cs781 - Colour for Computer Graphics - Winter 2012

Course Notes

Lecture 22 - Decorating with Colour

And Now from our Sponsor

  1. Projects
  2. Tables of useful colour data

Last Wednesday's Assignment

It works especially well if the landlord has put a flourescent light fixture in the kitchen.

In breeding plants to make more colourful fruits and vegetables we have, inevitably, bred them to be less flavorful.

How I illuminate my bathroom in order to feel healthy in the morning.

Colour Below the Level of Attention = Colour we can't Think about = Colour we can only Feel

Luscher Color Test

Sold heavily to HR departments as a way to know the personality of a possible employee with having to do any more than ask them to choose their favourite colours.

Easily associated with

  1. horoscopes
  2. astrology
  3. chakras
  4. mysticism
  5. auras
  6. planes of vibration
  7. out-of-body experiences
  8. UFOs
  9. the great pyramid
  10. alien abductions
  11. ley lines
  12. crystals
  13. other pyramids
  14. sun worship
  15. numerology
  16. Rosicrucians
  17. birthstones

Colours Reversed

Existing Situation:

Sensuous. Inclined to luxuriate in things which give gratification to the senses, but rejects anything tasteless, vulgar or coarse.

Stress Sources:

Physiological Interpretation: Stress arising from the frustration of an unwanted situation.

Psychological Interpretation: Feels trapped in a disagreeable situation and powerless to remedy it. Angry, disgruntled and frustrated, almost to the point of nervous prostration.

In Brief: Frustrated desire for independence.

Restrained Characteristics:

Demanding and particular in his relations with those close to her, but careful to avoid open conflict since this might reduce his prospects of realising his hopes and ideas.

Desired Objective:

Needs a peaceful environment. Wants release from stress, and freedom from conflicts or disagreement. Takes pains to control the situation and its problems by proceeding cautiously. Has sensitivity of feeling and a fine eye for detail.

Actual Problems:

Depleted vitality has created an intolerance for further stimulation, or demands on his resources. A feeling of powerlessness subjects her to agitation and acute distress..


The colour choices do not suggest any particular ambivalences.

Approach to Work:

The colour choices do not suggest a particular approach to work.

Anxiety, on a scale of 0 (lowest) to 6 (highest): 4 .

Compulsiveness of compensations (from 0 to 6): 1 .

True Colours

Existing Situation:

Not only considers his demands minimal, but also regards them as imperative. Sticks to them stubbornly and will concede nothing.

Stress Sources:

Physiological Interpretation: Refuses to relax or give in. Holding exhaustion and depression at bay by keeping active.

Psychological Interpretation: An existing situation is unsatisfactory, which not only depresses him but makes her irritable and impatient. Ability to concentrate may suffer.

In Brief: Restless dissatisfaction.

Restrained Characteristics:

Egocentric and therefore quick to take offence.

Desired Objective:

Seeks success, stimulation and a life full of experience. Wants to develop freely and to shake off the shackles of self-doubt, to win and to live intensely. Likes contacts with others and is enthusiastic by nature. Receptive to anything new, modern or intriguing; has many interests and wants to expand his fields of activity. Optimistic about the future.

Actual Problems:

Anxiety and a restless dissatisfaction have produced stress. He tries to escape by intense activity, directed either towards personal success or towards variety of experience.


The colour choices do not suggest any particular ambivalences.

Approach to Work:

The colour choices do not suggest a particular approach to work.

Anxiety, on a scale of 0 (lowest) to 6 (highest): 3 .

Compulsiveness of compensations (from 0 to 6): 1 .

Colour in Visual Storytelling aka the Movies

Colour story boards

Red. The caffeinated colour.

advancing, in your face

complement of green-blue

Yellow. The contrary colour

warm, advancing

complement of blue

Blue. The detached colour

cold, receding

complement of yellow

Orange: The sweet and sour colour

warm, advancing

complement of blue-green

Green: The split personality colour

cold, receding

complement of purple-red

Purple: The beyond-the-body colour

warm/cold, advancing/receding

complement of yellow-green


Colour for Branding

In order to establish the SAP brand apart from competition as well as in a positive way in its own right the design utilizes extensive use of color. The onscreen evidence of color, mostly identified by the two base colors, becomes a very strong and easily identifiable brand quality. This is especially powerful in the current state of the software industry since few non-web applications use anything but grey. By this effect, just the very presence of color becomes a brand signature of the Enjoy design language. In support of the base colors, the color system of the SAP corporate identity is well represented onscreen through the large blue bar ending in an onscreen SAP logo.

The EnjoySAP language is designed not only to support its creator, SAP, but also to incorporate elements for the inclusion of the customers or the partners own branding needs. This is designed to imply a greater-sum value created by cooperation between SAP and the customer. The customer is able to add their own color system by adjusting the base color system of their users systems at install. By doing this, they can establish a default software brand appearance for their entire enterprise.

Baby Decoration I

A million books on how to decorate with colour

Excursion: Colour and Mood

Energy Level

Illumination versus Reflection

Baby Decoration II

Use the starting colour as the basis for a colour scheme

A million books with sets of colours that go together

Excursion: Colour Design

Creating sets of colours

Colour mixing models

Baby Decoration III

Large areas of colour

Coloured objects

Case Study: Dynamic Colour Management for Windowing Systems

Windows have many customizable colours

  1. Background
  2. Frames
  3. Menus
  4. Recurse on the applications within frames and add ...

Colour choice has two important aspects

  1. Aesthetic


Contrary to expectations there is minimal interference between aesthetic and functional colour use.

Aesthetic colour use

  1. Avoiding things the user dislikes or finds offensive
  2. Enhancing things the user likes
  3. Complementing the user's choices

Function colour use

  1. Building associations
  2. Conveying structural organization
  3. Enhancing comprehension

Implementation framework

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