As a web designer seeking to offer a message to your audience, you will find that you will need to understand the psychological effects, cultural influence and gender issues associated with colors.
The appropriate use of color is a significant piece to visual communication. Color can be just as, if not more, persuasive to the human eye as imagery and text. Therefore, the colors you choose for your web page need to be appropriate to your overall message.
The influence of color on human emotion is a complex relationship involving numerous factors:
Each element of the page can have a different color specific to its function on the page. But, together they must be a cohesive family of colors.
The background is the backdrop or canvas against which all of the content and information appears. It should make an impression on the viewers and relate to the story but not detract from the action on the stage.
Your text must be easy to read! Pick a color that reads well on the background you have chosen.
Most typefaces were designed for black ink on white paper. So, shapes, proportions and stroke weights of their characters must have a high contrast between letter and background. This serves to increase readability.
The user should be aware of the navigation but not distracted; non-distracting color from the palette should be used.
Establishing rules for navigation via color will help overall consistency.
With colors you can set a mood, attract attention, or make a statement. You can use color to energize, or to cool down. By selecting the right color scheme, you can create an ambiance of elegance, warmth or tranquility, or you can convey an image of playful youthfulness. Color can be your most powerful design element if you learn to use it effectively.
Creating a color palette from scratch can be difficult at best. I recommend using a pre-existing palette to start with.
COLOURlovers™ is a resource that monitors and influences color trends. COLOURlovers gives the people who use color – whether for ad campaigns, product design, or in architectural specification – a place to check out a world of color, compare color palettes, submit news and comments, and read color related articles and interviews
Once you have a color palette established, you can create tints & shades from the colors to expand the palette:
Starting with the branded color scheme and creating tints & tones will greatly expand your palette.
Let’s take a look at some examples: