Week 2 Summary

September 9, 2012 at 10:56 pm (Web Design)

Aside from some HTML review, Dreamweaver file management and FTP usage, this week’s main focus was COLORWe examined color psychology, theory and schemes to with emphasis on their use in web design. 

Color Psychology 

According to author Jason Beaird, every color(s) has “emotional and behavioral effects” related to it, which are shaped by cultural perspectives and personal experiences.  The traditional color associations are as follows:

Red: stimulation, drama, passion, indulgence (dark shades)

Orange: energy, happiness, enthusiasm, creativity, emphasis, metabolism stimulation

Yellow: visibility, happiness, energy; too much is overwhelming

Green: money, nature, growth, freshness, hope, stability, education

Blue: openness, intelligence, faith, calm, appetite reduction, bad luck, trouble, association with sea/sky

Purple: royalty, power, wealth, extravagance

White: perfection, light, purity, cleanliness

Black: evil, death, power, elegance, strength

Color Theory

Color theory involves how colors are created and combined.  The original color wheel, put forth by historical theorists, is the RYB model.  Red, yellow and blue are the primary colors, which can be combined to make secondary colors (orange, green, violet).  These too are combined to make tertiary colors (vermillion, marigold, chartreuse).

Computers use a RGB additive color model (starting without light), which creates colors using various percentages of red, green and blue light.  On the other hand, printers use a CMYK subtractive color model (starting with light), which creates colors by combining magenta, yellow and cyan and by supplementing with true black, which cannot be formed by combining all three colors.

Three other elements relevant to creating colors are:

Color temperature – range from warm to cool

Warm colors – red to yellow; produce emphasis when paired with cool color

Cool colors – green to blue and some violets; tend to recede

Color value – lightness or darkness

Tint – add white to a color

Shade – add black to a color

Color saturation – strength of a color, mute by adding gray

More info about color symbolism and color theory can be found at:



Color Schemes

There are six classic color schemes:

monochromatic: many shades of the same color (ex. http://www.solidgiant.com/)

achromatic: black, white, gray (ex. http://blackestate.co.nz/)

analogous: made of adjacent colors (never go beyond 1/3) on color wheel (ex. http://forrst.com/)

complementary: made of opposite colors on color wheel (ex. http://zachhendricks.net/)

split complementary: made of base color and two colors adjacent to complementary color on wheel

triadic: made of three colors equally spaced on wheel

tetradic: made of two sets of complementary colors (ex. http://www.rccjax.com/)

There are several great websites for making your own color schemes:





We used kuler.com to derive color schemes from inspirational photos.

We also created complementary schemes and checked the contrast using http://snook.ca/technical/colour_contrast/colour.html.


1 Comment

  1. Kelly said,

    Great job on covering all the aspects of color design that we learned this week. I really like all of the charts and visuals as well.

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