Did you know that a computer can recognize 16 million colors? It’s mind-blowing, isn’t it?
As you know, using colors well is key to the success of your designs. But how do you use them well? Keep reading this post – when you’re done, you’ll have learned everything you need to use colors successfully. I’ve even called on our branding team to give us professional advice!
Maybe you already mastered color techniques, but do you know how to apply them in Genially? We’ll talk about that in this post, along with some time-saving tricks using Genially features to express what you need quickly and effectively. Let’s go!
The meaning of colors
Colors are a powerful communication element. They are perceived effortlessly and are very effective in conveying many things. They help you define your identity, connect with your audience and reinforce your message. How?
We receive information about color through our vision and when processing it, we generate perception with their associated emotions. When we perceive a color, we unintentionally make a number of associations that lead us to feel one way or another.
Color psychology studies the relationships between colors and the emotions they provoke in us. And while it is true that there may be differences from person to person, there are certain associations that we share culturally.
Many of these associations are nature-related. For example, in very general terms:
- Yellow is the color of the sun, and is associated with light and energy.
- Red is associated with fire and blood. It conveys heat, strength and passion.
- Blue reminds us of the sky and water. Depending on the tone, it can transmit positive or negative emotions.
- Green reminds us of nature, and makes us think about fresh and healthy things.
These associations also relate to the so-called color temperatures, which divides colors into warm (yellow, orange and red), and cool (green, blue and purple) colors. Cool colors are those of the sea, the forest, and the sky, and are associated with serenity, remoteness, and melancholy. Warm colors, on the other hand, are energizing; they are associated with fire and the sun, and they suggest joy, strength, and dynamism.
Design tips for non-designers
Color schemes also convey different feelings and emotions. A good combination is a must to draw your audience’s attention and make them feel comfortable exploring your content.
To master the art of combining colors well, it is necessary to distinguish between primary, secondary and tertiary colors, and also to know the color wheel.
We should also note the difference between the colors of light and the colors of pigment. In this case, we’re referring to the colors of light, which are the ones displayed through the screens. It is the so-called RGB model, which stands for ‘red, green, blue’. According to this model, these are the primary colors: red, green, and blue.
The secondary colors of the RGB model are yellow, cyan blue, and magenta, and the tertiary colors are orange, lime yellow, cyan green, deep blue, violet, and fuchsia. Tertiary colors arise from combinations between primary and secondary colors, or between the three primary colors.
What is the color wheel?
The color wheel is a representation of colors organized in a circle. It is a fundamental element of design which has been used for centuries as a tool for finding successful color combinations. The different ways you can combine colors relate to their position on the color wheel.
What color schemes are there?
Here are some of the most basic color schemes:
- Monochromatic combinations: They are created by combining different shades of the same color.
- Complementary combinations: They use two colors opposite each other on the color wheel. For example, yellow and blue.
- Analogous combinations: These are done using colors that are close to each other in the color wheel.
- Split-complementary combinations: They are created by combining a primary color with two tertiary colors that are adjacent to its complementary color. For example, red and two tones adjacent to blue.
What are you going to create?
When selecting the colors you’re going to use in your content, there are three things to keep in mind:
- What is the goal of your communication? What do you want to accomplish with your content?
- What theme are you going to discuss? What is the most appropriate style for what you want to convey?
- And perhaps the most important thing: Who will see your content? Who are you targeting? To communicate any message effectively, you need to connect with your audience. That’s why you need to think about them when you create your content.
For example, it’s common to use brighter colors for younger audiences and more muted colors for content geared toward adults. However, this does not mean that it always has to be this way. You can (and must!) think out of the box and try different combinations. After all, originality is important in design.
We’re going to put into practice everything we’ve seen so far. First, we will learn how to create a color palette and then how to apply it quickly and easily in your genially.
How to create your color palette
The palette is the set of colors used in a given content, whether it’s a web page, a presentation, an infographic, etc.
If you think about it, most brands have signature colors. If I say Coca Cola, you’ll think of the color red, right? Facebook is blue, BP is green. These colors were not selected randomly, but were chosen based on color psychology and brand archetypes.
Remember color associations to choose your brand or presentation colors, and follow these best practice tips:
- The fewer colors your palette has, the better. In this case less is more.
- Choose two or three colors that define your brand or visual identity and complement them with neutral tones such as black, gray or white.
- Are you creating content for your brand? Then use your corporate colors! This way you can strengthen your branding and reinforce the consistency of your communications.
- Check your palette using the color wheel to ensure it is harmonious, and that the colors do not clash with each other. Contrasting is not the same as clashing. For example, black and white contrast each other, but two shades saturated with red and pink clash.
- It is important that your palette contains both light and dark colors, so it is not too light or too dark. If, for example, you are going to use five colors, at least one or two should contrast with the others.
- The contrast between the letters and the background should also be prominent enough to ensure readability, and that the text is accessible to anyone.
How to apply colors to your genially in a flash
Genially color picker
Use Genially’s ‘color picker’ to finish your creations much faster! In the ‘Advanced’ tab you’ll find when editing the color of any element, you can select the color you like with a single click. If you already know the colors you want to use, you’ll find what you’re looking for at a glance.
With any of Genially’s premium plans you can customize the colors of your creation very easily. Once you’ve chosen the main 3 colors of your color palette (primary, secondary, and tertiary), add them to your genially. You can do this by clicking on the palette icon at the bottom of the editor or by editing the color of any element.
Once you’ve added them, you can change the color of your genially items by editing one by one, or change all elements of the same type at once.
For example, you can color all buttons with the primary color, all titles with the secondary color, and all texts with the tertiary color. Think about the time you will save! With just a few clicks, you’ve applied your color palette to every page of your genially.
- Get inspired. On Behance, Instagram, Dribbble, or Pinterest you can find lots of color palettes.
- Use palettes that have already been created. Where can you find them? Genially offers 12 pre-made palettes when you use the ‘document colors’ function, ranging from the most muted to the most colorful.
- Or use tools to create combinations. For example, Adobe Kuler, which includes a search engine to find palettes related to a word. ColorHunt offers a lot of templates and allows you to create your own, plus it has an extension that, if you add it to your browser, will allow you to get the color palette from any website. And Adobe Color, which is perhaps one of the most complete tools. The latter shows a tutorial when you use it for the first time, which makes its use very simple.
Designs that stand out in Genially
Women’s Day Quiz: Shades of pink and red have been used, and they have been successfully contrasted. The result conveys softness and strength at the same time, with an elegant touch of black.
Circles resume: By using a monochrome palette, significant contrasts are achieved while transmitting a lot of light and harmony.
Tangrams for Kids: The contrasting colors in this educational genially will easily attract the attention of students, but it is still nuanced enough to not be excessively bright.
Keep learning at the Genially Academy
I’m happy you’ve read this far! As far as I can tell, you are quite interested in design. Would you like to continue learning about it for free and without a set schedule? I would recommend the Genially Academy. You’ll find learning pills and courses as interesting as these: