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When is the last time you saw a Web site in black and white?
Color is vital to the repertoire of your average Web designer, however many designers don't understand 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 an organic level. Usually, they don't know they are reacting to it. For instace, in the U.S. most health care centers make their nurses wear shades of light blue and pale pink. This is done because these are cool, soothing colors, and upset patients calm down a bit when look at them. Once you get to know your users make up you can pick a color scheme that suits them.
When selecting the colors for your Web site, you need to first (as always) consider your users. Is it a worldwide audience? Is it primarily Western? Eastern? What age group? Male? Female? All of these points, and more can affect the color choices for your Web page.

Cultural Background
Colors gain their exclusive meaning with ethnical references in the culture you were brought up in. Depending on the the culture, colors can have the opposite meanings and actually be a source of problems for your project. For example, in the Asian cultures, white is the color of funerals while in the West white is the symbol of Weddings. If you intend to create a Wedding site meant for an Asian audience and you used a lot of whites, you could be bothering the people you're trying to appeal to.

Age Differences
Young people tend to prefer bright and juicy colors, and adults tend to prefer softer colors. If you're designing to an audience of children and you're selecting muted pastels and shades of grey, the adults might like your work, but the children will be gone by the time the page loads.

Social Differences
Marketing research in the America has shown that working class people tend to like colors that can be named: like yellow, white, green, etc. While more highly educated classes tend to prefer colors that are more complex: like taupe, jade, lilac, etc. This is why Target does their store logo in bright red.

Gender Differences
In many cultures, men usually like cooler tones (blues and greens) while women tend to prefer warmer tones (reds and yellows). European males are also more common to be color blind and therefore not able to tell apart some of the differences in color on Web pages.

Fashion
Colors, like all the other aspects in design, undergo ins and outs in popularity. Black Web sites were all the rage a couple of years ago, but 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 reflect the season they were created in: winter is usually grayscale; spring flushes with greens and pinks; summer yellows; fall browns and golds.



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Standard Toolbar Icons

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Science Toolbar Icons


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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