I’m not a very artistic person, I can (sometimes) decide on what’s a good color for a website, or where to place the nav section, or small things like that. But when it comes to matching colors or the right font I typically struggle a lot. Especially with font, since to me they all look the same. But the article Why Type Matters: The Power of Fonts in Business gives a good description of the use of font, and they make it clear that what works in print doesn’t always work in a site. The article talks about how typefaces are over 560 years old, and there hundreds of thousands of different typefaces. How do people come up with so many? Don’t ask me, but in those 560 years the importance of typefaces (fonts) has not decreased, and in fact is just getting bigger with the introduction of the digital age. I like how they use the example of when IBM created a Typewritter that allowed people to change to different fonts, but even that was limited to just a few. It wasn’t until Steve Jobs created the first Macintosh computer in 1984 that had a drop down menu that allowed people to choose from a variety of different fonts. From there on, Fonts became more and more popular and used. They also gave the example of how IKEA, the Swedish furniture company decided to change their print font from Futura to Verdana, a more web-friendly font. They soon regret the idea since pretty much all of their clients and the media hated the new logo, which brought a lot of negative publicity to the company.
Overall I think the main point of the article was that there are thousands of fonts, some work best in print and some work best on the internet, but what makes them really useful is that each different font portrays a different emotion that words alone can’t, and it allows business to differentiate one from another.
I have heard of the RGB color system before, and knew that the way color looks in paper is different from how it looks in a computer, since a computer emits light in different colors, while a paper absorbs light. I wasn’t aware of there being a CMYK color system. CMYK is used with process color. Process color is mostly used in printing, since it gives a wider variety range of colors than using spot color. So what is process color and spot color? the video Spot Color vs. Four Color Process really helped me understand the difference. Spot color refers to a method of creating colors where there are 14 base colors, and those 14 base colors are mixed to create different types of colors. The different colors are universal, and are usually named with a number. So if you ask for a certain number it’ll be the same shade of color here and in China or anywhere else in the world. That specific shade has it’s own recipe, so if you ask for that color they can create it for you by following the recipe. Process color, also known as four color process uses 4 base colors Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black, all the other colors are created by different percentages of the 4 base colors. Four color process gives many more colors than spot color does, but is usually more expensive for the same reason. If you were to take a picture to be printed spot color, the colors in the picture would be created by mixing any of the different 14 base colors, then they would be applied to the image, but if some shade you had on the image could not be accomplished with the spot color system, your printed image would look different from the original one. If you print something using CMYK four color process, you would have a wider range of colors. Your original image would be seperated into the 4 different base colors, then the percentage of each color would be obtained, and using a printing press each color would be laid one on top of the other, creating a visual effect of a continuous image. They suggested that if you are going to print something with just 2 or 3 colors to use spot color, but that if you’re going to use something much more complex to use process color, and leave it to a designer.
Color theory is a new term for me, and after doing some more research I found that there are different types of color theories. The article Basic Color Theory defined and gave examples of three different types of color theories. The first it gave was the color wheel, which is basically a way to display the primary colors of Red, Blue, and Yellow and how they relate to each other, along with the secondary colors (the color you get by mixing each of the primary colors), and tertiary colors (the colors you get by mixing the primary colors and secondary colors). The Second theory was the theory or Color Harmony, which refers to something that is pleasing to they eye. It creates a sense of order and balance in the visual experience. And the third color theory was that of color context, which is how a color behaves in relation to other colors, meaning that a red would look different in a brown background from a white background. I liked the Second color theory the best, since i think that color harmony is the main use of colors. We typically use colors to create different perceptions or feelings, and color harmony is what helps us create that. They gave different ways in which we can create the harmony, either by using analogous colors, meaning colors close to each other on the color wheel. Or by using complementary colors, meaning opposites on the color wheel. Or simply by looking in nature and following the patterns found in nature.
Learning that there are multiple color theories was interesting, which only makes me wonder how many more there are.