Category Archives: Color

The shape of things to come

Can your branding be based on shape? Does your newsletter cover fall into basic shapes? Think about a newspaper. Mast head, headline, columns. Those are all shapes. Shapes do not need to be square or rectangle. There are circles and triangles, crosses (t shapes), rings it goes on and on. What can you add shape to? Email, newsletters, memos, bulletins, tell your designer to play with shape. But always, always maintain readability.

Color can make you stand and up and say hey, or maybe, just maybe get you remembered.

A few color combinations from the past year that were used for some very effective print and web design. Black and white done right can be very effective, don’t under estimate it’s value or discount it if you are limited in color.

Tis a gray area that heeds the irreproachable value of nuanced color

I have no idea what that means but it sounds important and uses the two words I want to get across: value and color. What I mean by value are the shades of a color or more often than not, shades of gray. Value can do a few things to your piece. Using a light value next to a dark will add emphasis to an idea or suggest opposing concepts. Using similar values can create the idea of unity or compatible ideas. Value can create flow through a document. It can act as a guide and keep the reader on track. Value can be used to create mood. Values of red can transverse from love (pink), to passion (red), to fury (dark red/maroon). Shades of blue and gray can be soothing and cooling. Green can begin bright and represent renewal, birth and shade into decay and rot. Think about how you can use color and value to give your document drama. Color and value can give a two color document impact.

That’s such a lovely red. No, no not complimentary colors, complementary colors.

Colors that create contrast are opposite each other on the color wheel. These colors when put next to each other make things pop. They are in the simplest form primary and secondary colors. Primary colors are: red, blue and yellow. No other colors are mixed to create them they are pure. Secondary colors are: green, orange and purple. Secondary colors are created by mixing primary colors.

Green = blue + yellow
Orange = red + yellow
Purple = red + blue

Hence, complementary colors are: red/green, orange/blue, purple/yellow. The best way to remember? Since secondary colors are two primary colors mixed, the complementary color is the third primary color. If yellow and red make orange then the remaining primary color is blue. Blue is the complementary of orange. See? Easy peasy.

Warm feelings for cool colors

You hear it, warm colors, cool colors which is which? Maybe you don’t hear about warm and cool colors. For those of you that have no idea what I’m saying there are such things as warm colors and such things as cool colors. Super simple–not! But I’m going to make it simple to get you started. Warm colors: orange, red, yellow. Cool colors: blue, green, purple. There are such things as blue reds (cooler-but not cool) and neutral greens, definitely not cool! (I mean the other cool as in, “Lisa Belloli, her blog is so cool.”) Don’t panic, I’ll type slowly so you’ll understand. Reds can have a bluish quality, think cherries or an orangey cast, like a cardinal. Greens as a neutral is a little harder and something designers and painters like to argue about. Certain shades of green can go nicely with lots of colors hence, its described neutrality. Me, I go with cool, makes my life easier.