When you want to do more than just guess at colors that "look good,"
learn a bit of color theory. This short tutorial by Jane Rock Kennedy
explains color, how to talk about it, and how to use it. She offers four
approaches to choosing a color scheme: Monochromatic, Complementary, Triadic
and Analogous. Use any of them to give yourself a better start than simply
picking colors at random.
What does a particular color "say" to you? We all have immediate
emotional reactions to color, making color one of the most important choices
a designer makes. Yet our reactions are highly individual. See just how
individual at this site where people choose colors from the web-safe palette,
then talk about them in words (often blunt, sometimes poetic).
One of the fundamental "Truths" of web design is to always use
the web-safe or browser-safe palette. These 216 colors will
reproduce consistently, without dithering, in 8-bit color on all major
browsers & platforms. This article is a brief explanation from the
person widely credited with figuring it out, Lynda Weinman.
of the Websafe Palette?
Hardly anyone has an 8-bit monitor anymore (statistics indicate 5% or
fewer), so we're home free, right? We can use any color and it will look
fine on 16-bit and 24-bit monitors. Oops...not so. Read this article and
despair. Exhaustive tests revealed that only 22 colors are consistent
on all browsers/platforms! A variety of strategies for coping with this
harsh reality are discussed, ranging from #2: Don't sweat it to
#9: Go back to print design.
Logic for Web Site Design
Electronic books in PDF form, the Color
Voodoo series provides cookbook-style
guidance to choosing colors in 50 Symbolic Color Schemes. Color
Logic and Color Symbolism provide more in-depth explanations,
and Color Logic for Web Site Design focuses on... well, you know.
They are concise, well-illustrated and helpful, but on the pricey side
for what you get: a downloadable PDF file that you view on your computer.
$20-$30 per title, with savings on special packages.
Get right to the nuts & bolts of using color on a typical business
web page. A simple template shown in different colors illustrates color
choices. You'll recognize the Amazon.com
colors immediately, demonstrating the effectiveness of deliberate, consistent
use of color.
your own color schemesPalette
Choose four colors plus a text color and see it in a Josef Albers-like
square pattern. When you've found the perfect combination, click a button
to email yourself the hex/RGB values.
Interactively combine background, text and link colors to find a color
scheme that works. Vary the font size to see how size affects readability.
Then simply cut & paste the HTML body tag that defines the colors.
Similar to Palette Man, but lets you choose and view up to 8 colors at
Guide to Color
James Stockton, 1984, Chronicle Books.
This first of a set of five
books shows various printed (CMYK) color combinations. The combinations
increase in complexity from book to book. Volume 3, for example, includes
3, 4, 5, and 6 color combinations in simple and complex patterns. A great
help in choosing printed colors for any type of publication.