Color Theory

COLOR THEORY
I am here to inform you all about using colors for your website, how to make it visually appealing and pick the right colors for attracting attention.
Let's start with the old color wheel. This is probably not a new concept to you. I will briefly visit it, give some tips on how to reference it, then move on. The color wheel was probably introduced to you in elementary school. You learned about complementary colors, blah blah blah. When it comes to making websites, the first thing you want to get out of your color wheel is contrast. You will avoid confusion and users will be able to stare at your site longer. Colors opposite one another on the color wheel will provide the most contrast. If you want more than two lively colors, you can try drawing an equilateral triangle on your color wheel.
RED It is instinctive for humans to have a strong reaction to the color red. As stated by "...the color red has a prominent place in the evolution of our visual system. In the jungle, the color red serves as a strong warning of danger. Almost all animals are more sensitive to red than other colors." Red is a flag color, and a good one to use just to attract attention. For instance, links within articles tend to be blue. If you really want users to click it, why not switch it to red? Otherwise, it will blend into the background.

BACKGROUND COLORS Most sites use a grey background color because it is in between a dark and a light color. It shows pictures the best, whether they are dark pictures or light pictures. On the other hand though, you may be worried about text contrast. "The white on your monitor isn't the same as the white reflected off a piece of paper. It is brighter, harsher."


When using pictures in photoshop, your best bet is to keep the colors simple. You don't want hundreds of colors all in the same place. Instead, a main color with light and dark variations along with a contrasting colors is the best option. What if your picture already has hundreds of colors in it? Well, you can use the eyedropper in photoshop to select the most distinctive colors. Then, create a new file containing squares of just those colors and save the file as a GIF mapped to the web-safe palette. Then, you can use that for your swatches. http://www.wpdfd.com/wpdpal3.htm