Module 2 Color Theory: Lesson 2

Module 2 Color Theory: Lesson 2

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Lesson 2: Selecting a Color Scheme

Learning Targets

At the completion of this exercise:

  • you will have a better understanding of effective use of color on the web.
  • you will be aware of some excellent color-related resources.


The purpose of this lesson is to apply knowledge learned in Lesson 1 toward color selection for a website.


Investigate: Color theory consists of some very basic principles. Once you know these principles, working with colors will be demystified. The basic color principles are listed below, along with websites for you to investigate. Visit the sites and read the information carefully, because you will be expected to apply the concepts by the end of this lesson.

Primary, secondary and tertiary colors 
About.com Color Wheel and Color Theory 
ColorMatters.com Color Theory

Monochromatic, complimentary, triadic (color triads), analogous color schemes 
Color-Wheel-Pro.com Color Theory Basics
ColorMatters.com Color Theory
Worqx.com Color Combinations

Worqx.com Color & Contrast

Application: The colors you select for a site should be suitable to the site's purpose. Also, your client may have an image or reputation she or he wishes to project. Appropriately chosen color schemes can support the site's overall purpose and reinforce a desirable image. From the list below choose one of these fictitious clients. Consider the image or reputation the client wants to promote, as well as their purpose (to welcome/ introduce, to sell, to gain customer confidence, to inform, etc.) Use the Color Scheme Designer to pick an entire color scheme for that client.

  • Kindergarten Teacher
  • Medical Clinic
  • Landscape Architect
  • Your Portfolio Web Page (where you will link all of your websites) 

Using the Lesson 2 Response Form, type the list of colors you chose. Be sure to list the following:

  • text color
  • background color
  • main color in the banner and other key images
  • navigation color

Also state what type of color scheme you chose (monochromatic, analogous, etc.) and why you felt it was appropriate for that client.

Resources/Online Documents

Color Scheme Designer (Interactive tool for selecting color schemes)
Visibone Webmaster's Color Lab