2 Jun 2012
I always find it hard to explain in a practical way how I choose and apply colors in a design. To me it has a lot to do with intuition; a feeling that certain colors go well together and others don’t. It’s a very subjective matter, and who am I to say that, for example, a certain type of soft brown in combo with a flashy red doesn’t work well.
There isn’t a magical formula that explains how to choose the right colors. I’m not a believer in strict rules when it comes down to design, because there is always a lot of grey area in this matter. I think it’s mostly about seeing what works and what doesn’t. Tools like Adobe Kuler, or the colors in my Inspiration Gallery can help in seeing what works together and what doesn’t. It’s something that comes with trial & error. I never know upfront if the colors I have in my mind will work well together. I usually do the test by looking at it from a distance. I enlarge the design, making it as big as possible on my screen, and I step away to look at it from a distance of 3 meters. A lot of times I feel I need to change certain colors, because it didn’t seem to work very well in combination with the other colors. Sometimes it’s just lack of contrast, or it feels as if it’s out of sync with the others. It basically comes down to feeling what looks good, and what doesn’t. Studying how others apply color also helps in becoming better at it.