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Design How-To: Solve Color Dilemmas

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Choosing colors doesn’t have to be a guessing game. In this article from Before & After magazine, follow along as a designer finds fitting colors for a cover with a photograph and text. You’ll see how to pull coordinating colors out of a photo and how to convey a variety of messages with simple changes in hue.

“The cool colors — blues, mainly — make for a more serious, businesslike relationship and convey a direct, to-the-point message. Note that as the values get darker, her face gets perceptually brighter and apears to rise off the page toward you.”

We’ve posted this excerpt as a PDF file. Just click the link “Perfect Color” to open the PDF file in your Web browser. You can also download the PDF to your machine for later viewing. This how-to is formatted for easy onscreen reading. However, if you prefer paper, see pages 18 through 24 of the PDF, which repeat the information in a format suitable for printing.

To open the PDF, you’ll need Adobe Acrobat 6 or higher. We recommend version 7.0 to read “Before & After” PDFs. You can download it here:

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John McWade

John McWade

Designer, teacher, and author John McWade has been at the forefront of the graphic design and desktop publishing worlds since 1985. The very first beta user of the desktop publishing program Aldus PageMaker, he went on to found the first desktop publishing company, PageLab, to take advantage of the new tools. With his wife Gaye McWade, he founded the acclaimed Before & After magazine, long a favorite resource for graphic designers.
John McWade

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Posted on: March 25, 2005

John McWade

Designer, teacher, and author John McWade has been at the forefront of the graphic design and desktop publishing worlds since 1985. The very first beta user of the desktop publishing program Aldus PageMaker, he went on to found the first desktop publishing company, PageLab, to take advantage of the new tools. With his wife Gaye McWade, he founded the acclaimed Before & After magazine, long a favorite resource for graphic designers.

2 Comments on Design How-To: Solve Color Dilemmas

  1. Keep publishing similar articles.

  2. Color blocks work well with the demo but wished it would have some color blocks that didn;t work at all….

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