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Colour has an emotional component to it. That is why we feel at home and relaxed in some rooms and unwelcome or tense in others. Colours also help us communicate, such as the red stop sign or orange traffic cone. Colours can help us display creativity and establish brands.
However, we often don't know how to create with colour. Four tips can help when you design presentation graphics or a business card.
As children, we often chose colours because we liked them. But as adults, we need to think more carefully about why we use colour.
Resist the urge to use colour for the sake of being colourful. Instead, use colour selectively. Use it to direct attention or highlight the most important parts of the message. It is often best to use shades of grey with a single bold colour.
Using too many colours cause the message to get lost. It can also cause overwhelm and confuse your users.
To communicate clearly, limit the number of colours you use in your design to 3-colours.
Divide colour usage according to the 60-30-10 rule.
If you need more contrast, consider using shades of the colours you already have.
Nearly 300 million people worldwide are colourblind.
The most prevalent issue for colourblindness involves green and red. Generally, try to avoid using shades of red and green. If you have to use one or both of these colours, consider using a text table as well.
Many designers substitute red and green with orange and blue, which is easy to view for most people.
Colours don't have the same meanings in all cultures.
A white flag might communicate a "truce" in Western and Asian cultures, but it is a silver flag in Arab or African cultures. Or, if you want a slide deck with a palette that invoke feelings of happiness, green, yellow, white or red might be good choices depending on the cultural makeup of your audience.
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