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Graphic Designer's Essential Reference by Timothy Samara

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Job:07-26153 Title:RP-Graphic Designer’s Essential Reference PB Edn
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ESSENTIAL VISUAL STRATEGIES
BASIC TECHNIQUES
To code a system of three or
more components that are
remarkably different from
each other, choose very differ-
ent hues
but create a sense
of family by constraining
their values and intensities.
In a system of multiple fami-
lies, try to fi rst establish a
limited palette to distinguish
each family
perhaps hues
that are analogous
clearly
projecting the fundamental
relationship between the
families as parts of a greater
whole. One might also choose
a highly differentiated hue
for each family, such as
those in a triad, or sets of
complements, and then unify
the families with a single
hue. The components within
each family could be coded
as grades (using the value or
intensity of the family color)
or themselves differentiated
through subtle analogous
relationships.
For components that are
more closely related and
equivalent to each other in
their quality or grade, choose
a single base hue and create
analogous counterparts
for the components by
shifting the temperature.
As an alternative, choose a
single unifying hue and then
combine it with secondary
hues that communicate each
component’s difference, but
still under some limitation
(all still analogous, or of the
same value).
To distinguish components by
grade or level, select a single
hue and, for each grade,
change the saturation or
value, or both.
Color is very effective for coding
using
different colors to identify parts of a system,
sections in publications, or counterparts in a
line of products. When using color this way,
the designers fi rst concern must be what the
needs of the audience might be in terms of
understanding how the coding relates the
parts to each other. If the project is a packag-
ing system, for instance, are all the products
being packaged remarkably different or
does each represent a grade or level? Is there
one family of products, or are there several
related lines, each with its own subproducts?
The answers to questions such as these will
help determine the complexity that the color
coding must address and, therefore, how
much variation in hue (or combinations of
hues) will be useful to the audience. Although
each component within a coded system must
be clearly distinguishable, the colors used to
distinguish them must bear some relation to
support an understanding that the compo-
nents are a family. Carefully controlling the
aspects of hue, value, saturation, and rela-
tionships created with accent or secondary
colors becomes critical.
Quick, Easy Coding Strategies
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Job:07-26153 Title:RP-Graphic Designer’s Essential Reference PB Edn
#175 Dtp:204 Page:27
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