|If such simple ideas work
for all of a given culture or market what could it mean to the graphic
design of your website, brochure, or product if you know some of this
information. First let’s start with the basics. The colour wheel. We’ve
all seen it. The colour wheel shows the basic colours, each wheel is
different in how many shades of each colour is shown, but they are
essentially the same.
Colour harmony, colours that go together well. These will be colours
that are next door to each other on the colour wheel. Such as blue and
green. In reference to clothes these colours match each other.
Instinctively most of us know which colours go together when we dress
ourselves every morning.
Colour complements, colours that set each other off, they complement
each other. These are colours that are opposite on the colour wheel.
Such as blue and orange.
Colour depth, colours can recede or jump forward. Remember that some
colours seem to fall back such as blue, black, dark green, and brown.
Other colours will seem to step forward such as white, yellow, red, and
orange. This is why if you have a bright orange background it may seem
to fight with any text or images that you place on it. The orange will
always seem to move forward.
Now you have the basics so let’s go further. Just because to colours
go together or complement each other doesn’t mean that you necessarily
want to use them on your project. I opened this article with the meaning
of colours now here is an example, keep in mind this is one example from
Colour Survey: what respondents said colours mean to them.
Happy = Yellow
Pure = White
Good Luck = green
Good tasting = Red (tomato)
Dignity = Purple
Technology = Silver
Sexiness = Red (tomato)
Mourning = Black
Expensive = Gold
Inexpensive = Brown
Powerful = Red (tomato)
Dependable = Blue
High Quality = Black
Nausea = Green
Deity = White
Bad Luck = Black
Favourite colour = Blue
Least favourite colour = Orange
So in designing your project it’s important to know what colours
mean. You can now see why a black back ground with green type would be
bad, beyond being nearly impossible to read, if your target market
thinks that black represents mourning and green makes them sick. There
are exceptions to every rule of course.
So you may want to include some research in what colours mean to your
target market. Colours that would get the attention of a teen would
probably annoy an older person and the colours that appeal to the older
person wouldn’t get a second look from a young person.
Colour may be one of the most overlooked aspects of design.