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125

Stay Simple - Don't try to do anything too fancy or adventurous at first. Get the basics down first, then you can start experimenting. Don't try to emulate the Star Trek computer interface. Be Consistent - A consistent design is part of the foundation of a good design. Keep track of your margins, sizes, and placement and maintain them throughout the design. ...


35

The main difference between the initial example and your experiments is that the original does not cover nearly as drastic a change in hue. Going from golden-yellow to magenta/pink is about a 1/6 turn on the colour wheel. In contrast, your experiments (orange-red to blue-violet, blue-violet to yellow-green, and cyan to blue-violet) are all more than 1/4 ...


32

Edward H Adelson created a Checker shadow illusion in 1995. From wikipedia: The checker shadow illusion is an optical illusion published by Edward H. Adelson, Professor of Vision Science at MIT in 1995.1 The image depicts a checkerboard with light and dark squares. The optical illusion is that the area of the image labeled A appears to be a darker ...


31

One useful tool is Paletton (previously known as Color Scheme Designer): You specify a starting color and a type of color scheme and it will generate a palette for you and allow you to modify that palette. The nice thing about this tool is that you can see how it chooses the other colors based on the color you select. There is also a tool to simulate how ...


30

Human perception isn't the same for all colors. Our eyes have different color pigments which absorb different frequencies of light. There's a bit about this over in Physics.SE: Why do green lasers appear brighter and stronger than red and blue lasers? From this question a chart is presented that shows the absorption of different frequencies of light. The ...


30

It's a rather simple optical illusion, really--the colours of the environment influence how you see the dress's colours. I could elaborate, but xkcd's Randall Munroe has explained it with just a single picture: The two dresses in this illustration have the exact same colours: #879abd for the blue and #715e3a for the gold. edit: To actually answer Ryan's ...


29

Since you are asking "why are they perceived differently", here is another (very geeky) thing to consider: the perceived luminescence of an RGB colour. This is hard to apply, so take my answer almost just as trivia : ) The luminescence value of a colour of indicates how "lit up" you perceive it. If the colour would be a light bulb, a colour with low ...


26

I always prefer a very dark grey to pure #000. The choice might look personal, but here's the theory behind it: There are very little 100% black things in nature. All black objects you see have some for of light reflected on them, shadows are never completely black. When you #000 in a design, it overpowers the other colors. It attracts too much ...


22

It's a matter of whether your brain thinks it's a dark dress under warm (yellow) lighting, or a light dress in a shadow. (I take no credit for the above image) For the record, here is the actual dress. The black shows up as gold-tinted in the picture because of the massive over-exposure under a warm (yellow) light.


21

The science of readability is by no means new, and some of the best research comes from advertising works in the early 80s. This information is still relevant today. First up is this quote from a paper titled “Improving the legibility of visual display units through contrast reversal”. In present time we think of contrast reversal meaning black-on-white, ...


21

These are all interesting answers, but a tad esoteric. The reason is rather simple. Contrast is good for readability, but too much can be considered unnecessary at best, and detrimental at worst. Nearly all printed text is black on white paper...but rarely is it pure white paper. It's often an off-white. And even then, because it's printed, it's using ...


19

Jim Krause's design basics index gave me a very good summary of the basics of composition, color and type. I wasn't a huge fan of most of his own examples, but they illustrate his points really well and he touches on a few valuable things I haven't seen mentioned much elsewhere. And perhaps most importantly, reading it made me really excited to go out and ...


19

Don't despair: the perception of colours is influenced heavily by contrast with surrounding colour and by context cues, so, even when you have to work with colours you hate, there are always ways of influencing how they are perceived. Here's a few things you can potentially work with: Contrast. Where different shades collide, they are perceived as more ...


19

According to Google, blue is: Blue is the color of the sky and sea. It is often associated with depth and stability. It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven. Blue is considered beneficial to the mind and body. All good things, and generally things that companies want to be associated with. Here is ...


18

Smashing Magazine did a 3-part series last year on Color Theory. You might find it relevant: Part 1: The Meaning of Color Part 2: Understanding Concepts And Terminology Part 3: Creating Your Own Color Palettes


18

Normally I wouldn't post in a question that has been answered as succinctly as this one, but I do think there is a bit of information to add here. Coming from a graphic design background, there is also the concept of "warm" and "cool" grays. These are grays that have a higher presence of warm or cool colours in their mix respectively. #111, #222, #333 - ...


16

There's sometimes a slight overlap between web development and web design, but I don't think web developers should try to be full-time designers unless they're willing to put as much effort into it as they did learning to program. It's not something that you can just dabble in on weekends and be good at. If this is so you can learn to be your own web ...


15

Don't confuse "match" with "harmonise". There's a big difference. These colours don't match (they aren't the same). They do harmonise. To understand the difference, and my answer (which I promise I will get to!), we have to take a slight detour into what colour is. One of the most unfortunate things about describing colour is that key terms with ...


15

Here are a couple of things you could do... Stroke the black: Use an outer Glow, this may not work depending on the rest of the design: Stroke all of them, this is what I think I would do:


15

It's a reflection that a lot of logos are blue is all. Blues and Reds tend to be the popular colors these days. And, really, they've been popular colors for logos for a long time. In addition, I'm not sure what you define as a successful web startup, but note that today's startup world is mostly a bunch of people pumping out as many ideas as they can as ...


15

Your observation is correct. The lightness (the human perception of brightness) of green is larger than the lightness of red. In your example, when you shift the sRGB value 214,73,55 to 55,214,73 (i.e. you rotate the hue from 7° to 127°), the brightness remains constant at 84 % but the lightness is increased. The original sRGB value 214,73,55 corresponds to ...


14

You need to read about a good book of color theory to understand at least the general principle, for example on what is Primary and Secondary color, Complementary colors etc... otherwise you will not get the importance of some palette choices that you will make. On the web my favourite at the moment one is: Kuler of Adobe , as well I used to use ...


14

Dark backgrounds are generally considered to be less readable than light backgrounds. A sufficient level of contrast is also very important to readability. In general, I would recommend dark backgrounds for designs that have a large amount of media content, but very little text. Darker backgrounds can really make photographs stand out and you'll find many ...


14

I'm a programmer myself and for me the following books where very helpful for me: The Non-Designer's Design Book - Robin Williams - This books covers the basics of graphic design. Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain - Betty Edwards The book for developing your drawing skills. The Humane Interface - Jef Raskin This book provokes some thoughts about user ...


12

Any colour works with black and white. Any colour you pick will be effectively an accent colour. This gives you free reign to pick what ever colour will be most effective for the communication of your design intent. Red is often used with a black and white palette since it is both a bold, powerful colour with a huge number of associated connotations. this ...


12

"Greyscale" is a print specification basically. Yes it removes color, but the "Greyscale" mode is only really needed for printing. Everything on screen is RGB even if it looks grey. In this respect, when you use the Mode > Greyscale command, Photoshop ignores the RGB data and relies on CMYK color data and your color profile settings to convert. If you ...


12

Can't speak for your other two examples, but according to a New Yorker article written in 2010, Mark Zuckerberg chose blue for Facebook not for any technical meaning or symbolism in the color but because he is red-green colorblind, and as he said in that article, “Blue is the richest color for me; I can see all of blue.”


11

Simply use the color picker in an app like Photoshop. Set the dialog to use the H or Hue option and find a starting color. Then to get color of similar value, move the slider up and down the color bar. This will keep saturation and brightness the same, and only change the Hue value. Don't move the circle in the large color pane. There are also other ...


10

Perhaps not relevant to all cases, but for web prgrammers one of the biggest things that stands out to me, which perhaps bridges the gap a little bit, is to learn CSS inside and out, as being able to design well doesn't mean anything if you can't integrate it into your project that you are creating.


10

This is the coolest infographic I've come across that fits your description. It's slightly unintuitive to extract information from, but it is a pretty interesting way to show the different interpretations of color in different cultures. Infographic via visual.ly



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