Color is the perceptible characteristic of light; light is energy, so color is a form of energy. In 1666 Isaac Newton discovered that sunlight is a mixture of colors when he noticed that when a ray of light passed through a prism it dispersed in its seven constituent colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. We see different colors because some objects reflect/absorb different wavelengths. Human eyes perceive these wavelengths as colors.
Understanding The Color
In web design colors are very subjective; black for taking an example, for some people is the color of elegance and sometimes gives an idea of prosperity (you can immediately imagine a black and elegant limousine), but for others you may remember something not pleasant (death, hopelessness, evil, mourning). You can’t use a single color when you do a job whether it’s a web page, logo, or business card. It needs to be combined with two or more colors to be more effective. Unfortunately making a wise mix poses a very difficult choice; Modern monitors can display more than 16 million (16,000,000) colors, so it’s very easy to make the wrong choice.
To combat these situations, designers and in particular web designers, has an important and useful guide to color theory. This is a series of principles that help create harmonious combinations.
In the traditional color theory there are three unique colors, which cannot be formed by combination of others, to be more specific there are only three colors that allow to form the rest. These colors are red, yellow and blue – primary colors.
By mixing the primary colors you will get the secondary colors – green, orange and purple.
Tertiary colors are the combination between primary and secondary colors (yellow-orange, red-orange, red-violet, blue-violet, blue-green, and yellow-green.).
Cold and Warm Colors
As in life, harmony consists of a balanced disposition of the parts. To establish some color relationships in color color we distinguish two categories:
• Warm colors are colors from red to yellow including chestnut, orange, pink. These colors evoke warmth because they remind us of things like sun and fire. These colors tend to advance in space.
• Cool colors are from green to blue, but also include some shades of violet. Cool colors are better for backgrounds and give the impression of calm and reduce tension.
White, black and grey are considered neutral.
Useful Rules of Color Theory
These terms are also useful in color theory:
- Color value measures luminosity or darkness of a color.
- Saturation or intensity is the brightness or opacity of a color.
- Chroma is as a pure hue is in relation to gray.
- Shadow: a color produced by the addition of black.
- Tint: a colorproduced by the addition of white.
We can use different collections of primary colors, the most used are:
- RGB color: This is based onlight. “RGB” means Red (red)), Green (green) and Blue (blue) (are the primary colors with the green replacing yellow). Computer and tv monitors use RGB, but are not used in printing.
- CMYK color: this is based onpigments. “CYMK”means Cyan ( cyan),) Yellow (yellow),) Magenta and Black (K comes from blacK). Using these four colors most of the others can be obtained. CMYK can produce fewer colors than RGB (yellow-green sometimesnot have the best quality). This system is used in printing.
- Pantone (PMS) Color: this is another system used in printing; PMS stands for Pantone Matching System and is a very long list of color mixing developed by Pantone Corporation. Unfortunately they are very expensive.
- Hexachromatic: more recently Pantone developed another system, based on cyan, yellow, magenta, black and also Pantone Hexacrome Orange and Pantone Hexacrome Green. It will be used and used in printing, being a more advanced step than PMS or CMYK.
The meaning of Color
Have you ever wondered why Vegas is the city of the neon red? This is because red makes people take more risks than blue,whichsoothes the spirit. Scientists have shown that colors have an impact on the human brain, so if a human being is exposed to a certain color has a different reaction, some more exciting, and others increase appetite or give a feeling of warmth or cold. Colors are subjective, for each of us has an individual impact, but we generally accept the meaning of each color as:
- black: mystery, elegance, death, evil, power, mourning.
- azul: sadness, calm, loyalty.
- green: abundance, natural, yellow
- yellow gris: conservador, formalidad; : happiness, concentration, hope
- red: passion, danger, love
- white: purity, cleanliness, innocence
- purple: royalty, luxury, richness, sophistication
- cream: elegance, purity ;
But there are some specific interpretations depending on the country or region:
- Black is the brand of high quality and trust in China
- Blue in Iran has the meaning of immortality
- Green means high technology in Japan, fortune in the Midwest, death in South America
- Yellow is the color of mourning in Mexico and gives the feeling of strength in Saudi Arabia
- Red has multiple meanings, from good fortune in China, danger in Europe to mourning in Ivory Coast and death in Blanco Turkey;
Is the color our friend or our enemy?
Colors can be a great friend inside, but they can also be very powerful and strange enemies. Strange? Look at the image below, when do you see colors? You’ll probably say there are four colors.
The correct answer is only three. Don’t forget: color is light, light is energy so color is energy..