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Given that I'm new to graphic design and I'm trying to design the homepage of my website, I can't really understand the reason why I can't make the homepage color "shine".

I'm sorry for the advertising but I'll give a list of websites that I believe have a "shining" color so you can help me in my way to do that:

http://postmarkapp.com/

http://www.taskrabbit.com/

http://rypple.com/

Those 3 sites have a background that "shines". I can't accomplish that.. everything seems light and blurry when I do it. I've tried to look for books, guides.. anything that can help me out!

Thanks!

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    Only common denominator I see is that there is a block of color on top and white in the bottom; I don't understand if it is the shininess you refer to? Postmark has solid yellow color. Taskrabbit and Rybble both have some kind of a radial gradient, though. Is that it? Or what is? (I wouldn't consider those examples "shiny", so something might got lost in the translation.) – Jari Keinänen Apr 29 '11 at 8:28
  • So what makes those designs so appealing? I thought it was color. They look very good. – donald Apr 29 '11 at 8:57
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    It may be more fruitful to show us some of your current designs and we could help you improve. These sites look good for a lot of reasons, but in particular because they were made by skilled designers. To become skilled, we need to know where you are currently, to give you any valuable feedback. – Jonatan Littke Apr 29 '11 at 9:19
  • @donald that's what you should tell us :-) Personally, I see only the Postmark as "appealing", but that might be because I haven't seen a yellow webdesign lately. – Jari Keinänen Apr 29 '11 at 12:33
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    @donald I agree with koiyu. If you give us where you are we can give you places specifically to improve. Besides, what you consider elegant may have more to do with your basic visceral response to it than say, color choices, composition, spacing, or etc. Ultimately what you want to do is try to imitate the things you enjoy at first. Then have people tell you where you missed the mark trying to emulate that style (need more readable fonts, need more uniform spacing, etc). – NateDSaint Apr 29 '11 at 18:41
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You need to start studying Color Theory. It's a very large subject, but you cant start on this great article.

http://webdesign.tutsplus.com/articles/design-theory/an-introduction-to-color-theory-for-web-designers/

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Maybe this will help you out: http://www.knorrpage.de/colormatch.html

A little tool who combines colors that match. Also good knowledge of photoshop (specially the gradiant tool) will help you to make vibrant websites.

Your question is kind off vague, i hope this helps you.

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I tend to play with Adobe Kuler. It's a great way to combine and create color swatches. It also has an archive of swatches others have created from which you can draw inspiration.

You should definitely learn Color theory though, as it gives you a great background for understanding what colors work and why.

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