Topic: Color Basics

This is a follow up post to my article on Color Basics. I wanted to give you all an opportunity to discuss color and how it works (or causes headaches) for you. So here are some questions to discuss!

1. How have you noticed differences in color from screen to screen?
2. What have been some causes of those differences (monitor settings, lighting in the room, etc)?
3. Do you work in printing areas and notice a difference there in the material you design on the computer vs. what is printed?

Think of some other questions too and we can all get to know color together...

Re: Color Basics

Aren't there "color calibrators" that look like a spider stuck to your monitor (temporarily)?

"I was blind, but now I see!"  John 9:25

Re: Color Basics

I didn't go into that, but yes. Although even with calibration, it won't be perfect. Lighting in a room makes a lot of difference too. Two monitors could technically be calibrated the same and yet one gets a little more light, or a different type of light. For example, one of my clients works in an office with florescent lighting and I have natural light (sometimes a desk lamp) so what we see is often very different (and would be even with calibrated monitors). The thing is not to get too dependent upon color being the same all the time and learning to give some flexibility to color - and people who work with color!

Re: Color Basics

Thanks for that post Natalie, although I understand the basics of CMYK, RGB and how the color can change from one monitor to the other I would like to see another post covering color combinations, complementaries and such.

Although I think I have an OK eye to recognize nice color combinations, Im sure a new post covering some tips and tricks would help a lot, specially those who concentrate more on programming and would like to use nice color schemes for their layouts.

Again, nice job!

"...porque Jehová tu Dios estará contigo en dondequiera que vayas." Joshua 1:9

Re: Color Basics

I've forwarded a link to a client.
Thanks for the great article!

"I was blind, but now I see!"  John 9:25

Re: Color Basics

Natalie -

Natalie wrote:

1. How have you noticed differences in color from screen to screen? 2. What have been some causes of those differences (monitor settings, lighting in the room, etc)?

Until recently, I worked with a CRT while my wife used an LCD.  She produces our designs, including the graphics, and then hands them off to me to code and optimize for the web.  Often, what was light on her monitor was much darker on mine.  I now use a LCD as well, though I still see graphics that she gives me as being darker than I think they should be.  We've also run into issues with clients who want to use colors like Forrest Green, which tends to look black on many monitors.  Very frustrating at times for all involved.

3. Do you work in printing areas and notice a difference there in the material you design on the computer vs. what is printed?

Where I work, we produce 2 print catalogs each year, with 2 different outside print companies involved.  Last year I travelled to the printer's location to oversee the colors of our cover art and it was startling how different our screens were compared to their printing output.  More frustration for sure.

That’s my 2¢.  :^{>

Honored to Serve for Him - Tom ('Mas) Pickering <)><

Re: Color Basics

It's interesting how the "Who decides what is good" thread quickly encroaches upon this subject.  Design has so much to do with color, yet many designers (including myself) don't have much experience with color.  We tinker and test, trying to get it to look right, without understanding everything that goes into it.  So we read articles, think we've got it down, only to go back to designing and not knowing where to start with all of it.  Color is probably the one think that I'd like to improve upon in my designs right now.  So thank you, Natalie, for the article!  Every bit helps.

Re: Color Basics

maspick wrote:

Where I work, we produce 2 print catalogs each year, with 2 different outside print companies involved.  Last year I travelled to the printer's location to oversee the colors of our cover art and it was startling how different our screens were compared to their printing output.  More frustration for sure.

Being a full-time fundraising missionary, I end up using a lot of print materials (that I create myself). One of the things I try and do now is always get Office Depot to run off an early test print for me so I can see how the colors end up on printed paper when compared to my monitor. That way, if I find something is really too off for me, I can go back and change it for minimal cost.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr.

Re: Color Basics

Will -

metatron wrote:

Being a full-time fundraising missionary, I end up using a lot of print materials (that I create myself). One of the things I try and do now is always get Office Depot to run off an early test print for me so I can see how the colors end up on printed paper when compared to my monitor. That way, if I find something is really too off for me, I can go back and change it for minimal cost.

We started doing this last year but have to ride our printer to produce and send them to us as they'd rather not be bothered. hmm

That’s my 2¢.  :^{>

Honored to Serve for Him - Tom ('Mas) Pickering <)><