Post by SEADRA on Dec 23, 2014 9:58:24 GMT -8
Color schemes are my favorite part of the skinning process, believe it or not. I know, I know, that's crazy, right? Surely, the best part is coding or laying everything out or seeing it all come together. Nope. Color schemes. As silly as it sounds, there's a lot of psychology and (relative) skill when it comes to picking a color scheme - and mistakes are easily made.
I'm making this tutorial since we have some amazing premade skins and templates on this forum, and for the most part you're allowed or even encouraged to edit them to make them your own. Sometimes, it can be hard to get the colors perfect and have them work together cohesively. This will hopefully guide you in the right direction! ^^
After reading this, if you have questions, do not hesitate to ask!
1. Color Scheme Do's and Don'ts
There are certain things that experienced designers advise beginner designers not to do, as well as some quick tips. Here is a short list of those:2. Resources
- #FFFFFF & #000000 - these are the hex codes for black and white. It is advised that you do not use these in big spaces as solid backgrounds, such as the main background of the forum, unless you have other things to balance them out. If you want to get a color like these , find a color wheel (there is one in the create thread part on this site) and move the cursor up or down to dull the color, so you have almost-black or almost-white. These are a lot easier on the eyes and will make potential people less annoyed when looking at your forum. I personally never ever use pure white/black unless for fonts, but even then I still dull them a little. So yeh.
- Bright Colors - On a color wheel, moving the dial closer to the top right will make whatever color you are looking for brighter. Depending on your design, this may be good or bad. For inexperienced color scheme creators, it is recommended to avoid really bright colors. If used in the wrong way, they can be blinding and will likely not look very good.
- Contrasting & Harmonizing - Bringing you back to Freshman Year Art Class, contrasting colors are a big deal. Contrasting colors are colors opposite one another on the standard color wheel (Green & Red, Yellow & Blue, Purple & Green). Now, sometimes, using contrasting colors on a skin can be a bad idea. It's really easy to pick the wrong shades, so approach this with caution. It's better to pick a color next to the one you want. Say you want to use blue in your skin, well colors that would go really nicely with that are either lighter/darker shades of blue, green, or purple.Please contrast your font and link colors enough from your category and main backgrounds! If you don't it can be hard for people to read what you want to say!
- Accents & Neutrals - This is actually a very general tip that most beginning color-schemers don't think of. The easiest way to encorporate colors into a skin is by using accents. Pick a neutral base, an off-white, biege, light brown, gray, or dark gray, and use whatever colors as accents. This can be in the form of your background, link colors, category title edits, and other styles! It is best to keep your main backgrounds where a lot of text is shown with the neutral color, so images and individual template colors don't clash with your forum.
- The Psychology - Surprisingly, there is some science that goes into creating a color schemes.Most resource sites (this one excluded lmao) as well as social media will use light grays/whites and blues in their site's design. Do you know why? It's because those evoke an unconscious calming reaction from the viewer. If you have a forum with a dark plot, maybe you should try going with a darker color scheme, got something fun? Do a light or dark theme with bright and cheery colors as accents. Color psychology is really interesting when you get down to it - there are plenty of places you can read up on it.
If you're terrible at coming up wtih a color scheme, or are having a block (we all do sometimes), there are plenty of resources out there for you with premade color schemes! The most common and well-known one is Colour Lovers, it is a site that has thousands of pre-put-together color pallets that you can search from. I advise you steer clear from the blindingly bright color schemes, but yeah. You can also take those color schemes and make your own backgrounds with it, and put your own color pallets together.3. Multiple Opinions
You can also search on Tumlr or even Pinterest (I know, crazy right?) for color schemes. In the search bar, type "color pallets" and you'll get a TON of hits.
If I'm using an image banner on a site, I'll make that first and pull colors from there, that way it all goes together.
If you are unsure, or if this is your first time putting together a color scheme, it would be wise to get a ton of opinions - just to see if the colors work well together, and look good on different screens (some screens are brighter than others!). It would also be wise to try and get someone who's good at them to look at it too, to tell you no, that one's too bright, dull it down or yeah! That's awesome, good job. Always get multiple opinions, you'll be thankful you did.
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