I broke ground on a project for a great client this week. I’ve never met this client. Haven’t even spoken to them yet. So how do I know they’ll be a pleasure to work with? The first e-mail I received from them was a Corporate Color Palette. Standards === Awesome.
Here’s one reason beyond the obvious that having standards, like a color palette, logo usage rules, etc., are helpful. Hexidecimal shift. The image above, though you may not be able to tell just by looking at it, has mismatching colors. One purple is
#370a5b, one is
#31085a, neither is the purple of the logo, nor an intended part of the design.
The shift occurred due to a number of variables interacting over a period of time with disregard to standards—a designer working with a developer; a Mac working with a PC; and so on. Screenshot after screenshot went from computer to computer, turned into new comp after new comp, only to end up in the developer’s hands who used the comps that were designed from screenshots to style the CSS with what was, by that point, a random shade of color. You can see the vicious circle forming.
An aside: this is also why I’m a hardcore subscriber to the rule that every designer should know a bit about development and vice-versa, to avoid issues like this.
Do yourself a favor and set your standards before you get too deep into a project, and make sure everyone working on the project eats, sleeps and breathes them. It will make life a lot easier in the long run. Trust me. As Dr. Dre would say, I been there, done that.
- Here’s a good read on how to avoid color shifts between vector, raster and web images: “Colour management and UI design”
- Listen to an audio clip of Nicole Sullivan talking about how she uses CSS Lint to maintain standards for her clients (from The Non-Breaking Space Show on August 9th, 2012 at minute mark 53:56)
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