Readings 1.29

Design Elements

Chapter 2

In this chapter, we learn the importance of hue, saturation, value, and temperature. The hue of a color is the identity of the color, it is how our eyes are perceiving the light. The saturation of a color describes the color’s intensity or brightness. The value of a color is the color’s intrinsic lightness or darkness. The temperature of a color is the subjective attribute related to experience, such as describing a color as “warm” or “cold.” In this chapter, we also learn about the relationships among and between these color elements which can evoke different messages, thoughts, and feelings. Who knew color could be so closely related to psychology and hidden meanings?

The Color Wheel

Universal Principles of Design

Red Effects

Red signified richness of meaning and power of influence. The effects of the color of blood and fire are profound. Red effects are a set of behavioral effects triggered by the color red. Red makes women appear more attractive to men, acting like an aphrodisiac. Wearing red apparel confers a small competitive advantage in sports contests. Red appears to impair problem solving and creativity. In design, use red to increase attractiveness, gain a competitive edge, and avoid it in a design studio environment.

Black Effects

Black is not a color, it is the mere absence of light. But from the perspective of what our brains see, black and white are the only true colors. Black also creates behavioral affects. Black is associated with evil and foreboding. Black signals aggression and dominance. Animal shelters say it is much harder to get a black dog adopted. Sports teams wearing black are perceived to be more aggressive and more likely to cheat. Black, glossy products are perceived to be classy. You can use black to increase perceived value in products. You can use black to increase perceived authority and aggressiveness. Sales people should wear bright colors. Black can also clean up messy borders, for example, outlines make designs look more polished.

White Effects

White is associated with moral goodness and security. Sports teams wearing white are perceived to be less aggressive and less likely to cheat. White, glossy products are perceived to have high value and timelessness. You can also use white to increase perceived value in products. It is the color of choice for a minimalist aesthetic. You can also use white to increase perceived approachability and peacefulness. White is also a good way to accent other colors (door trims).

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