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Color Basics

Posted On 2009-05-14 by FortyPoundHead
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Do your print ads or web pages seem so flat that no one ever bothers looking at it? How would you like to make them more unique and attractive?

The key to a striking visual ad is the color. It gives life to any image. Take for example the cartoons that we watch on television and how they attract kids. We may also wonder why fast food and restaurants use the same color for their business or why banana catsup is colored red and not yellow.

Every color has its own characteristics. They represent different mood, personality or impression. In other words, colors influence people.

In deciding what color to use, you must first know the nature of your business. You cannot use just one color, or else your ad will look so plain and boring. However, using different colors can mess up your image or it may create a different impression to the viewers. Balance is important.

There are three basic color models used in graphics design, CMYK, RGB and Pantone.

In making printed images, it is best to use the CMYK color model. CMYK stands for cyan, magenta, yellow and black. It is referred to as the four-color process. This color model is commonly used in the printing process to produce full-color photographs and images. The advantage of using this model is that it reduces the cost of printing. When CMYK are combined, they produce the greatest number of printable colors. It is not advisable for use in single-color printing, though. Also, this model does not produce spot inks, such as metallic silver or gold.

Use the RGB (red, green and blue) color model in creating your web page images. All display devices, such as computer monitor or television, use this type of color mode. There are no cost limitations in the use of color for unprinted ad such as the web page. So you can use as much color as you want without fear of spending a lot of money on colors. In addition, current computer programs now offer a wide variety of colors.

Pantone colors are best suited for logos and corporate identity because it creates exact color match. This color model specifies consistency. If you want your printed company brochure to look exactly the same as how it appears on the computer, use pantone colors. The only drawback is that you will have to look for the right printer and paper. Glossy or coated paper tends to slightly alter the color. The difference between printed images on a glossy paper and a plain paper is very visible.

There's a rule in color psychology that we must apply in designing print ads or web page. Use colors that will best describe the nature of your business. More importantly, your ad image must speak exactly what you want to tell the viewers.


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