Introduction to Design Fundamentals: Color
Answer these short questions to demonstrate your understanding of color theory and use. Use MS Word. Name it, date it and save into your account, then email it to your teacher for feedback.
- Your client whose Sydney-based business is import/export of training textbooks in the engineering field needs a new business identity/ brand. What could you suggest would be the colour scheme for this client for their website? Explain why you chose these colors.
- Your client whose business is producing rugged outdoor footwear for the domestic (Australian) market needs a new corporate identity. Their product line is chiefly aimed at teens to mature adult. What could you suggest would be the colour scheme? Explain why you chose these colours.
- A client who runs a govt. sponsored agency to support drug rehabilitation services needs a new corporate identity. What could you suggest would be the color scheme for this client? Explain why you chose these colors.
- How many colors can be represented by a 24-bit RGB display system? Why is it the most popular setting for computer displays?
- How many colors can be represented by the Pantone CMYK process for print?
- Draw a diagram representing the RGB gamut (label the axes). Take a digital photo or scan it in and embed it into your document.
- On the same diagram draw a superimposed CMYK gamut. What does this diagram suggest about the limitations of the CMYK color model for screen-based (multimedia) design?
- What does this mean when a client needs their traditionally print-based corporate logo carried-over to the web?
- When developing for DVD (Standard definition, PAL TV) what are “safe colors”? What happens to artwork that uses colors on PAL TV that aren’t safe? What’s a good rule-of-thumb for choosing “safe” colors?
- List 3 free-to-use online software tools to help you develop color schemes. List their URLs and briefly describe how they work.
- The Before & After Magazine color wheel is based on which color wheel?
- According to “Western” perception of colors, describe the emotion associated with the following colors and provide an example of its use in contemporary culture.
Color is one of the most powerful tools in a designer's toolbox. This is a refresher lesson on how color affects people and how, as designers, we can influence the colors you use in your designs. Refer to the color wheel.
Popular Colors and Their Meaning
Applying the "right" color in the "right" way is a subjective exercise. What looks good to you might look awkward to others, however, there are guidelines to using color which, when followed, can generally make your designs look "right". These guidelines are based on many years of research and design/ art practice and theory.
Read this article from Smashing Magazine, it demonstrates with examples and explanations how specific colors have been used on various web sites to convey meaning. Read the brief descriptions of popular colors to get a general understanding of common color associations.
Color Schemes & The Color Wheel.
Isaac Newton made the first color wheel. He designed it to make choosing colors easier or, more correctly, to make choosing the "right" colours easier. It represented 8-colours and the colours were arranged so that if you added opposite colours together the result would be white. This wheel found favour but it become more popular once Johannes Itten (Bauhaus School Germany) had evolved it to more accurately represent 12-colours. The arrangement of 12 colours was found to provide the most utility for designers and artists.
Using the Colour Wheel to understand how you might combine colours together using a colour wheel, study these articles from Before & After Magazine then you should be confident enough to do the learning activity below.
This lesson was a brief introduction to colour. Colour has a massive scope across many fields such as psychology, advertising, marketing, national identity, publishing, fashion, interior design, architecture, urban design and vehicle design.
Using spot colours/Pantone colours PMS (coated and uncoated); converting PMS to CMYK and RGB; using spot colour tints.
Produce a colour management mini-booklet, aimed at a beginners guide to using colour. You will be required to print this booklet on at least 3 different types of paper stock, or in other words 3 booklets printed on heavy card, coated paper and coloured paper. Post to your teacher (see below). The size of the booklet is your choice – they can be either A5 or A4 or A3 and the amount of pages is up to you, although it should be a minimum of 4 pages. It can either be spiral bound or stapled. The booklet should reflect at least 4 of the color areas listed below:
• Effects of color
• Color associations
• Color theory and the colour wheel
• Color meanings
• Color emotions
• Color temperature
• Color trends in history
• Color in the environment
• Color and photography
Once printed, attach a note to each booklet with the paper stock (name), paper weight (gsm) and your opinion on whether the paper stock is appropriate.