Many of the ways in which artifacts appear to or actually do affect us–as elegant, dynamic, comfortable, authentic–are based on the fact that they are designed objects. Design is an effect-oriented process that resorts to design rules linking formal aspects of designed artifacts to specific design effects. Design rhetoric tries to capture these links between design techniques and resulting effects. This article presents design-rhetorical methods of identifying design rules of intersubjective validity. The new approach, developed at Bern University of the Arts, combines rhetorical design analysis with practice-oriented design research, based on the creation and empirical testing of design variants in accordance with effect hypotheses.

Donald Jordan offers a series of simple yet thorough tutorials about color theory and strategies for finding successful color combinations. Worqx discusses the dimensions of color, including chroma, intensity, luminance, shade, and tint. He covers color contrasts, proportion, and dominance.

In print or Web design, color is the most important design element. We have all heard of the color wheel. We think of the primary colors as red, blue, and yellow. But in printing, the primary colors are cyan, magenta, and yellow. These are commonly referred to as “cmyk,” where “k” stands for black.

Print and other pigments that reflect light use a “subtractive” system, that is, the more colors mixed together, the darker the result becomes. However, sources that emit light, such as computer screens, use an “additive” color system. That means that when mixed together, all the colors make white.

Although the basic color wheel theory works for both systems, there are times when certain colors will not transfer well from one medium to another. Also, the color rendering limitations of some computer monitors suggests that most Web pages are limited to the 216 “Web-safe” colors that won’t “dither,” or break up, into dots on a screen.