Using Color - Chapter 2 from Web Graphics for Non-Designers
Web Graphics for Non-Designers
Chapter 2: Using Color
Color performs a significant function in our world, providing an effective means of communicating a message. The skin markings on animals, and interpretations of these, influence thinking and alter actions. In everyday life, the color of lights, signs, and other signals give us compelling directions. On the Web, circumstances are much the same.
"color is a sensation and not a substance."
In the hands of a web designer, color is a powerful tool. With a grounding in fundamental color theory, it is a competitive advantage and an asset to clients. Strong reactions to color from the audience of a site can assist in such things as brand confidence, sales growth, and readership. Attaining or improving on these crucial goals can bring promotions, awards, and referrals of new clients.
A well-considered color scheme is frequently the difference between a reasonable web site and a great web site. It can also mean the difference between a great site and an unusable site, if the scheme used is too outrageous. To ignore the benefits of intelligent use of color is to limit youself as a professional, and to also limit the sites that you produce.
Color branding is a distinct afterthought for a great number of sites on the Web today. While for the vast majority of sites there is not always the budget, time allowance, or skill available to devote an army to brand management, ensuring that your color choices are inline with the style and goals of your branding is a quick and straightforward step forward that should not be ignored.
For some with a background in artistic pursuits, harmonious color selection comes instinctively, while for others it can be an unnatural process. The following guide to basic color theory and color schemes will give the uninitiated a chance to catch up. Also in this chapter, you will learn how to choose an appropriate color scheme and how to use color on the Web (and the various traps to watch for), as well as the importance of color consistency.
With this knowledge, and drawing inspiration from everyday life, creating attractive sites is achievable.
Created: December 2, 2002
Revised: December 16, 2002