COLORS

Kike Algarra
Jul 17 · 2 min read

WHY DO WE LIKE THEM?

Image for post
Image for post

Color preferences are deeply rooted emotional responses that seem to lack any rational basis, yet the powerful influence of color rules our choices in everything from the food we eat and the clothes we wear to the cars we buy. For some people, owning a green car is unthinkable.

These shoppers will gladly pay hundreds of dollars more to obtain the vehicle in a different color, or they will reject the green car and select an entirely different automobile in a color they favor.

Considering the color context

Color context refers to how we perceive colors as they contrast with another color. Look at the pairs of circles in the example below to see what I mean.

The middle of each of the circles is the same size, shape, and color. The only thing that changes is the background color. Yet, the middle circles appear softer or brighter depending on the contrasting color behind it. You may even notice movement or depth changes just based on one color change.

This is because the way in which we use two colors together changes how we perceive it. So, when you’re choosing colors for your graphic designs, think about how much contrast you want throughout the design.

For instance, if you were creating a simple bar chart, would you want a dark background with dark bars? Probably not. You’d most likely want to create a contrast between your bars and the background itself since you want your viewers to focus on the bars, not the background.

Choosing colors with high contrast, however, isn’t always as hard as choosing colors that look good together.

For me, this is where choosing color is trickiest. I could spend hours choosing colors for an infographic simply because it takes awhile to get a feel for what looks best together.

In reality, though, I usually don’t have hours to spend just choosing colors. (And that’d probably be a waste of time even if I did have a few hours.)

Luckily, there are logical rules for how to create color schemes that work together.

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