15 Videos and Resources That Will Help You Learn Color Theory

15 Videos and Resources That Will Help You Learn Color Theory

If you’re looking to get into web hosting or designing a new site, you probably have a good idea of what it’s going to look like. You’ve obviously taken care of the most difficult steps of how it’s going to work mechanically, what purpose it will serve, and what you’re going to be able to do with it. Many developers, however, struggle with the next step: what’s it going to look like. There are so many decisions people need to make here, like what should the layout be? What fonts should I use? What moving parts am I going to incorporate?

One crucial question, possibly the most basic one of all is: what colors should I use? Sight is by far our strongest sense, and we define our knowledge of the outside world with it. In our speech, we say ‘I see’ to communicate understanding. ‘How does it look?’ denotes ‘what are the state of things?’ ‘Brighten up’ means ‘be happy.’ Human perception of color is an incredibly deep and complex area of study. Many scientists and historians, for example, believe that we could not perceive the color blue until recently in human history.

Whatever you’re after in web hosting or design, your site’s color will be the first thing your visitors notice and it will fundamentally shape their interaction with your site. With color manipulation, you can create calming and soothing effects, or give the impression of edgy professionalism. With certain combinations, you can make your site look more upbeat and fun, or dark and serious.

Below, we have collected fifteen videos that will teach you all you need to know about color theory. Some of them are intended for art students, others for graphic designers, but each video has something relevant to say when it comes to color theory.

The Basics

Before we get into some heavier areas, we’ll start with the basics. These videos discuss some simple color manipulation, like adjusting saturation and value, or using different combinations to achieve different effects.

Color Theory Basics

It’s been a long time since art class in elementary school. But if you’re going to get the color of your site perfect, you’ll want a basic refresher on the primary and secondary colors, why the colors in a color wheel are placed the way they are, etc. Do you remember the difference between tone, shade, and tint? You might want to give this clip a watch.

Beginning Graphic Design

What do we mean when we say monochromatic or complimentary color schemes? This video is a little on the patronizing side, but it gets into the good stuff a couple minutes in.

Understanding Color

Though it’s intended for art students, this video will take you through color combinations in various paintings and photographs. While it’s longer than the other clips, the narrator has a lot of commentary to add concerning the finer points of color combinations like what makes something more cartoony or more serious. He also brings in several diverse examples between fine art, animation, and photography that help drive the message home.

Web Design Color Theory

This is a basic video specifically tailored for web design. The narrator is hardly charismatic, but if you’re just after the bare bones basics in the sphere of web design, this is the video for you.

Color Theory, The Bane of My Existence

While the previous videos have shown us the basics of color theory, they have done so in a fairly abstract way. It can be difficult to put these lessons into practice, and in this video, the artist helps to show you how to do it. Like some of us, she has learned about color theory, but just can’t translate that knowledge into results, so she helps us by walking through her decisions regarding what colors to use.

How To Choose Colors that Work

If you’re doing some basic preparatory work for your site using Photoshop or any design with Adobe Creative Suite, this video is a great resource for navigating color usage within that software. The narrator has good experience with Adobe CC and helps out a lot with various shortcuts and tools that you didn’t even know existed.

How To Choose Great Colors For Your Website

Maybe you’re lost in the forest of color theory, but you just don’t have the time to watch all this material. This site gives you what you need to know if you’re just choosing two basic colors to use.

Color Psychology

Now that we’ve covered some basics, let’s get into the psychological aspect of color theory. You’re going to want to tailor your color scheme to the purpose of your site and your intended audience or users. The following videos will help you make those decisions.

How Filmmakers Manipulate Our Emotions Using Color

Besides being downright interesting, this video gives you a concrete example of how color affects mood and emotion.

Color Psychology in Web Design

This video is plain and straightforward. The narrator from GraVocInc goes through red, orange, yellow, green, and blue, and discusses what effects they have on viewers. His examples are pretty on point.

The Psychology of Color, Emotion and Online Shopping

As the title suggests, this video says a lot of what you already know, but then applies it to online sales. Watch and learn.

Color Psychology: 10 Ways Color Influences Your Choices and Changes Your Mood

This video has pretty low production standards, but it does have a hilarious background music.

Color Design For The Web

Now you’re armed with one of the most dangerous weapons known to man: knowledge. It’s time to start putting some pigment into that site. These videos often cover the same topics as the basics, but get more into the nitty gritty.

Website Color, Paul Boag

It’s that straightforward. If you have to watch only one video, this might just be the one to choose. Paul Boag, a perky Brit, has the goods and dishes knowledge.

Wix Blog: Use Color Theory to Improve Web Design

This video is notable for being shorter and undoubtedly less pompous than the last, and it covers most of what Boag talks about as well.

Web Design Color Theory Tutorial

The differences between CMYK and RGB color schemes are huge. This video is short, and gets straight to the point.

Color Selection and Web Design

If you’re after online sales or marketing, or you come from that background, Mike Locke, the narrator of this video, might be your man. He doesn’t exactly add much in the way of color theory knowledge, but he lends a fresh perspective.


After all this, it seems like a blessing that we can only see a very narrow spectrum of emitted light, and it makes you wonder if dogs and other black and white seeing creatures aren’t on to something. We hope this information will be useful, and that you’ll have your color scheme sorted before long.