Category Archives: Nicole Galvin

Book Covers


Potion; Contrasts: Cool-Warm, Complementary, Extension (Proportion), Hue


Violence Against Innocent People; Light-Dark Contrast


Urban Terror; Contrasts: Cool-Warm, Saturation


Uncontrollable; Contrast of Vibrating Colors


Trapped; Contrasts: Complementary, Vibrating Colors


Sinister; Contrasts: Cool-Warm, Hue, Extension (Proportion)


Silence; Simultaneous Contrast


Metamorphosis; Contrast of Hue


Hyde’s Appearance; Contrast of Vibrating Colors


Duality; Contrasts: Complementary, Saturation, Cool-Warm, Hue

Presentation Notes

Color Biology

  • Seeing color: the basics
    • Black cloth feels warmer bc black absorbs and white reflects
    • When mix all colored lights = white
      • When paint mixed together it creates black
      • 3 types of cones in our eyes
        • long red, medium, green, short blue
        • don’t use cones in dim lights; use rods
        • 3 types of color blindness
          • monochromatic – lack all cones
            • rare
            • dichromatic – lack r-g or b-y
            • anomalous – trichromatic – color weakness
            • a lot of animals are not color blind
              • dogs can see red blue and violets
              • rats are color blind
              • birds fish and many mammals perceive the entire spectrum
              • bees can see ultraviolet colors
              • eyes can see over 10 million colors
              • mirrors reflect green light
                • specular reflection
                • diffuse reflection
                • why green light?
                  • Mirrors light in the 510 nanometer range which is the range in which we see green
                  • Yellow cannot be shown on a screen,  so it is a combination of colors next to each other that make you perceive yellow


Color Theory History

  • 1660 Isaac newton
    • modern theory of light and color
    • Prism experiment helped newton build a concept of what is known as the color wheel
    • 1758  tobias Mayer
      • did a color triangle diagram and began with 3 main pure colors: red blue and yellow
      • 1769 jacob Christian schaffer
        • when you combine blue red and yellow, they create multiple shades in between. His color system shows color combinations within a color group
        • 1800s  Johann Wolfgang Van Goethe
          • focused more peoples emotions and feelings
            • disagreed with newton’s scientific base
            • 1807 Otto Runge
              • made a color wheel model taking the primary colors and adding black and white to demonstrate other colors
              • created a 3d model color sphere
              • 1839 Michel Eugene Chevreul
                • took Runge’s idea and arranged 72 colors into a hemisphere
                • 1915 Albert Munsell
                  • cylindrical system model showing hue (around the model), value (vertical), and chroma (horizontal)
                  • described color in a scientific manner
                  • helped launch other color wheels
                  • 1979 Ewald Hering
                    • Natural Color System
                      • Six psychological primary colors: yellow blue red green white black



Color Psychology

  • Primary Colors
    • Red
      • Symbolic Meaning: Red captures attention rom people because it is the most visible color (ex: stop sign, fire truck).
  • Yellow
    • Symbolic Meaning: Yellow is generally accepted as being optimistic, enlightening, as well as happiness. It can also represent a good future when goldish. Universally, it represents caution since it is a very visible color (ex: yellow stop light)
  • Blue
    • Symbolic Meaning: It’s ranked high and overused. People tend to mix blue with other colors to be creative. Blue I also the most recognizable as well as most used color in design for corporations.
    • Secondary Colors
      • Orange
        • Symbolic Meaning: Brighter, warmer oranges represent energy and warmth. Orange is also used to set things apart from their surroundings for safety reasons. Orange can also represent gluttony in the Christian faith.
  • Green
    • Symbolic Meaning: Green is used to represent safety worldwide. It is also commonly associated with nature. However, it also is associated with something that is incredibly smelly or intense jealous (green with envy). Green is also associated with money.
  • Purple
    • Symbolic Meaning: Purple symbolizes nobility and luxury to most people. It also represents pride in Christianity.


Applied Color

  • Branding: the name, term, sign, symbol or design or a combination of them intended to identity a company’s products
    • Logo/color more important than words
    • People absorb color before anything else
      • 60% of people will decide if they are attracted or not based on color alone
      • Color = 80% increase in brand recognition
      • Color Trends:
        • Red 29%
        • Yellow/Gold 13%
        • Black/Grey 28%
        • Blue 33%
        • Brands use their colors throughout their websites (ex: accent colors, borders, images)
          • Other colors used on the website enhance the brands color
          • Muted color pallet
          • Need to consider contrast for readability
          • Book cover designers need to balance themes and entice readers


Printing Color

  • Offset Printing
    • Prints newspapers, magazines and books at high speed
    • Several step process
    • To print full color photos, the photo is separated into CMYK
    • Each color layer is printed separately and on top of each other
    • Screen Printing
      • Uses a stencil to apply ink
      • Used for t-shirts, posters, stickers, vinyl, wood, etc.
      • Laser Printers
        • Digital printing process that rapidly produces high quality text and graphics using a laser beam
        • Inkjet Printers
          • Use liquid ink sprayed through microscopic nozzles onto the paper
          • Uses small dots that align together to create the image


Color Management

  • The procedure of controlling color characteristics between devices
  • By viewing color accurately, it allows you to make correct decisions on color scheming
  • Keeping things consistent ensures the message is properly communicated
  • Logos are consistently recognizable
  • Pantone Color System
    • Widely used; standardized
    • Can produce color that can’t be mixed with CMYK
    • Uses a system of numbers and suffix
      • Number = color; Suffix = paper being printed on
      • Suffixes:
        • CV – Computer Video
        • C – Coated
        • U – Uncoated
        • M – Matte
  • Color Space
    • Range of colors from different devices
    • Larger color spaces hold both brighter, saturated and extra colors


Color and Monitors/Screens

  • Additive Color
    • When primary additive color lights are mixed they form a white light
    • Hexadecimal – a system to add or subtract value to color
      • Ranges from 00 (no value or color) to FF (highest saturation)
      • Made up of six digits
        • First two represent the red; Second two represent the green; Last two represent blue
        • RGBA
          • A refers to the ALPHA channel
          • Adds transparency
          • LCD screen – liquid crystal display
          • Formats you can save  (.gif, .jpeg, .png) are based on RGB information
          • HSVA – creates and outputs a new color space by converting the hue, saturation, value and alpha components taken from the input
          • Number of pixels on a screen affects the way colors look

Nicole Galvin – Color Perception

-Not everyone’s cones pick up and register light the same.

  • 3 Cone Impairments: “L”ong (red), protanopia; “M”edium (green), deutanopia; “S”hort (blue), tritanopia
  • most color deficiencies affect the L- or M-cones
-There are several different kinds of color blindness.
-Different diagnostic tests are used to see which colors someone can and cannot see.
-Color looks different on paper and on screen.
-CDW pg 66: 3 tips on how to use color that will work for most people
-Cones do not function well in the dark, so rods take over.
-Rods make everything seem blue-grey.

Nicole Galvin – Color Contrasts, Optical Illusions

Proximity can affect the perception of a color; a color can look different based on the surrounding color(s). (good examples on 33 of DCM)
-Perception of color is always changing.
-Always experiment with colors; a tiny change in the tint or shade can make it work.
-Warm colors: advance, seem near; Cool colors: recede, seem far
-Designers need to take into consideration what kind of environment the product will be placed in order to choose the optimum color scheme.
-Light and shade show depth
-Seven types of contrast: hue, light-dark, cold-warm, complementary, simultaneous, saturation, extension (examples of all seven on page 61 of CDW).
-Optical Illusions is how we perceive, process and interpret colors.
-Negative Afterimage: if you look at a color for a bit, when you look away it will be the complement of that color.
-The proximity of colors can create an optical illusion.
-Fatigued neurons also contribute to optical illusions.

Nicole Galvin – Color Theory History, Psychology of Color

Color Theory History:
-Sir Isaac Newton looked at color with a scientific approach, whereas Johann Wolfgang von Goethe observed how people responded to certain colors.
-Louis Prang worked to get the primary colors to be taught in American art eduction.
-Bauhaus (German art & design school): functional design (are and industry together)
-Color theories can be expressed in a multitude of ways: Goethe’s color triangle, The Munsell Color Tree, Itten’s diagrams, etc.
-“…designation is completely subjective, as is true in nearly all color theories.” (18)
-Color theory = creating aesthetically pleasing color relationships 
-Color Harmony: complementary, split complementary, double complementary, analogous, triadic, monochromatic
-Using tints and shades in a color scheme help create a pleasing and harmonious color system.
Psychology of Color:
-Itten studied light waves and reflection (aka color relationships)
-Itten—color harmony: “balance, a symmetry of forces” (44)
  • achieved when mixed colors create gray
-Most versatile color model = Munsell’s Color Tree
  • hues arrange by saturation
  • when vertical, can include even more shades
  • originally a 3D form, but easier to understand in a 2D form (I agree)
-Important for designers to understand how color affects their viewer.
-Page 49: Max Luscher’s color card test; positives and negatives of colors. gray, blue, brown, red, violet, green, black, yellow.

Color Contrasts – Nicole Galvin

NG_Contrast of hue

Contrast of Hue – The Contrast of Hue combination in this image is the blue/yellow/violet.

NG_light and dark contrast

Light-Dark Contrast – Even without vibrant colors in the piece, the image still pops from the contrast of the darkness and the lightness with the shades of gray between them helping the film strip pop and stand out.

NG_cold warm

Cold-Warm Contrast – I believe this is a good example for Cold-Warm Contrast. The combination of the warm red and the cool blue a help to make this picture pop.

NG_Complementary Contrast

Complementary Contrast – Blue and orange are complementary colors on the color wheel, and when combined allow for a strong contrast that support one other.

NG_Simultaneous Contrast

Simultaneous Contrast – I feel like this might be a good example of Simultaneous contrast, because when the images interact and overlap one another the colors change. The perception of the images is influenced by the surrounding colors.

NG_Contrast of Saturation

Contrast of Saturation – The colors in this image are very vibrant and intense, which contrasts with the high saturation found throughout the image.

NG_Contrast of Extension


Contrast of Extension – The black background with the pop of color in the flowers is what makes this an example of Contrast of Extension.  There is a big pop of color on the left with little darkness, while on the right there is a great amount of darkness with small amounts of bright colors.