Color and Web Design – How to Make It All Work Together

As humans we see and interpret color using the visible spectrum. The colors we see are Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet. They are all made up of various wavelengths (measured in nanometers) and are really, really small. In fact, there are tons more colors but as humans we visually can see them with our naked eyes. We can use tools to see things in the visual range of say, infrared.

There are additive colors and subtractive colors. Additive colors are used with television or computer screens. So, when you add the primary colors red, blue and green together on a screen you will get white. Subtractive colors are used when printing. So, when you add the primary colors together you get black.

I am sure almost everyone has seen a color wheel. The color wheel shows you the relationships between each of the colors. Such as when a color is next to one an other this is called analogous colors. An example would be with red, orange and yellow. These colors make up an analogous color scheme. It is very popular because it also readily found in nature.

When two colors are opposite each other on the color wheel we call these complementary colors. A great example is red and green, another popular choice during Christmas. Those are some of the basics, there is a lot more to learn such as hues, contrast, saturation etc. But, we can go into that another time. Next we need to take this information we just learned and see how color is tied into our emotion.

Color effects how we perceive the world around us. It can affect our emotional and physical responses to visual stimuli, and can even govern how we interpret these stimuli. This is why color is so important in fields of graphic and environmental design, and why graphic designers, interior designers, and architects go to such great lengths to understand the influence of color and to use it in just the right way.

Until recently, though, very little emphasis has been placed on the importance and overall influence of color in the field of web design. In fact, there still seems to be overall a kind of ‘anything goes’ atmosphere on the Internet with regard to web design in general.

But the way in which we access the Internet, combined with its increasing impact on our everyday lives, now requires a more thorough understanding of the influence of color for designers who wish to create websites that effectively attract and positively influence visitors to them.

The use of color is one of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal in designing a website, or any other medium with which you are attempting to relate to or communicate with other people. Color is so powerful that it can persuade, motivate and inspire when it is used in a balanced and effective way, and so crucial that it can completely drive people away when its overall influence is poorly understood and it is used poorly or inefficiently. In short, color is far more complex than many of us give it credit for.

The best way to use color is to experiment and observe. Test color combinations out and see how they make you feel. Chances are that if you feel a certain way when you see colors others do also. But, there are some fundamentals that can help any designer.

Nature is your best bet when finding good color combinations. Take the example of a small wood house on a prairie with a nice clear blue sky. A prairie is golden and the sky being blue will give you a good complementary color scheme, blue and gold are opposite on the color wheel. The blue/gold combination is usually has a very calming effect. It can also be a symbol for regal or royalty.

Sometimes you want your colors to POP. So, using high contrasting colors are really good for that. Ever wonder why road signs are in that bright yellow with black type? It is one of the easiest color combinations to read. Plus it makes you take notice. We have been conditioned by the highway people, that bright yellow and black stands out and we automatically take notice.

Some color examples and their general meanings.

– White is considered as the color of purity, honesty and innocence.

– Black is the color of death also represents darkness, gloom and despair. However, when used properly is can also indicate elegance and refinement.

– Blue is the color of the sky and sea. It represents depth, trust, security and imagination.

– Green is a color in nature. It represents life, vibrancy, natural, active, fresh and young.

– Yellow is for philosophers and thinkers. It represents hope and maturity.

– Red is a color of action and danger. It excites and stimulates the viewer.

I could go on but I think you get the point that each color represents feelings and emotions. As a designer your job is to pull those emotions out from the viewer and either gets them really comfortable so they stay along time. Or exited so they feel they must have your product now!

Color dramatically effects your customer so that means it affects your marketing, your web site and your income. If used badly it can make potential customers leave your site quickly. If used well, color can help bring in more money.

So, how are you using color on your site?

Don’t Let the Weather Design Your Home

Half way through August and the first faint hints that autumn isn’t far off are creeping into our gardens. Blackberries are ripening in the hedges, crab apples are flushing with rosy hues begging to be picked and turned into delicate jams and anyone venturing onto the lawn in the early morning has to step carefully to avoid the maze of spider’s webs threaded amongst the dew drops.

With summer coming to an end our thoughts turn indoors to redesigning and decorating ready for Christmas. With a virtually limitless choice of colours and a vast range of materials, interior design has never been such fun. Unfortunately, with such a choice, unless you follow the latest trend, interior design has also never been so confusing. Just how do you choose from the whole sweetshop of possibilities?

One simple way of cutting your way through the maze is to employ an interior designer. They can help with advice on trends, fabrics and colour combinations. Not only that, but interior designers can suggest best layouts for rooms such as bathrooms and kitchens, create moods for bedroom design, help you make the most of small spaces and suggest the best lighting to enhance mood.

Whilst interior designers can suggest colours and layouts they will be working with you and matching your style to the final plans. Although some of your tastes don’t tend to change, others will migrate over time and it is important to recognise this when you are looking at colour and fabrics. One aspect that many people overlook is the effect that the season has on their choice of colours.

Mention autumn and the instinctive reaction is to think of russets and browns, of long walks in autumn gales and snuggling up at night next to a dancing log fire. This instinct translates into the way we look at our homes and we are more likely to think about warm colours when we decorate in autumn and winter. Spring, with its new life and fresh breezes moves us towards greens and yellows whilst summer opens up brilliant whites and the clear blue of the sky.

Your interior designer will help to guide you through these phases and work with you so that you can visualise how your home will look throughout the year. Sometimes something simple such as a variety of throws or a change of lamp shade combined with variable lighting will enable you to change the feel of a room with the seasons. Alternatively you may have a room that is more used in the winter than the summer and decorating that with warm colours will meet your winter needs whilst using clearer brighter colours might suit rooms leading directly to the garden.

Whatever you choose, make sure that it fits with your personality and style. At the end of the day, you have to live with the d├ęcor and it is your home. Remember that and enjoy your interior design.

LOOK! Tips to Decorating a Bedroom Interior

Redesigning a bedroom interior can be a daunting task, especially when your daughter is growing up so fast. But make sure you make it fun by including your daughter’s ideas and personality into the mix. As parents, we become distracted thinking of ourselves. Remember, making a bedroom practical is important as well as creating a place where a girl can unwind and be herself.

These days it’s so easy to create customized furniture. All you need is to compile a set of ideas to redo your daughter’s bedroom. Compile bedroom ideas by visiting furniture stores where they have a display bedroom. Sort through furniture and interior design magazines and pick your favorite interior design ideas. Browse the web and save the unlimited number of photos available for your book of bedroom ideas.

Once you have a set of bedroom ideas organized in a binder, discuss all choices with your daughter and let her guide you. Listen to everything she has to say before you begin choosing paint color schemes and furniture styles. You don’t want to put in all that hard work without her approval. Agreeing with your daughter on practical bedroom interior design and “cool” bedroom interior design can be difficult. Key to redecorating your daughter’s bedroom is patience.

When selecting the color scheme for your daughter’s bedroom interior, research the bedroom colors. It is important that you create a warm and relaxing environment for your daughter because colors have an impact in her psyche. If your daughter wants the Barbie hot pink color, incorporate that hot pink color in an accent wall or certain furniture. Compromise between your daughter’s likes and your preferences.

Buying secondhand furniture at your nearest thrift store is a worthwhile investment. I have found pieces of furniture that needed little retouching to look like new. Browse through Craigslist to snatch a great deal on quality furniture. Drive through your neighborhood to shop at yard sales. Yard sales have hidden treasures! You needn’t spend thousands of dollars to redo your daughter’s bedroom. Just a little elbow grease from your part will pay off in the long run.

If you have money to spend, consult with an interior designer. The interior designer will do all the hard work for you. Research their background and make sure you can communicate well with him or her.

Final Tips

Create much storage room for your growing daughter and keep it well-organized. Keep the room clutter-free, simple, and practical without taking away from your daughter’s preferences. Keep television and computer outside her bedroom. Instead, create a special area for your daughter’s study time where you can oversee her computer use. Most importantly make the experience of decorating your bedroom interior fun!