3 things they didn’t tell you about your daily choice of colors…
This piece is going to be a short one, but super effective for you.
We all use color pickers on a daily basis — while working on a document, a spreadsheet, a presentation or even just a short email… However, most of us seem to be doing it wrong.
The reason you’re picking the wrong colors is based on two simple facts:
- No-one has ever told you how to choose colors correctly.
- The color pickers you use are causing you to make the wrong choices.
Here’s are the 3 things they forgot to teach you.
1. Please say goodbye to black
When I started out learning art, my teacher Eitan asked me to buy oil paint. He gave me a list of colors to buy, and when I asked how come there was no black on the list, Eitan told me that the color black simply doesn’t exist.
“There’s no black in the world. All of the black you see isn’t black at all. It’s a very dark shade of one of the other colors. If you use black color in your paintings, you’ll lose the chance of creating realism.”
“There’s only one way you will ever encounter the real black, and that occurs right after you see that bright white light. And you don’t want to see that…” he added with sarcasm.
Same thing with your text editors, emails, presentations, documents and other designs. We usually tend to select black as the leading color for text. It is even separated on your color picker to make it easier for you.
From now on, please stop choosing black.
Your text and dark elements should all have the color of dark gray. Trust me. Try and see the difference.
Here’s where to find it:
2. It’s about that background…
What’s the color of the background in your documents? I guess it’s white, isn’t it? No surprise here either. Microsoft Word or Google Docs are the ones choosing that color for you, and by doing so. they are hiding a key concept from you. Our eyes tend to focus on the lighter color, so white grabs all of the attention.
If you start changing your background to a light gray, you’ll see some magic happening.
Your docs and presentations will appear easier on the eyes, and you’ll even get an added bonus on top of that.
If you really want to grab attention, try using a white element on top of your light gray background.
Check out the following example. Which of these two objects stands out more? It’s the content you want to emphasize, not the background.
3. Moving on to the rest of the colors
What are the main colors you use on a daily basis for documents, emails and presentations? I guess these are the basic colors: yellow for highlights, green for marking something as positive, red for drawing attention and sometimes blue — just for the fun, right?
When you use these colors, you’re probablybeing assisted by the color picker in finding them. Once again, your color picker is making you pick the wrong colors!
When you use the yellow, red, green and blue the color picker is offering, your work will look like is was done by a 3-year old. Actually, the reason 3-year old children pick the wrong colors is due to the fact that they too are limited to the colors they get on the color sets — once again — the wrong colors to work with…
Replace the color sets you are using and see how the world starts to look much better.
Here’s your list of before and after, with their respective color codes. To locate them, look for the option to set up your colors manually. Every color picker allows that with just a few simple clicks.
4. Bonus point
How focused are you? Did you see my table?
- The background was light gray.
- The table itself was white.
- The background on the table header was dark gray.
- The borders and text were all dark gray.
Here’s how a typical chart you may have created recently looked up until now:
And this is how it can look from now on:
If you look closely, you’ll find out that it has even improved your sales! 🙂
Last thing before you leave
Well, I’m not sure how to say this, but… there are a few things they also didn’t tell you about the use of text! If you’d like me to share them with you, please drop a line in the comments.
Until then, be strong and don’t let the pickers chose for you.