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Have you ever wonder about colors? Their power is inescapable! They affect your moods, your reactions, interpretation, and behavior. The way we understand their choice and meanings is deeply rooted in your own experiences and knowledge.
Their effects are psychic. A specific color can make you stop, others can make you agitated, and others motivate you to do something. We have so many books around us about color psychology and design rules, and they always say it’s all about the emotions and feelings we have, and each color has its own association. But does it have to be that way?
The same thing happens in design: we have so many rules like “which color we should use” or “that color only can be used in…”, or “if you use a certain color, people can make the wrong association.”
But should we really stop using that color to express what we want and therefore control our creativity because of these? Why can’t we be the ones to ask the client or the consumer not to associate the color with anything? We always have to justify everything, but the color is something that should be more natural.
Choose color freedom
We should have the freedom to do the most random and most nonsense design! To show everyone what we want and make them ask themselves about what they see, think critically, and just think about it.
For example, when we use a different color on something that we know will look insane, it’s because that’s our way of expressing our feelings and making us question and think outside the box. This is possible because the design has many ways to catch your attention. Your opinion and what society inputs in your brain with simple associations or “rules” can and should be thought through and destroyed if need. Not only considering design but everything.
Consider the work of Sérgio Alves. He is a graphic designer who creates new things using a particular way of mixing colors, textures, the sizes of the text, and the images.
You will find in his work original materials. Usually, we don’t see posters with neon colors or stretched typography, probably because they can cause bad legibility and the stretched typography is not common.
With these little things, Sérgio creates his own (powerful) design and shows everyone that we can be more creators and have no limits in design.
Red or black? What color should I choose?
When we write something and use red color in all the text, usually it’s because something’s wrong, or to alert people, or to censure words. On the other hand, emotionally, it’s always associated with love, blood, tragedy, etc.
What if red could be associate with happiness? Like yellow does! And what if yellow could be associate with sadness?
It’s a little ironic to ask this, but that’s the point. Asking you if it is really necessary to always associate a color in this way, it’s challenging.
What makes the design interesting is how you, with colors and shapes, can make something simple into something massive and unique. It will take design to another level, for sure.
When you start doing experiences disconsidering the rules, exploring new dimensions, and showing people your new kind of communication, it will probably be a challenge for them to start looking at it differently and match the color and text the image, etc. All composition will become a new element and influence for other people, and it will start a new cycle on design.
Nowadays, we have many animations that show us multiple combinations, ideas, and a different way to create something new and represent similar things in an extraordinary format: it’s more interactive.
If we use these tools – animation and graphic design – we have complete communication, and we’ll catch all people attention’s when you show something like this one:
And this one:
It looks so intuitive, and if you spend a few minutes looking at the animation, you’ll understand how it plays and works. This isn’t so easy to animate, so make sure you enjoy it!
Black or white?
White is the beginning, and black is the end.
Eva Heller – Color Psychology
And what about these two colors in design? I think they are the most important colors to use – it’s something basic! And you always use them!
For example: in a simple text, the letter can be black and the paper can be white, or the opposite. It’s so powerful to look at a poster or something else, and have a big text in white in an all-black background, and you don’t have to do any association of the colors combined, because it’s what it is, no need to have an explanation for that.
But what if you see a poster with a red background and the text in white? What do you think? Will it be always associate a something more intimate? If the designer really wants your attention and puts a vibrant color on a red paper, it’s like a test.
So from now on, you must have more attention to the street, observe what’s around you, and apply these ideas about design.