Colour theory is an important principle to learn for those who are just starting to learn formal design principles. It’s difficult to decide on a particular colour scheme that suits a particular project. With the help of some knowledge in the colour theory and available tools online, you will soon be able to help your designer, choose the colours for your company logo intelligently. This in turns helps web development professionals like us here at 1768degrees.com.
So what really is colour theory? No, it’s more than the colour wheel you perhaps came across when you were in primary or secondary school (although useful!). The truth is that it covers a lot of things. At the most basic level, it is the interaction of colours in a design through the application of contrast, complementation, and vibrancy. To be able to delve deeper into the theory, it’s crucial to tackle the three big words.
Contrast in colours helps ease eye strain. It also helps to focus the user’s attention by dividing all the page elements. Its most prevalent example is the selection of text and background colour. The rule of thumb here is to make it simple and legible. The best practice is to choose a light background colour with a dark colour for the text.
This is the biggest and most common design fail we see across sites, owners come to us with complaints about. If your customer is struggling to read your site, of course they wont be buying your services. (Unless you are selling glasses perhaps!)
Coupled with a highly readable text, it is through contrast that specific elements of a page are easily noticed. It’s the same principle when you highlight a sentence or paragraph on a book. By using different contrasting colours, the viewer’s attention will be directed to specific page elements.
Without contrast, our design team won’t be able to distinguish the beauty from the beast, in the first place.
Complementation is all about how we see colours in relation to other colours. When colours are of the opposite sides of the spectrum, they make people think of colours as visually appealing by providing a pleasurable medium that the eyes can fall into. Instead of causing an eye strain, what it lends to your vision is balance. Complementation can lead you to new and more sophisticated frontiers of colour combinations and designs.
Vibrancy in colours dictates the emotions that are illustrated by your design. Brighter colours can make the viewer feel more energetic by simply looking at the design. This makes it effective for an ad or when you are trying to elicit an emotional response from the audience. Darker shades are more relaxing; they let the mind focus on other elements.
Our associations with colour are deeply ingrained in our culture that we find it ridiculous to take a wreath of red roses to a funeral.
Colour and Their Emotional Implications
No one can deny the link between colours and emotions. The truth is that the human race has been interested in understanding the psychological impact of colours ever since the Middle Ages. Remember that the right colours create the right moods and appropriate atmosphere. Culture has a major role to play in colour definitions and associations. In western psychology, however, the following colours have their corresponding meanings as such
Red means power, youth, importance.
Red is seen as power and passion. It also attracts the most attention which is why it is the most favored colour for warnings and important reminders. However, if you overdo it or use it in an inappropriate setting, it can incite anger and overstimulation.
Green means stability, growth, financial and environmental themes.
This colour is the bridge between cold and warm colours. Green has relaxing effects like that of blue although green still has some of the energizing characteristics of yellow. It creates a scene of stability, balance, and tranquility.
Purple means luxury, romance, and mystery.
Historically, purple has been associated with royalty and luxury. It suggests lavishness and wealth. That’s why it’s the favorite choice of fashion and luxury items. The lighter shade could mean romance while the darker shade appears to be more mysterious and luxurious.