an illustration containing certain items represented by coloured boxes (exhibits 1 and 2), with the colour distinguishing different types of items. Assume that the look of these ...
15
votes
4answers
4k views

Should I use company's logo color as a website color even if its bad?

I'm building a website for the company that I'm in, but the marketing department, isn't giving me much room with the colors. They say that we need to use the #2DCCD3 everywhere because it's in the ...
13
votes
5answers
883 views

How to reinforce intuitive design decisions?

I am not a professional designer, meaning: I have not studied Graphic Design at university or similar. I wanted to, but the numerous clauses didn't allow it. On the other hand, I'm actually doing ...
13
votes
1answer
5k 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. ...
12
votes
5answers
4k views

Many successful web startups have blue branding: is this a reflection of something?

Looking at the first page of the most successful Web-based startups of the last 10 years (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), we see the extensive usage of the color blue. In terms of the graphic ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Light text on a dark background vs. dark text on a light background: which allows the reader to keep focusing for longer?

I did not want to get to the endless war of dark-on-light vs light-on-dark, but recently I discovered something interesting: while light-on-dark text is still less tiring for my eyes (and I also ...
11
votes
4answers
16k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Displaying Black on a Black Background

(First post, yay!) Im working on a fashion lookbook for print and I'm displaying product colours on a black background, but what can I do for when I need to display black on black? Example: As you ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I convert a red color scheme to a green one without making it look “brighter”

The current color scheme for my desktop uses a red palette. I would like to change it into something green instead so I went through the color scheme configuration file and "rotated" all color values ...
10
votes
4answers
698 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
789 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
2answers
3k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

How is color used in document design?

What kinds of problems are faced when designing documents that the use of color is often a solution to? What kinds of problems are faced when actually using color in documents? I'm trying to ...
9
votes
2answers
4k views

How to select colours that match each other?

Looking at the colours in this logo, it is clear that the colours match each other. How do I find an orange and purple that match the same colour scheme? I suppose the colour in the 'R' is yellow? ...
9
votes
4answers
613 views

Regular colors vs Muted colors

What are muted colors? How do I create muted colours? How do I convert standard colors to muted colors? Why do muted colours look the way they do? Why are they different? Here is a bunch of colors ...
9
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
150 views

How to find four equally contrasting colours that are appealing to the eye?

I have a plot for a scientific argument I'm trying to make. There are four colours that should be (roughly) equally contrasting with two others. ie, if the colours are A-D, then A and B should be ...
8
votes
2answers
355 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
42k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
4k 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
4answers
7k views

Given a color scheme, how do I apply to website design?

Just so there is something concrete to discuss, say I have this color scheme: http://www.lavishbootstrap.com/?image_url=http://design-seeds.com/palettes/12/SpringTones505.jpg There are many articles ...
8
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
4k 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, ...
7
votes
4answers
625 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
321 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
3k 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
2answers
470 views

Simulate Reading Mode on webpage

Latest UPDATE : After days of searching without a single conclusive (not even close) option or study regarding the topic I decided to create my own survey to narrow it down. This survey is only for ...
7
votes
1answer
172 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
2answers
228 views

Express meaning with color temperature

Many times I have seen an introduction to color theory in design, however most of them were focused in their chromatic nature. Recently I was thinking that color temperature, brightness, ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Contrast vs. balance in a logo

I'm not a designer. I'm making a new logo for an online community I'm a part of. I always liked bright colors, but not saturated enough to hurt the eyes. I'm usually using the HUSL palette to verify ...
6
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
7answers
7k 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
2answers
684 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
1k 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
1answer
321 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

List of RGB quaternary (and beyond) colors?

I'm trying to organize a list of colors for a puzzle game. I can find reliable lists (names and colors values) of the primary, secondary, and tertiary RGB colors - but I can't find any reliable list ...
6
votes
1answer
602 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
431 views

What is the process for creating a color palette like this?

So, this is a screen grab of Web site designed professionally. I'm particularly interested in understanding how the designer arrived at this palette. Arguably, the palette works, but I can't figure ...
5
votes
5answers
346 views

Which colors should I use to indicate higher values in a graph?

Which color should I use to indicate higher intensity, frequency etc.? I mean, most of the the graphs I've seen use red to indicate high values (intensity, frequency, height) and purple to indicate ...