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Five Tips for Creating Better Color Palettes for the Web

Color palettes using simple and complex colors

I’ve put together five tips for creating better color palettes based on a recent talk I gave to computer science students. Faced with working on their first mobile apps or sites, they had never really been given advice on choosing color palettes. I realized this is one of those gaps in knowledge; part of the missing manual of design experience you build over time as a developer or designer. I hope you find them useful too.

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Finding Color Inspiration in Games

Commodore 64 color palette by Ricardo Cancho Niemietz

Sometimes we need a quick jolt of inspiration to get out of a color rut. I often hear from other designers that they use the same colors over and over again. There are perfectly good reasons why – we may be known for a certain color palette (Nubby and her black, white and reds), or be restricted by brand guidelines or we just gravitate to some colors. While constraints are great, pushing ourselves progressively as creatives means going outside our comfort zones and also challenging standards. Color is a great way to alter mood, focus, and revitalize. Today I’m taking a quick look at three sources of color inspiration with a gaming theme.

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Testing Color Theme Tools and Getting Out of a Color Rut

color palette testing

I asked other designers what they were struggling with when it came time to pick a color theme. They gave me a wide range of answers, some about how easy it is to fall into a color rut, while others tend to browse colors and hope for the best. Others mentioned struggling with issues of contrast. These are all challenges we face as creative people. Asking ourselves the right questions and honing our eye for color can help us overcome them and be more effective with our designs.

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Planning a Successful Infographic

planning mind map

Infographics that look great are the norm. To really stand out, it takes more than cool graphics and an interesting layout. It all starts with the story. Here are five questions to ask yourself when planning an infographic.

  1. Who is the audience?
  2. What is the key thing you want people to know? The narrower the focus the better.
  3. When does the story take place? Is it about a future problem or something happening right now? Will putting a time/date on it create a sense of urgency? Does that contribute to the key message?
  4. How does existing data support your message?
  5. Where is the story set?

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