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Using Color Well
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  1. Using Color Well Document Design By Dr. Jennifer Bowie

  2. Rules # 1: Use color to communicate not decorate! • Keep it simple • Be consistent

  3. When to use? • To make documents look better • To improve the effectives of documents • To communicate

  4. Terms to know • Grayscale: The different shades of gray a printer can make. • Hue: The color/wavelength, such as green. • Saturation: The purity of the color. The less pure the more gray it looks. • Brightness: How bright/dark something seems, ranges from white to grays to black. • Shade: Add black to the hue. • Tint: Add white to the hue. • RGB: System for mixing colors to create other colors. Used by televisions and computer monitors. Uses red, green, and blue as primary colors. Additive color—the colors combine to create these colors. • CYMK: System for mixing colors to create other colors. Commonly used by printing services. Uses cyan, yellow, magenta, and black as primary colors. Subtractive color: Some wavelengths are filtered out, color made from remaining wavelengths .

  5. Spot Color • Using a second color (with the 1st often black) • Easy effect and cheap way of improving design • Rules of thumb: • Can mix spot color with white and black for shades (lighter and darker) • Do not over use (think of it like bold) • Can replace black with another color and have a normal color and a spot color for more colorful designs.

  6. Tips: • Use colored paper to add color • Colors vary from screen to printer and from printer to printer • Since 1% of women and 8% of men have issues with distinguishing some color (color blindness), use more then color to separate items (even light vs. dark would work) • Consider cultural conations and color meanings

  7. History of color • Color has always been part of the human existence, playing an important role in the life of humans. • Early humans learned to eat food based on its color--ripe, not ripe, poisonous, healing. • “Ancient cultures thought of color as symbolically divine." (Sidelinger, 1) • yellow, in ancient times, represented the mind to primitive man, the sun and the sun god Ra to Egyptians, the goddess Athena and air to Grecians, and honor to Indians. (Sidelinger, 78-79) • Connotations of colors change over time. • in ancient times Greece and Zunis green represented water. Today blue represents water. (Sidelinger, 80)

  8. Color & Sex Differences • According to Natalia Khouw there are sex differences in color preferences & taste: • “Blue stands out for men much more than for women. • Men prefer blue to red, women red to blue. • Men prefer orange to yellow, women yellow to orange” • Women have more diverse color tastes than men • Women in India and England could consistency list more colors than men Info & quotes on this page from “color my world” by Molly E. Holzschlag http://www.molly.com/articles/webdesign/2000-09-colormyworld.php

  9. International connotations of color • Red: • West: courage and love • China: happiness and good fortune (preferred for wedding gowns) • US flag: blood • French Flag: military color & coat of arms • US: “Stop” signs & lights • Yellow: • China: imperial color, revered • US: people’s least favorite color but a happy color • France: jealousy

  10. International connotations of color • Green: • Positive (US): growth, clean, fresh, environmental • Negative (US): mold, nausea, and jealousy • Historic Europe: fertility (wedding gown color in 15th century) • US: “Go” green lights • Blue: • Positive (US): serenity, the sky, infinity • Negative (US): sadness (feeling blue) • US Flag: valor of US, particularly soldiers • French Flag: military color & coat of arms • “Safe” in almost every culture (Morton)

  11. International connotations of color • Purple: • Historical West: royalty, mourning • France: religion, sacredness • US: magic, lavishness, homosexuality • Catholic Europe: death and crucifixion • Middle East: prostitution • Cultural “unsafe” color • Pink: • East India: feminine color • US: baby girls get pink, innocence, sweetness, soft, gentleness • Japan: pastels are neither masculine nor feminine • France: homosexuality

  12. International connotations of color • Black: • West: mourning, death • France: unknown, death, night, work • White: • East: mourning, death • West: purity (color of bridal gowns) • US Flag: bandages to staunch the flow of blood • France: monarchy, royalty

  13. Use color wisely & well Remember: communicate not decorate • Sources: • Your readings & • http://ezinearticles.com/?Colors:-Their-Connotations-and-Perceived-Meanings&id=4510 • http://www.molly.com/articles/webdesign/2000-09-colormyworld.php • http://wps.ablongman.com/long_porter_pwo_2/0,8017,848524-,00.html

  14. Cool Links to find out more! • http://ezinearticles.com/?Colors:-Their-Connotations-and-Perceived-Meanings&id=4510 • http://www.molly.com/articles/webdesign/2000-09-colormyworld.php