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Got the colors - now what?


deck.hazen
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Hi All, I don't know much about color, but i know what I like -- I've got a nice pallet I want to try but how do I decide which elements to apply a particular color to? Are there any rules for such things? Some choices are easy -- I've got a black background so obviously I need a light text color, and same with the link colors, but what about borders and horizontal lines etc. All suggestions gratefully received. - Deck

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Just fiddle around until it looks nice :).
Hi Synook, Thanks for the advice, sadly that's just what I've been doing for the past decade or so and I was kinda hoping for something with a bit more precision, direction, and consistency. Looking at your chops I'd have thought you'd be the one to provide it - but never mind - fiddling is fun. cheers, -- Deck
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Well, in my opinion it's a very personal thing - obviously, you should try to maintain high contrast and not put really jarring colours (e.g., blue and yellow) next to each other and all that sort of thing, but otherwise it really just comes down to what you think looks nice and what works for the page. You might also have to consider things like brand colours and that.Of course, though, I'm not a graphic designer, and I'm sure someone with more formal education in that area may be able to explain the theories behind the way they design things.

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Well, in my opinion it's a very personal thing - obviously, you should try to maintain high contrast and not put really jarring colours (e.g., blue and yellow) next to each other and all that sort of thing, but otherwise it really just comes down to what you think looks nice and what works for the page. You might also have to consider things like brand colours and that.Of course, though, I'm not a graphic designer, and I'm sure someone with more formal education in that area may be able to explain the theories behind the way they design things.
Fair enough -- that's the approach I used on the current look of my website (www.hazen.co.nz) but I'm not completely happy with it. Guess I'll just keep pluggin away. thanks for the reply. - Deck
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Generally you should decide first, the elements that you want to be noticed. A composition is designed using dominant, sub-dominant and accent shapes/colors. What do I mean by that? Take a look at this forum page. Its not just simply blue...its different shades and intensities of the color blue. However, staging your colors on your screen is very important if you wish to design a very attractive page. On this W3Schools forum board, darker blues are used to frame the page (as seen across the top and even the options to the left are slightly darker than this content box.)Frame the page. There are hundreds of web sites out there to view for inspiration. As far as color, use good judgement. Don't color your borders and backgrounds to make a visitor want to hit the corner X and leave. I could go more in depth but I am at my job. Let me know if this helps...good luck.

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Generally you should decide first, the elements that you want to be noticed. A composition is designed using dominant, sub-dominant and accent shapes/colors. What do I mean by that? Take a look at this forum page. Its not just simply blue...its different shades and intensities of the color blue. However, staging your colors on your screen is very important if you wish to design a very attractive page. On this W3Schools forum board, darker blues are used to frame the page (as seen across the top and even the options to the left are slightly darker than this content box.)Frame the page. There are hundreds of web sites out there to view for inspiration. As far as color, use good judgement. Don't color your borders and backgrounds to make a visitor want to hit the corner X and leave. I could go more in depth but I am at my job. Let me know if this helps...good luck.
Hey Darkwave - thanks very much - that's exactly the sort of thing I'm after - wish I could get you to write more. I can see from the HTML and CSS reference manuals which elements can be colored (fonts, backgrounds, borders, etc.) and I can identify a Palette that I like from colorcombos.com but its the "deciding which elements I want to be noticed" part where I get stuck and any general tips (like the one you've provided above) would be a huge help. Also, if you could point me in the direction of any links you've found useful that would also be a big help - I've spent many hours looking, but thus far haven't come up with much (don't know enough about it to pick the right search terms). And lastly, if you wanted to write more on this topic and wanted a place to publish it, I'd be happy to give you as much space as you needed on my website. I've started working on a series about CSS (the mechanics) but I'd like to balance that with some theory and design considerations. Thanks again for your help, -- Deck
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I will keep adding more resources to this list but here's something to start with:ColorThere are 3 main characteristics to define color: hue, value, and chromaHue - is the overall feel of a color "reddish, greenish, whateverish"Value - is light vs darkChroma - is dull vs intenseMost composition lighting is "light out of dark (like a candle in a dark room)", or "dark out of light (a dark brown horse standing in the middle of a bright snow-filled pasture)"See the relation?Check this page out, it should help: Color**I also agree with Music lp90

Edited by Darkwave29
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