A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Accentuation in Technical Illustration

There are various ways to accentuate a specific part in its installation position. However in order to keep the printing cost as low as possible, it is recommended to opt for stylistic devices that are all in black and white.

ITEDO Software. Articles>Graphic Design>Technical Illustration>Color


Accommodating Color Blindness

An estimated nine to twelve percent of the male population suffers from some form of color vision deficiency, commonly called 'color blindness.' It is important for computer interface designers to take into account and eliminate, if possible, any potential confusions that can arise because of color vision deficiencies. There are two major types of color blindness. The most prevalent causes are confusion between red and green. This type affects approximately eight to ten percent of the male population. In another type, an additional one to two Percent of men suffer from a deficiency in perceiving blue/yellow differences. Less than one percent of women suffer from any form of color blindness. To understand color blindness better, it is helpful to be familiar with the ways in which colors differ from each other. One standard way to discuss color is to divide it into hue, saturation and brightness (HSB).

Hoffman, Paul. STC Usability SIG (1999). Design>Accessibility>Human Computer Interaction>Color


Against Non-Standard Link Colors

User tasks are carried out faster and better with sites that use standard link colors as opposed to non-standard.

Bohmann, Kristoffer. Bohmann Usability (2000). Design>Web Design>Usability>Color


Applying Color Theory to Digital Displays

For backgrounds behind text, use solid, contrasting colors, and avoid the use of textures and patterns, which can make letterforms difficult to distinguish or even illegible. Choose combinations of text color and background color with care. Value contrast between body text and its background color should be a minimum of about eighty percent.

Gabriel-Petit, Pabini. UXmatters (2007). Design>User Interface>Accessibility>Color


Be Kind to the Color Blind

Using color and color alone as a visual cue is appealing because it’s usually an aesthetically pleasing and a minimalist design technique. Calls to action and visual cues are critical to interface designers because users, especially on the web, have limited patience and are looking to process information and make decisions quickly. Since the brain recognizes and forms an emotional bond with colors almost immediately, colors are a natural choice for visual cues. Unfortunately, it’s easy to alienate or confuse some of your users when some of those aesthetically pleasing colors look very similar. To point out a few interfaces that use hard to differentiate colors as visual cues, here are a few examples that have given me some trouble.

Campbell, Chris. Particletree (2008). Articles>Graphic Design>Accessibility>Color


Behold the Value of Color   (PDF)

Why you should be designing pieces to be printed in color.

Output Links (2003). Design>Graphic Design>Prepress>Color


The Big Picture on Monitors

The analog format of the CRT is challenged by the digital capabilities of the LCD monitor.

Hawver, Mark. Digital Output (2003). Articles>Graphic Design>Prepress>Color


Can Color-Blind Users See Your Site?

Information that will help you to create more readable Web sites.

Hess, Robert. Microsoft (2000). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>Color


Change the Color of Visited Links

People get lost and move in circles when websites use the same link color for visited and new destinations. To reduce navigational confusion, select different colors for the two types of links.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2004). Design>Web Design>Usability>Color


Color Blender

Supply two color values in either hex, short hex, RGB percentages, or RGB decimals and get as many as ten colors shades between the two you supplied. Great for finding a color halfway between two shades you like, or mixing two colors together in various proportions.

Meyer, Eric. MeyerWeb. Design>Web Design>CSS>Color


Color Design for the Web

Did you know that a site visitor forms his or her first impression about your site within the first nine seconds of a visit? Making sure your color scheme is in contour with your site's content and visitors, is very important. You want the color scheme to enhance your site and it's content, not distract or confuse your users. Color gives users cues as to your site's navigation, grouping of content, importance, relationships, etc. For this reason, color is an essential element of Web site design. Most of the people relate to color similarly online and offline. Visitors to your site, whether they know it or not, respond to colors and other visual elements on your web site on a psychological level. An intrigued (and non-confused) site visitor is more likely to engage in the goal of your site -- whether it is meant to inform, entertain, or to sell goods or services.

Singh, Vaishali. CoolHomePages.com (2000). Design>Web Design>Marketing>Color


Color Forecasting

Every year I look forward to the Communication Arts issue that has the color predictions for the coming year. Mostly because I'm fascinated with the subject, but also because I want to see the funny color names they come up with.

Poynter Online (2004). Design>Publishing>Prepress>Color


Color Glossary

This glossary lists and explains color and visual perception terms which are relevant for graphic and Web design as well as usability. The information was taken from several sources and adapted to the needs of this glossary

Wiegand, Christine and Gerd Waloszek. SAP Design Guild. Design>Graphic Design>Prepress>Color


Color Imaging Workflow Primitives: Details and Examples   (PDF)

The term 'color fidelity' refers to the successful interoperability of color data, from image creation to output across multiple targets, such that color reproduction quality consistent with the user’s intent can be achieved Note: Interoperability among system color components, necessary for color fidelity, is both color-workflow and market-segment dependent definitions for architecture, image state, and image processing.

McCarthy, Ann. International Color Consortium (2002). Design>Graphic Design>Prepress>Color


Color in Mind   (PDF)

Despite advances in the technology of measuring and managing it, how we perceive color is still full of mystery and illusions.

Fraser, Bruce. Adobe Magazine (1996). Design>Graphic Design>Prepress>Color


Color in Motion

An interactive experience of color communication and color symbolism.

Cortés, Claudia. mariaclaudiacortes.com (2003). Design>Graphic Design>Visual Rhetoric>Color


Color in Technical Documents for Paper, Web, and PDF   (PDF)

Traditionally, technical documents have been produced in black and white because the cost of color reproduction on paper is high. With new delivery options of the Web and PDF, color is suddenly available at no cost online. And new digital printers make color on paper increasingly affordable. When opportunity knocks, issues tend to follow. Writers will find that using color is a learning experience. There is a new alphabet soup: RGB, CMYK, GIF, JPEG, CSS. There are new buzzwords: spot colors, process colors, digital printing. There are new techniques for representing color in Web pages and in PDF documents intended for paper or screen. Our presentation focuses on practical techniques, not graphic design.

Jackson, Ken and Sonya E. Keene. STC Proceedings (1999). Design>Document Design>Prepress>Color


Color Management How-To: Understanding Computer Color

Learning how to match the color you see on screen with that in your printed output is critical information for any digital artist or photographer. But first you need to understand how color works both on computer display and on paper. Start with this chapter from 'Real World Color Management.'

Bunting, Fred, Bruce Fraser and Chris Murphy. Creative Pro (2003). Design>Graphic Design>Prepress>Color


Color Management Made Easy

See the same colors in InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Acrobat, thanks to the Adobe Color Engine.

Adobe (2003). Design>Document Design>Software>Color


Color Management Resources

A collection of dozens of links to color management prepress resources.

IPA. Resources>Publishing>Prepress>Color


Color on the Web

You're seeing red. They're seeing orange. Not the same, is it? More often than not, color on the web is approximate. So how do you choose colors that are going to work best? Are you forever stuck with the old 216 color 'web-safe' colors? Is there technology that ensures what you see is what your visitors get?

Will-Harris, Daniel. Typofile (2003). Design>Web Design>Graphic Design>Color


Color on Web Design

Psychologically speaking, different color has different meaning. From this point, this article focuses on the relationship between the background color and content of the web interface.

uiGarden (2005). Design>Web Design>Graphic Design>Color


Color Theory for Designer, Part 3: Creating Your Own Color Palettes

Discusses methods for creating your own color schemes, from scratch. We’ll cover the traditional color scheme patterns (monochrome, analogous, complementary, etc.) as well as how to create custom schemes that aren’t based strictly on any one pattern. By the end of this article, you’ll have the tools and skills to start creating beautiful color palettes for your own design projects.

Chapman, Cameron. Smashing (2010). Design>Web Design>Graphic Design>Color


Color Theory for Designers, Part 1: The Meaning of Color

Color in design is very subjective. What evokes one reaction in one person may evoke a very different reaction in somone else. Sometimes this is due to personal preference, and other times due to cultural background. Color theory is a science in itself. Studying how colors affect different people, either individually or as a group, is something some people build their careers on. And there’s a lot to it. Something as simple as changing the exact hue or saturation of a color can evoke a completely different feeling. Cultural differences mean that something that’s happy and uplifting in one country can be depressing in another.

Chapman, Cameron. Smashing (2010). Design>Web Design>Graphic Design>Color


Color Theory for Digital Displays: A Quick Reference: Part I

This article is Part I of a quick reference on color theory for digital displays. It is the first in a series of articles about the use of color in application program user interfaces and on Web sites.

Gabriel-Petit, Pabini. UXmatters (2006). Design>Web Design>Standards>Color



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