Color is a powerful (visual) communication medium, it shapes our perception, interpretation and memory or what we see it can enhance the effectiveness of a message likewise, it may impair it. We often think little about color and design but as we create lessons which emphasize on visuals and visual literacy, we as teachers can learn a little about color and design.
A fellow educator shared with me on Twitter "how does your stuff always look so polished"? It got me thinking about that term "polished". I think what she meant was that besides the content, the lesson and resources had a certain feel. As I create lessons I have always wanted the design to HELP the lesson not HURT it . For example, we have all seen (and maybe made) some bad PowerPoint slides.
Fist off when thinking about color you should think about NOT overdoing it. Color should create a theme and accent your message - not dominate it.
For example look at the image below and see the choices you have designing the color of your text and the background.
Now here are some tools to help you find the right color to use.
For those of you wanting someone else to do all the work then look no farther than Slides Carnival. This service says that it allows you to:
"CREATE MEANINGFUL CONTENT, AND USE THESE FREE TEMPLATE DESIGNS TO GIVE YOUR PUBLIC A BEAUTIFUL AND MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE"
These are Google Slides templates and are beautifully designed. You can start here on your road of design but guess what; you can begin to edit these as well by clicking on VIEW - MASTER and then start playing around with all the elements. Here you can change the color, add/remove graphics and move around many of the items. Don't worry, you can't break anything so mess around with it!
Adobe Color CC
Now that you are ready to play with color you may think "uh, which color should I use"? The answer to that my friend is The Color Wheel. There are many sites out there but hands down, I think this one from Adobe is the easiest to use and understand. Try clicking on the wheel and moving the colors. You will see other colors move as well which COMPLIMENT your color of choice. Then take a look at the Color Rule. This brings up different ways colors compliment and contrast each other.
When you ready to start using these colors. You will find what looks like a coding numbers below each. The best number to find is the HEX number. Copy the number and then move to your project, like Google Slides for example.
Back at your project you need to find where to change the color of an object. For example I am showing below how to change the color of a Word Art in Google Slides.
You can see that you can CHOOSE any color using the palette provided or look at the number that starts with the # sign. This is the HEX color. So all you need to do is just paste that HEX color you copied from Abode Color and BAM - there is your new color. Continue this for all the elements on you project.
BTW, don't feel like you need to use ALL the colors selected. Play with which ones work for you. And remember, two tips:
1) look at several different design / color styles
2) don't spend too long on the design - make a choice and then move on.
Oh... two REALLY COOL features of Adobe Color are the ALL THEMES which allows you to view many standard and popular themes that others use and the other is CREATE FROM IMAGE.
You can access these at the bottom of the page or for the CREATE FROM IMAGE, you can just click on the camera icon in the upper right corner.
This allows you to upload one of your images and then Adobe Color will create a palette based on colors it pulls from this image. Check out the Gladiator image I uploaded below. How flipping cool is that!
So, what you can do with this handy, dandy feature is to use and image to create your theme. Look at the quick example I did using a photo I took of our district office and then made a slide which was based on three of those colors. I changed the background and the two titles to match HEX colors pulled from the image.
Coolors - Color Generator
Coolors is a web site which generates different color palettes for whatever project you are working on. I like that by just pressing on the Space Bar generates a new one, so work that space bar and find some cool color design ideas
Color Picker for Chrome
Here is the Chrome Extension
This is a simple tool but one I use often. I simply lets me get that HEX code from any color on any site. Since it is a Google Chrome extension all I have to do is open it, find my color, click and then copy.
Very useful if you want to copy a color from somewhere else. For example, I wanted to make a digital newspaper and have it have the old time paper look like The Daily Prophet which is the newspaper in Harry Potter. So, I did a search for this newspaper and used this extension to grab the HEX color - which is #D6BEA4 BTW
Hope you find some ideas and ways to use color to help your upcoming projects.