When we talk about colors in a Web site, we have to consider two color’s different aspects: the communicative and esthetic aspect, and the reproduction and technical one. These two aspects deal with so different matters that we could say we are talking about different things. However, everything we describe here is related to color. We will begin with the communicative and esthetic aspect and then we will move on to the reproduction and technical one.
Color’s reproduction and esthetic aspect lies, on the one hand, in its use in a site with decorative purposes and, on the other, in having as its goal communicating a message. However, the concept «decorative purposes» is mistaken and it is not enough. A Web site’s esthetics matches the client's likes, being strongly DRIVEN by the other components of the company's corporate identity. The corporate identity is made up of design elements that create the company’s image the public will see in a specific way in which the designs are produced. The firm’s Web site is one of the essential components of the corporate identity and, as such, it should stick to the parameters the group of elements has created. The visual consistency is the different designs’ deliberate homogeneity that communicates a unique and sole message. That is the reason why the client HAS TO adapt to the establishments.
On the other hand, there is the communicative aspect. Colors, as all design's elements, communicate a relatively stable message. Obviously, each color's meaning is a fixed standard, especially when talking about business. Every field in industry and commerce has its distinguishing color or range of colors, and it is advisable to stick to it. When choosing your Web site's colors, first you will have to pick the ones that you may possibly use and that relatively stick to the other designs' style, bearing in mind what has been previously said. Then you will have to choose the colors that communicate an attractive, interesting and convenient message to the users.
The reproduction and technical aspect is the one that deals with the colors’ transformation, from a digital to a printed format. The format is the material object where information is stored. As regards colors, there is a big difference between digital and printed formats. Computer monitors and television sets use a color palette called RGB ?red, green and blue? and machines that print on paper, fabric, cardboard, plastic, etc. use a color palette called CMYK ?cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black). A color palette is a group of basic colors that something produces and that can be changed in order to produce another color ?when a television set is sprinkled with some transparent liquid, we can see that light is split into blue, green and red. The digital format’s color palette (RGB) is wider than the printers’ CMYK. A palette’s range is related to the number of colors and scales it can produce. So, what is all this for? Your Web site will have many elements that are created to be printed, such as the corporate Logo. The Logo you will see on the computer monitor will not have the same colors the printed Logo you see on products or your business cards have. This difference is due to the RGB palette’s wider range, and to the monitor or television set’s higher brightness if compared to paper or fabric.
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