Many of us spend hours floundering around looking for just the right colours while designing a website, presentation or pamphlet. Design blog Before & After put together a great booklet detailing a little beginner's colour theory for complimenting your next effort.
According to Before & After, colours are relational — always seen in conjunction with other colours — so it's important to understand a little about colour hues, tints and palettes. Designing an online colour-coordinated scheme around a photo is part art, part science, and fortunately a skill that can be learned.
Their 25-page booklet [PDF]walks you through choosing the perfect colour, beginning with pulling the natural colour palette out of a digital photo. From there, you can extract the predominate colours and work your way through the warm and cool colour schemes to play around and see what tones and hues best project the idea you want to portray. For instance, warm copper and gold tones evoke images of a crisp autumn day, while icy blues are more wintery.
The booklet has loads of information on how to use colours to send subconscious messages to viewers. Certain colour combinations suggest femininity, for instance, while others are all business.
If you do a lot of design work, this booklet is easy to print out, laminate, and put in a binder for future reference. If you prefer to keep it on your hard drive in PDF form, then you'll have access to all the live links scattered throughout the document that take you to other design resources.
For more on the subject, take a look at this previously mentioned basic colour theory guide. Got any must-have resources for building slick designs? We'd love to hear about them in the comments. (Note: The link below should take you to a download page, but if it stops working, here's the email request page for the download link.)