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WEB DEVELOPMENT

A Web Designer`s Guide to Colors
By: Katie Gatto
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    2010-03-03

    Table of Contents:
  • A Web Designer`s Guide to Colors
  • The Meanings of Individual Colors to End Users
  • Using Color Combinations
  • Using Specific Color Combinations
  • Color Combination Cautions

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    A Web Designer`s Guide to Colors - Using Color Combinations


    (Page 3 of 5 )

    Now that we have looked at some of the associations of stand alone colors, we can take a look at some of the ways that you can use those colors together to make a stunningly effective combination. Once we are done with those general tips, we can talk about the specifics of combinations.

    Complementary vs. Contrasting

    When it comes to color combinations, you are going to have two basic categories, contrasting and complementary. Both can be visually appealing; they just have different ways of achieving that end. Now we can look at complementary colors, and the three different types of contrast you may encountered.

    When you look at color theory, and the color wheel specifically, two colors on the wheel can be called complementary if, when mixed together they have the ability to produce a neutral color such as grey, white, or black. This does not have to happen with every mix, just one set of proportions.

    A few of the traditional set of complementary pairs include:

        * white and black

        * red and green

        * blue and orange

        * yellow and violet

    Contrast, however, comes in a few different forms.

    Contrast of Hue

    Contrast of hue is what relates most directly to the color wheel. The further away from each other two colors are on that wheel, the higher the contrast.

    Contrast of Value

    Contrast of value can be a very effective way for a designer to create large contrasts. The most obvious contrast of them all, the one between black and white, is a contrast of value. This type of contrast can be most easily defined as a large difference in lightness.

    Contrast of Saturation

    This type of contrast is about the amount of a color in any given space. It can be used easily within one color, or with several colors as accents. Use this for an aspect of designs that you do not want to draw attention to.

    Now that we have talked about combinations in general, let's get down to specifics.  

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