We have a feeling you’ve heard most of what we’re about to say somewhere back in art school. We also have a feeling that art school was a few more decades back than you’re willing to admit. And with all that in mind, we’ve decided it’s that time of year: The time of year we give you a refresher course on some of the most basic color scheme and color-oriented design tips we know. You may think you’re fairly fantastic at arranging colored pixels, but without a constant reminder of the basics, you may really just be taking shots in the dark. So feel no shame, and keep reading, Solider! We all need a reminder now and again, starting with:

  1. Reds: There’s no hotter color in the book than red, and before you use it in a design, you should very likely ask yourself a few questions. Firstly, why are you using red? Do you want to emphasize the passion of the company or application, or are you trying to add much needed warmth to the page? Also, are you trying to emphasize the analytical nature of the project? You see, red is often ascribed to all of these emotions, and if you’re unaware of these cultural connotations, you may be drawing at straws. Typically, red stands for love, passion, heat, warmth, anger, feistiness, and shame. It’s also particularly brainy, where as—
  2. Blues: —are typically cooler, and portray an entirely different set of emotions. For example, most modern social networking sites make heavy use of blues. This is because the groups are cool, and create a relaxing sense in the viewer. They’re also thought of as being more creative, and as an incentive to get the creative juices flowing. Other emotions associated with blue are typically depressive, so if you’re looking to avoid subtle overtones, try a different color set. Greens are another cool set of colors that produce similar results, but without as many negative connotations within certain projects.
  3. Purples: Purple, as the direct combination of both blue and red, achieves some aspects of both, but without fully arriving at either. If you’re looking for a way out of using either the blue or red primary colors, purple sets are a nice way to go, allowing for more breathing room. Purple is also commonly thought of as being royal, and portrays a certain level of classiness, as well as a professional vibe.