Considering I’ve been back on the aesthetics bandwagon the past few days (further carving out a niche as someone put it in an e-mail to me) I began to think about color. First thing this morning, an article about choosing the right color for your website – which got me thinking about the right colors for learning spaces online. Typically, I see white backgrounds with black text and maybe some selected images (much like this blog I suppose!). I’m fairly certain that the reasoning for this is twofold. One, it harkens back to text, and particularly textbooks – so by designing with a black and white scheme and fonts that recall texts, online spaces gain a level of authority. Two, typically, black and white design has been viewed as “classy” and it’s easier to get something to look good with a limited color palette (black, white and grey).
Of course, that requires an understanding of complimentary colors and color theory. Color Matters has a good page on color theory which for some of you will recall grade 5 art class. If you don’t want to be bothered with the theory, just want to get down to brass tacks, Color Scheme Designer will give you a good selection of possible combinations to use in your designs.
Neither of those sites really talk about the psychology of color. The more I dig into it there isn’t much research that I would bet the house on, but Pantone has a good article about it as well. Well of course, Pantone will… they’re the biggest marketers of color (and consistent color) in the world. Is there real evidence of color psychology or is it just smoke and mirrors?