Learning about color theory

Hey guys,

I have been reading about color theory in web designing, and been trying to learn it. So I have this question for all you experts…

Does anyone know what “mood” is created by this website?

They use dark red, beige (I think?), white and blue colors (the Twitter bird).

I just dont understand how using dark red helps their website… any ideas?

Same thing with the Tutsplus websites… how come they use all different sorts of colors for their sites??

Any thoughts?

I think he was referring to the screenshot I provided… it DID have useless whitespace (I erased the content … take a look at it.)

And that… is something we all have to remember I guess.

that website isnt my work. LOL. Its somebody else’s that I liked… and I was wondering what their strategy was…

… no ideas? lol They DO get around 1 Million impressions (as seen on buysellads.com)

Afraid to say “overwhelming” here as well :slight_smile:

Personally speaking, colour has no relevence to my mood because I’m colourblind, however the general colour combos you’ve used are fine with one exception - your general link colour and normal text colour is far too alike so I can’t see where the links are! Also there is no indication for active/focus links when I tab over them, fortunately I have a mouse so I can make some guesses as to what is or isn’t a link :slight_smile:

I still stand by my reading of the authors mind :slight_smile:

Yea, actually I found out after googling it that this web design was copied from a couple different websites. LOL so you could be right on that one :stuck_out_tongue:

Hmmm… I guess… but it still doesnt get too many comments on its posts…

If you think whitespace is a waste, you really don’t understand the basic principles of design. Sometimes less is more.

In regards to color theory there are a number of useful resources, a couple I’ve included below as they are of particular relevance, they should teach you all about the subject. In regards to how color helps a website it’s simple, color allows us to associate information with emotional triggers in the same way that we associate sign posts or icons with functions (like red for example can mean important warnings or passion and a red light makes us think about stopping something), by leverage colors relevant to the type of audience you are catering too it is entirely possible to influence the way in which they interact with your site (or perhaps whether they will purchase from your site). While many people debate the relevance of color and I know people will disagree with my statements to their impact, there’s a lot of psychological and scientific research to backup how subliminal color use can influence people (and it’s translation to the web is well founded). Unfortunately, many websites put little thought into what color makes sense and just uses what they feel looks pretty (with no study as to what colors will best optimize an experience), so in quite a few real world cases, you will probably come to find that the color choices weren’t based on justified findings and more out of biased views of what looks good (as has been mentioned before) and in those cases there’s no point considering how those color choices help their site (as they may well not be).

It’s worth stating that how color works is VERY subjective to the audience, color blind people may be unable to see the colors thereby having a limitation on it’s effect (or potential confusion), and because different cultures associate color with different meanings - depending on where your audience is can really affect what they associate with the color - as can personal experiences (memories can give both good and bad influences and associations with color) so it’s hard to really reflect your audience beyond the majority. Essentially, color theory DOES matter in web design and psychology is a big part of visual design, and it’s equally relevant on the web, but it’s only one part of a huge scope of conditions and factors so it isn’t the “be all and end all” of a site, it’s just one useful component we can make use of.


Here is a link that should help out. :slight_smile:

As you can see different colors signify different feelings/emotions. You can target your audience with specific palettes.

Regarding the mood, to me I say confusion, then sadness as I’m overwhelmed by text and graphics. :slight_smile:

Liked or Like? If like, why not simply ask him, her or them? To come back to the original question. I don’t find this a significant use of colors. You say dark red, beige, white and blue. Lets forget the blue since, like you stated correct, that is the twitter bird. Which leave you with the dark red, beige and white. I think the question:

and I was wondering what their strategy was…

… no ideas?
is not the right one. I think a better question would be, did the maker had a design block at that time.

Subconciously it reflects the mood you were in when “designing”, most likely your enthusiams was running high at the time?

Strategy-wise you wanted to keep your visitors passionate about your content, and possibly use it to engage debate?

Might be a mile and a half away :slight_smile:

anything really…

I meant to ask: what if the same colors were used on a neat, clean layout? How wood that affect the mood…

But the main question I wanted to ask was: What was the point of using red, beige and white colors for this website? Any ideas what the strategy was?

much cleaner but a lot of unused wasted white space. What goes in there?

Interesting… so does color theory really matter in web designing?

Maybe for some really obvious times like finance/money related websites would use green, rich/luxurious web designs use purple…

But does it really matter? I mean Instantshift does get more than a million users monthly… and it is a web business/design/development blog/magazine.

And if color theory DOES matter, then which main colors should they have gone with?

What if we remove the banners… and just leave the basics. Like this…

What do you think now?