Color is everywhere and conveys a message even if we don't realize it. While this message can vary by culture it pays to know what colors "say" in your own corner of the universe, and even what color means to your target market.
If you don't think that color speaks just complete this sentence, "red means ---- and green means ?" even a child will know what red means stop and green means go. If such simple ideas work for all of a given culture or market what could it mean to the graphic design of your website, brochure, or product if you know some of this information.
First let's start with the basics. The color wheel. We've all seen it. The color wheel shows the basic colors, each wheel is different in how many shades of each color is shown, but they are essentially the same.
Color harmony, colors that go together
well. These will be colors that are next door to each other on the color
wheel. Such as blue and green. In reference to clothes these colors match
each other. Instinctively most of us know which colors go together when we
dress ourselves every morning.
Color depth, colors can recede or jump
forward. Remember that some colors seem to fall back such as blue, black,
dark green, and brown. Other colors will seem to step forward such as white,
yellow, red, and orange. This is why if you have a bright orange background
it may seem to fight with any text or images that you place on it. The
orange will always seem to move forward.
So you may want to include some research in what colors mean to your target market. Colors that would get the attention of a teen would probably annoy an older person and the colors that appeal to the older person wouldn't get a second look from a young person.