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Graphic Design Quick Tip: achieving colour balance

by / Tuesday, 27 August 2013 / Published in Quick Graphic Design Tips

Sometimes when I do a layout, something just looks off. I’ll check my grid, and my elements, and everything is well assembled, but there’s just something bugging me. Very often, that “something” turns out to be a colour imbalance. Here’s an example of something that bugs me – see if you can pick it out before reading on – it’s subtle:

sample3

Okay, you may or may not share my opinions, so if you didn’t guess what I was driving at, it’s cool – bit of a trick question. For me, the problem here is a colour imbalance between the shot and the type. The type is saturated colour, and just seems too be glowing by comparison. Here’s an example of the same layout with a colour shift in the type:

sample1

Now the type is muted colour, and seems to match the image better. Again, this is subjective, but certainly a noticeable difference. Here’s the saturated type again, but with a saturated version of the image:

sample2

Works better. Again, in my opinion.

The point is, when you approach any layout, whether you agree with my take or not, have a look at your overall colours, including images, and go for a balance. We often just take images for granted since we so seldom shoot custom photos any more – a real shame, but that’s another post. Take your images into consideration when choosing colours and unify your elements so they’re all singing the same (visual) song.

2 Responses to “Graphic Design Quick Tip: achieving colour balance”

  1. Holly says : Reply

    My mind is blown again! I hate that feeling of “something’s off, but I don’t know what it is”.
    I really like the mental checklist you go through:
    Grid
    Elements
    Assembly
    Color Balance

    I’m furiously taking notes.

  2. Mark Wagner says : Reply

    I love this article and I must admit I haven’t thought about it this way (your way) and I totally agree! Thanks for the quick tip, Shawn!

    Mark

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