Colors The web is a visual medium, so color is important
It invokes mood and canmake one site dynamic and interesting and another bland and boring. Millions of colors are available to you, so let your creativity and personal style be your guide.
The Magic Four
If you go to your local newsstand and look at the colors used on magazines, you will most likely see the following dominant colors:
These are the magic colors in advertising. If you are unsure about what colors to use, start with one of these. On the other hand, if you’re looking for something different and want a color that matches certain images or other design elements of your site, you have a multitude of options.
When you are dealing with color on the Internet, you need to understand that
roses are not “red” but “#FF0000.” This is called hex color, and you will have
to get used to it when using color on the web. The strange notation is really
three sets of numbers: FF, 00, and 00 (FF is actually a number).
Each two-digit number is a hexadecimal value of a much larger number. The
three sets of numbers in a hex code represent red, green, and blue (often
referred to as RGB ). HTML tags use the hex number to define colors.
Each color (red, green, and blue) has 256 possible values, and the three of
them together make all other colors. To determine the hex value for a number,
you use a scientific calculator. For Windows, follow these steps:
- Press the Windows key and R.
- In the Run box, type calc.exe , and then click OK.
- From the View menu, select Scientific (see Figure 4.2).
- Type 214 , and then click the Hex option.
- The Hex value of 214, which is D6, is displayed. Many HTML tags and
- other applications use hexadecimal to describe colors.
- A set of colors that complement each other is called a color scheme. They simply look good together and probably contain one of the magic four colors. A couple of tools on the web can help you match colors.
- colorcombos (about creating color combinations for the web (see Figure 4.3). You can use it to pick existing color combinations, test combinations, and browse their color combination library.
- Color Palette Generator If you have a central image around which you want to build your website, all you need to do is load it into this website, and the tool determines the colors used in the picture (see Figure 4.4).
- ColorBlender —This toolenables you to create matching colors and a color palette based on a color you select. If you know the central color you want to use, this site gives you options to use with it
- Colrpickr This site finds pictures on flickr that match the color you choose.
This is a website and community dedicated to color on websites (see Figure 4.5). These people take color very seriously and have a lot of fun doing it. They also follow trends of web color. There is lots of good color advice on this site
One thing to be very wary of when working with color is that a portion of the population is color blind and might not be seeing website colors as you do.
This is especially relevant with red, green, and blue. Try not to mix red, blue,and green text and red, blue, and green background. Text and background like this may prevent color blind people from seeing the text at all. If you are color blind, take the time and make sure a person who is not color blind checks out the colors on your site.