HOWTO: Get a good color scheme

Thank you very much! I was just thinking of how my team should go about picking new colors and this works!! :]

I had a pretty good idea of the colors that I want but this has shown me some interesting combinations … good choices. I’m going to put this website on our team’s forum and have the rest of the team look at it and pick a combination of colors that they would like for our team. :wink:

Thank You AGAIN, Brandon … sure makes things easier for the rest of us! :smiley:

It works in Opera now, version 7.6.

You ARE aware that he made his post well over a year ago, right? :wink: has a great little article on color theory (written by a friend of mine).

The article was nice, though it was more the mechanics of color than much about creating good color schemes. I thought I might share some comments based on experience, hope someone finds them useful. I actually do use color wheels (to get two colors), however once I have two colors there are two basic strategies I use.

  1. High saturation primary colors. Colors with more saturation (basically #FF0000 instead of #990000 or #330000) are good. Pastel-only palettes are “bad”. My experience early on was to use lots of pastels because they are pleasant on the eyes. The problem with pastel-only palettes is that you end up with very bland, weak feeling colors. Pick a primary color that you will occaisionally use to highlight things with lots of saturation. It feels weird at first (at least for me) because the highly saturated colors felt too eye-hurting, but play around a little.

  2. Use different shades. What I like to do is take however many colors the color wheel throws at me and when in photoshop use different shades of it (use the color picker and play around with the B portion of the HSB color model. Heck, while you’re at it, play around with the S to alter saturation ala suggestion 1). Shades are an easy way to maintain a strong visual “look” while still allowing visual differentiation between different parts of your site.