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Questions tagged [color-theory]

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

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190
votes
15answers
19k 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 ...
65
votes
14answers
5k 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, ...
7
votes
4answers
15k views

How can I make the color white look as white as possible?

In designing websites and applications, I have noticed that when mixing colors with white, certain colors make white look more "greenish" or "purple-ish". This happens to a much greater degree when ...
49
votes
8answers
6k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Can image transparency be calculated automatically from multiple non-transparent samples?

I'm wondering if there is a way to automatically calculate transparent image from set of non-transparent ones. No manual work with individual pixels or manual setting of opacities. Many times I need ...
15
votes
5answers
15k views

Generating a series of colors between two colors

Given a start color and an end color, is it possible to algorithmically generate a range of colors between them? For example, given the light and dark shades of blue/gray at the start and end of the ...
9
votes
5answers
38k 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 ...
62
votes
5answers
58k 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, ...
11
votes
1answer
8k views

What are the pros and cons of using Lab color?

I often see suggestions of converting an image to the Lab color model when editing images in, for example, Photoshop. What are the pros and cons of doing this? Are there specific functions or tasks ...
7
votes
5answers
20k views

How to select colors for target audience based on age?

Are colors and color combinations at all dictated by the age of your target demographic / audience? Since I think most would say yes than how do might I go about selecting appropriate colors for that ...
6
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Derive color palette from given set of colors

I have a set of colors on a webpage where one color is the main one: #864062 <-- main color #853f61 #925071 #541c38 #64304A #eac9d7 Now I would like to derive similar color scheme for any ...
1
vote
4answers
16k views

Darker shade of a given color

What does it mean and how do I get a darker shade of a given color. For example if I have the color R = 53, G = 140, B = 205 or H = 204, S = 74, B = 80, or #358CCD What value do I change in ...
36
votes
10answers
28k 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 ...
21
votes
4answers
17k 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 ...
28
votes
5answers
8k views

Why is pure blue darker than pure green?

If I convert 100% green and blue to grayscale, the blue one becomes about twice as dark. I can see that green looks brighter, but I also want to understand reason behind it. Looking at colors in ...
16
votes
1answer
7k 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. ...
43
votes
5answers
11k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
924 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
479 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
460 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
5k 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 blue,...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

How to create a color of the same brightness and saturation?

Let's consider three colors: Red, Green and Blue. For blue I created a specific shade, something like #F2F5F7. If you see this color, it has a certain level of shade, brightness and saturation value ...
8
votes
6answers
14k views

Why is the opposite of yellow on color wheels sometimes purple and sometimes blue?

Why do traditional color wheels have yellow opposite to violet (purple), whereas graphics programs such as Adobe Photoshop have yellow opposite to blue? Yellow opposite violet (purple): Yellow ...
8
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What's the result of a secondary color mixed with the third primary color?

I am currently developing a puzzle game which requires the player to blend colors in order to solve the puzzles. I am using the RYB model because I think it's the most logical when it comes to ...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

How to determine exact contrast ratio

Because of the recent Web accessibility Law in my region, I need to ensure I'm designing with an appropriate contrast ratio. WCAG says the value of this ratio is 4.5:1 http://www.w3.org/TR/...
7
votes
2answers
519 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 similar ...
7
votes
1answer
705 views

How to choose the right color shades/tints for branding?

I’ve read a lot about color theoretical methods to pick a harmonic color palette (e.g. for branding), but I always wondered how to pick the corresponding shades and tints (see Google’s material design ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

Differences in color conversion (RGB to CMYK) / How to choose Corporate Color

I figured out that there are possibly more than one methods to convert RGB to CMYK. Using Adobe Illustrator CS6 (Mac) the color conversion is completely different as the conversion via Wolfram Alpha. ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

How to pick and differentiate a flat color?

When I am using Color Picker in Photoshop or Illustrator I am unable to get a Flat color. What are the things or basic points that I should keep in mind so that I am able to judge a color whether it ...
2
votes
2answers
224 views

Determining text color on top of a selectable background color

I have a requirment to have users be able to select button colors, I want that according to the background color they select, an appropriate, contrasted button text color will be determined ...
102
votes
7answers
19k views

Who first discovered CMYK?

It has been used for colour printing for many, many years, but who (and when) first discovered that a bright pink colour (magenta), a light blue (cyan), yellow and black can be mixed to create almost ...
24
votes
4answers
12k 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. Here'...
15
votes
6answers
1k 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
2answers
2k 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 provide ...
11
votes
2answers
7k 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 red ...
9
votes
2answers
5k 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?
8
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
8k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
12
votes
7answers
18k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
878 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 ...
11
votes
7answers
12k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
7k views

How do you find an inverse colour?

In printing, CMY are the inverse colours of RGB (possibly not in the right order!) and in light a colour negative is made up of the inverse colours of what was projected onto it. How exactly do you ...
4
votes
1answer
2k 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 #...
9
votes
3answers
17k 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
1answer
273 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
14k views

How to find a good background color for a 2-color logo

I'm putting together a small flier for my company. I am adjusting a template that I purchased on the web to suit my needs. My logo has 2 colors: blue #263B79, which is the main one, and orange #...
6
votes
2answers
665 views

Is there a standard for color wheels?

I am aware of two common types of color wheels - RYB and RGB, but it seems that even two wheels of the same type can look different in different software. Let's take two popular online services, ...