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When When was the last time you saw a monochromatic Web site?
Color is one of the most important parts of the repertoire of your average Web designer, and yet many designers don't realize that the colors they pick may be having more of an effect than they think it does. Colors are an element of design that people react to on a visceral level. Often, they don't understand they are affected by it. For example, in the U.S. many health care centers choose light blue and pale pink to dress their nurses. This is done because these are calming, soothing colors, and angry patients relax a bit when look at them. Once you get to know your audience make up you can pick a color scheme that works for them.
When picking the colors for your Web site, you need to first (as always) think of your users. Is it a worldwide audience? Is it primarily Western? Eastern? What age group? Male? Female? All of these things, and a lot other can affect the color choices for your site.

Cultural Background
Colors gain their exclusive meaning through ethnical references in the culture you were brought up in. Depending on the the nation, colors can have very different meanings and even be a source of problems for your site. For example, in the Asian cultures, white is the color symbolizing funerals but in the European cultures white is the color of Weddings. If you were to design a Wedding site meant for an Eastern audience and you picked white as a base color, you are bothering the people you're trying to reach.

Age Differences
Young children tend to prefer bright and juicy colors, while adults tend to prefer softer colors. If you're designing to a kid's audience and you're selecting muted pastels and shades of grey, their parents might like it, but the kids will be long gone before the page finishes loading.

Social Differences
Marketing research in the United States has shown that working class people usually prefer colors that you can name: like blue, white, green, etc. While more highly educated classes tend to prefer colors that are more obscure: like turquoise, jade, lilac, etc. This is why Walmart does their store logo in red color.

Gender Differences
In many cultures, men tend to like cooler tones (blues and greens) and women tend to prefer warmer tones (reds and yellows). European men are also more common to be color blind and therefore unable to tell apart some of the color tones on Web pages.

Current Trends
Colors, like all the other aspects in design, go through ins and outs in popularity. Solid black Web pages were all the rage a couple of years ago, and now you hardly see it at all (but it will surely come back into fashion as I write this). Colors also change with the seasons, meaning, the designs picture the season they were created in: winter blacks, whites, and grays; spring greens and bright colors; summer yellows; fall reds and golds.



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Icon editor ArtIcons Pro can find, extract, edit and create Windows icons in color depths up to 16 million colors. Import and export icon images, create and handle icon libraries. It supports the new icon format introduced in Windows XP (8-bit transparency). Download it

XP Icon editor IconXP can edit and create Windows icons in color depths up to 32-bit True Color. It supports the new icon format introduced in Windows XP (8-bit transparency). You can customize desktop and folder icons. Download it

Icon converter Any to Icon allows you to convert multiple BMP, JPEG, GIF, PNG, WBMP and WMF images to Windows icons in one action. It also breaks down entire icon libraries into individual icons. You can change color resolution and size to create customized icons. Download it

Icon editor and builder IconUtils is a complete icon and cursor solution. IconUtils package can edit icons and cursors, manage icon and cursor libraries, convert icons into images (in various graphic formats) and vice versa, customize Windows desktop and folder icons. Download it

Icon converter Icon to Any allows you to convert Windows icons and cursors into BMP, JPG, PNG, GIF, ICO, CUR, WBMP and RC formats. It has a wizard interface. It's simple to process multiple files at once. You can find icons and make images for use on Web pages. Download it

Cursor editor ArtCursors allows you to edit Windows cursors in color depths up to 16 million colors. You also can search files and folders for cursors, import and export cursor images and create cursor libraries for better and more efficient storage. Download it

Viewer AhaView supports all popular graphic formats, including JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, ICO, CUR, ANI, WBMP. You can browse images in thumbnail mode, view pictures full screen with zooming features, convert images to JPEG, PNG, BMP formats and manage files. Download it

Customize desktop icons CustomIcons is an ultimate tool for customizing the icons on you desktop, in Windows Start menu and many other locations. Using CustomIcons you can easily replace default Windows icons with the ones to your choice. Download it

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