Choosing colors for a brand, website, or illustrations is not an exact science and I have yet to perfect it myself but here are some tips and tools I like to use which make the process that much easier.

wheel

1. Color Theory

Here are some basic rules and color pairings based on the color wheel:

Primary Colors are the roots of all other colors. They are Red, Yellow, and Blue. primary

Secondary Colors are created by mixing primary colors (such as red and yellow making orange). They are Orange, Purple, and Green. secondary

Tertiary Colors are created by mixing mixing primary and secondary colors. They are Yellow-Orange, Red-Orange, Red-Purple, Blue-Purple, Blue-Green, and Yellow-Green. Tertiary

Analogous are three colors side by side on the color wheel such as Yellow, Yellow-Green, and Green. analogous

Complementary colors are directly opposite each other on the color wheel such as Green and Red. complimentary

Triadic are colors evenly spaced around the color wheel such as Purple, Green, and Orange. secondary

Tints are when you add white to a hue. tints

Shades are when you add black to a hue. shades

Tones are adding gray to a hue. tones

Warm colors consist of Red, Orange, and Yellow. warm

Cool Colors consist of Blue, Green, and Purple. cool

Neutrals consist of black, white, gray, brown, beige, tan, cream, and ivory. neutrals

 

2. Brand

Existent: If a brand is already in place it is important to create a scheme that compliments the current concept.

  • If they only have color you can have more fun and play around with tones, shades, complimentary colors, etc. If more than one color is present you don’t want to just throw another color in and hope for the best.
  • Two colors in the brand? Pick something in the middle.  If pink and blue are your brand colors, I would try a purple
  • Do they colors work okay on their own? If so, can we just update them a little? Remove a muted blue for a bright blue option that may be more clickable. If there is a decent color base, there’s no reason to reinvent the wheel.

 

Non-existent: Starting from scratch is always fun but that doesn’t mean it is a free for all. Follow the brand attributes to guide your color choices. Some examples are:

  • Clean: Really the options are endless, but focus more on one solid color choice such bright blue and pair with white and gray.
  • Modern: Simple and bold. Follow current trends and try something with more of a punch like a bright magenta, blue, yellow, and red.
  • Retro: Try a mustard, deep turquoise, or burnt orange with a subtle cream color. You want it to have a vintage vibe without being outdated.

 

3. Audience

Who is your audience? Just because you and the client might love a color combo doesn’t mean it actually fits who the audience is. Would you use black and white with a splash of red on a website selling kids toys and giving parents advice? I think not. You need to choose a color that represents the company and supports the audience. Some examples:

  • Popular Music: Bold reds, yellows, blues, purple, grey, black, and even neons.
  • Parents/Kids: Fun, light hearted options are always best. Primary colors are always a solid choice but you could throw some secondary colors in there as well. Pair with white and you are golden.
  • Legal: Gold, burgundy, and all other deep, rich colors.

 

4. Usability 

Does the color look clickable? Can I read the important copy? Will this color look cool in six months? Can I tell what these illustrations are? All important questions. If you cannot answer them, you’re color options are might not be the right fit. It is hard sometimes not to follow along with current trends but make sure the brand can grow. Not every client is going to want to overhaul in a year because neon blue isn’t hip anymore.

 

5. Current Trends

  • Bright bold colors. Can’t get enough neon.
  • Single color with a splash of white or black.
  • Subtle gradients. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a fan of gradients and you’ll find it hard to convince me otherwise but lately I have seen tastefully done gradients that even I have grown to love.
  • Tones, shades, or tints of one color.
  • Multicolor illustrations and icons. Yes simple single color icons are still in, not sure if they will ever go out of style, BUT don’t knock the multicolored illustrations I’ve been seeing pop up all over the place. I can’t get enough.

 

 

 

 

In the end, trust your gut. We all have different tastes and colors that appeal more to ourselves. Try it out and see what works. Creating iterations and playing with a variety of concepts is the key to finding the perfect match.

Richelle


Desk Shots

We put together a little glimpse of a day in the life of a doejo’er. Enjoy!

al-detail-00

al-detail-01

al-detail-02

Al Candelario

What do you look forward to about your desk every morning?
The thing I look forward to most at my desk everyday is cataracts by the time I turn 50.

Name one thing you would rescue from your desk if there was a fire (aside from your computer) and why?
If there was a fire, I’d rescue my bag of peanut M&Ms (not shown for security reasons). Because then the firemen would eat my M&Ms.

If you were to work remote for a day, what would you take with you from your desk?
I think I might take the 4K monitor if working from home for a day. Its got pros and cons like anything, but imagine all the web you can browse – without the code-editor windows and other work getting in your way.


bryan-detail-0
bryan-detail-1

Bryan Paronto

What do you look forward to about your desk every morning?
For me, it’s not the desk, but the work I get to do there. I still can’t believe they pay me for this stuff.

Name one thing you would rescue from your desk if there was a fire (aside from your computer) and why?
Books! I keep a few reference books at my desk and I’d probably miss them should they ever become firewood.

If you were to work remote for a day, what would you take with you from your desk?
Headphones. Working in an open floorpan headphones are essential. When working from home I like to emulate the office environment, and that means wearing headphones even when I’m at home alone.


chris-detail-0

chris-detail-1

chris-detail-2

Chris Geitz

What do you look forward to about your desk every morning?
I look forward to the sense of security I feel when I’m sitting at my desk in front of my Doejo issue 27″ Imac. I also like how many windows I can fit on my screen all at once.

Name one thing you would rescue from your desk if there was a fire (aside from your computer) and why?
If I could save one thing it would be the pink tractor given to me by my sister (former Doejo employee) who tragically passed on… to another job.

If you were to work remote for a day, what would you take with you from your desk?
Whenever I work remotely I make sure to bring my external hard drive because it’s got important confidential data in it and I don’t want it to fall into the wrong hands.


dan-detail-00

dan-detail-01

Dan Sosedoff

What do you look forward to about your desk every morning?
monitor stand

Name one thing you would rescue from your desk if there was a fire (aside from your computer) and why?
I would rescue zippo fluid as I keep it on my desk.

If you were to work remote for a day, what would you take with you from your desk?
sticky notes


Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

Darren Marshall

What do you look forward to about your desk every morning?
Obvious.

Name one thing you would rescue from your desk if there was a fire (aside from your computer) and why?
Obvious.

If you were to work remote for a day, what would you take with you from your desk?
Obvious.


garrett-detail-0

garrett-detail-1

garrett-detail-2

garrett-detail-3

garrett-detail-4

Garrett Galayda

What do you look forward to about your desk every morning?
My headphones. My desk is setup perfect right now but I’d say since getting a good pair of headphones I have found new reason not to work from home.

Name one thing you would rescue from your desk if there was a fire (aside from your computer) and why?
My backpack. Total strategic smash and grab attempt and hope for the best.

If you were to work remote for a day, what would you take with you from your desk?
Besides the headphones I’d say the new iPhone wood block stands I have. Super handy testing my designs on multiple devices at once.


Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

illia-detail-1

illia-detail-2

Illia Karasin

What do you look forward to about your desk every morning?
My chair leans back in just the perfect way that I can almost lay down and see my screen(s) / code.

Name one thing you would rescue from your desk if there was a fire (aside from your computer) and why?
My notebook because of how long I’ve had it / how full it is of notes both personal and work related.

If you were to work remote for a day, what would you take with you from your desk?
Nothing, code repositories make that possible.


IMG_1305

Jay Hoppie

What do you look forward to about your desk every morning?
What I look forward to most about my desk is actually the wonderful collaborators who sit near me.

Name one thing you would rescue from your desk if there was a fire (aside from your computer) and why?
If I had to abandon my desk quickly, I would definitely grab my cup of coffee. Then maybe my computer.

If you were to work remote for a day, what would you take with you from your desk?
All I need is my laptop.


jeff-detail-0

jeff-detail-1

Jeff Merrick

What do you look forward to about your desk every morning?
That I will soon be drinking coffee at it.

Name one thing you would rescue from your desk if there was a fire (aside from your computer) and why?
Can I answer my computer twice?

If you were to work remote for a day, what would you take with you from your desk?
See #2


jon_desk_wide

jon_desk_paper

Jon Wheeler

What do you look forward to about your desk every morning?
Coffee and quiet.

Name one thing you would rescue from your desk if there was a fire (aside from your computer) and why?
Not too tied to anything that’s on my desk, pretty much everything is replaceable, I’d probably grab my guitar from right next to my desk.

If you were to work remote for a day, what would you take with you from your desk?
I work from home everyday, but when I go and work from a coffee shop I make sure I have my headphones so that I can escape distractions.


keystone-detail-0

keystone-detail-1

keystone-detail-2

Keanan Koppenhaver

What do you look forward to about your desk every morning?
I like how my desk is organized and I know exactly where something is if I need to find it. Also that it’s in the same row as Rich Cornish and Dan Sosedoff and I get to see their smiling faces.

Name one thing you would rescue from your desk if there was a fire (aside from your computer) and why?
Probably my corded mouse. That thing has made switching computers so much easier.

If you were to work remote for a day, what would you take with you from your desk?
I’d have to bring my legal pad. It’s what helps me keep track of the various tasks I have on any given day better than a to-do list app ever has.


kenny-detail-0

kenny-detail-1

kenny-detail-2

Kenny Toffelmiere

What do you look forward to about your desk every morning?
I have some pretty solid headphones by Motorheadphones. Music is everything to me, so I look forward to getting things done while jamming out to some tunes.

Name one thing you would rescue from your desk if there was a fire (aside from your computer) and why?
It’d definitely be my dad’s old business card case. It’s the obvious choice as it’s the only thing irreplaceable at my work station.

If you were to work remote for a day, what would you take with you from your desk?
Notebook. I’ve gotta have my notes.


manijeh-detail-1

manijeh-detail-0

Manijeh

What do you look forward to about your desk every morning?
Mathew Lissner

Name one thing you would rescue from your desk if there was a fire (aside from your computer) and why?
My lip gloss bc it makes me happy :)

If you were to work remote for a day, what would you take with you from your desk?
My filing cabinet :)


matt-detail-1

matt-detail-0

Matthew Lissner

What do you look forward to about your desk every morning?
The use of a second screen.

Name one thing you would rescue from your desk if there was a fire (aside from your computer) and why?
Manijeh or Alfonso. Game time decision.

If you were to work remote for a day, what would you take with you from your desk?
Rain, sleet, or typhoon, I tend to come in, so I’m not sure what a “remote work day” entails. I’ve only attempted it once or twice to little avail. On weekends I bring home bank statements or payroll reports to work on.


noah-detail-00

noah-detail-01

noah-detail-02

Noah

What do you look forward to about your desk every morning?
Each morning I look forward to eating the snacks and candy that are normally waiting for me in the top drawer. I enjoy working with an external monitor because my MacBook Air screen is kinda small (productivity w00t w00t)

Name one thing you would rescue from your desk if there was a fire (aside from your computer) and why?
If there were a fire, I’d rescue the design books on my desk — typography, logos, lettering, signage. I dig those images. Picture books for grown ups.

If you were to work remote for a day, what would you take with you from your desk?
When I work from home, I take my headphones (with hands-free microphone) for phone calls and jambands, and my notepad so I don’t forget important facts!


IMG_7970

Phil Tadros

What do you look forward to about your desk every morning?
client checks!

Name one thing you would rescue from your desk if there was a fire (aside from your computer) and why?
family pic(s)

If you were to work remote for a day, what would you take with you from your desk?
phone charger


rich-detail-0

rich-detail-1

Richard Cornish

What do you look forward to about your desk every morning?
The pine wood is so soft on my hands.

Name one thing you would rescue from your desk if there was a fire (aside from your computer) and why?
The Goldfish® because they’ve already been baked once. Never again.

If you were to work remote for a day, what would you take with you from your desk?
Bose SoundTrue™ in-ear headphones because I need tunes, friend.


Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

Richelle Rolli

Well since this in my home office and I am working from home, I look forward to being around all of my weird stuff that takes up too much room on my desk.

Name one thing you would rescue from your desk if there was a fire (aside from your computer) and why?
My external hard drive and my notebooks. Oh and my cat.

If you were to work remote for a day, what would you take with you from your desk?
My external hard drive and any notes/doodles I may need.


rinat-detail-0

rinat-detail-1

rinat-detail-2

Rinat

What do you look forward to about your desk every morning?
Just being at it. I had to work remotely for 4 months, and boy, did I miss my desk. Also the mug and the little Dalek.

Name one thing you would rescue from your desk if there was a fire (aside from your computer) and why?
My ping-pong paddle. It came from Australia, so it would be a shame to lose it.

If you were to work remote for a day, what would you take with you from your desk?
Umm. 27″ screen is nice, but it’s not viable to take it out and about.


tif-detail-0

tif-detail-1

tif-detail-2

Tif Harrison

What do you look forward to about your desk every morning?
Every morning I press my finger into the soil of my Spider Plant to see if it needs to be watered. Sometimes, I find joy in straightening everything that has been moved around in my absence.
I don’t know how, or why, things move around so much after I leave but they do.

Name one thing you would rescue from your desk if there was a fire (aside from your computer) and why?
The Spider Plant; not just because it is a living thing but because I propagated it from a friend’s plant. She moves across the country in a few months. It’s important that I keep it alive.

If you were to work remote for a day, what would you take with you from your desk?
My Ten-Key. But I don’t currently own a computer, so this question is somewhat non-applicable.
Yes. I work for a digital agency and I don’t own a computer.


zhenia-detail-0

zhenia-detail-1

zhenia-detail-2

zhenia-detail-3

zhenia-detail-4

Zhenia

What do you look forward to about your desk every morning?
I look forward getting tea or coffee and setting on my desk to sip throughout the day.

Name one thing you would rescue from your desk if there was a fire (aside from your computer) and why?
I would definitely grab my camera in case of fire to document the fire.

If you were to work remote for a day, what would you take with you from your desk?
I would choose to bring my camera again.

P.S. I like circles


Garrett Galayda

Creative Director


Notes-o-Matic

Collaborations are great. Especially when you get to help create the world’s first Field Notes vending machine. Check it out at SPACE. Thanks so much to everyone at Coudal for helping make it a reality.

Darren


Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 4.28.58 PM

What they do: If you like to roll in style to your next private party or just fancy to take limousines in general wherever you go, we got the transportation company for you! M&M Limousine Services’ employees and chauffeurs understand the importance of delivering exemplary service throughout every ride. Whether your destination is twenty minutes or two hours away, M&M Limousine Services will assure you are in control, on time and enjoying your journey. Enlist our experts for your next corporate or leisure travel and we guarantee you will never need another transportation company again.
What we did: We created 18 video car virtual tours for M&M Limousine Services. Here is the sneak peek at one of the vehicles in the fleet. Visit them at www.chicagolandlimo.com

Zhenia Koval


Ho ho ho!

Enjoy this free icon set we made for all your holiday needs.

Download Now

xmas-1xmas-2

Richelle