Taboo Tuesday: 5 Color DON'TS

1 DON’T rely on dated or overused color combinations. Complimentary colors may have worked in first grade art class, but why limit yourself? Explore other designs and websites to determine what color schemes are more appealing than others. Browse a variety of inspirational sites such as The Best Designs, Design Meltdown, The Dieline, and Design Sponge.

2 DON’T be inconsistent with your color usage. Color is an important branding tool – when used correctly and consistently, it can increase memory and engage your audience. According to the Color Marketing Group, color increases brand recognition by up to 80%.

3 DON’T forget about readability when combining color with type. Black text on a white background may be easiest to read, but it doesn’t mean that color and type don’t mix. If used well, color can emphasize your message. The contrast between text color and background color must be considerable to ensure that type remains visible. It’s wise to make light text on a dark background (such as white on black) a little heavier, as dark backgrounds tend to optically reduce the weight of text.

4 DON’T be afraid to experiment with color. Sometimes even the forbidden color combinations work. There are various online color tools to inspire color combinations, such as Adobe Kuler and COLOUR lovers. Sites like Color Palette Generator and Color Hunter produce color palettes from user-uploaded photos.

5 DON’T forget that the appearance of colors can change according to their surroundings. A large block of color on a white background will appear darker than a thin line of the same color on a white background. Any color will appear lighter against a darker color and vice versa.