Examples of clashing colors online.When you place vivid colors of roughly the same brightness and intensity side by side, the edge between them can appear to “vibrate.”

Yikes! Let’s give you some space to rest your eyes, before we talk about these images.

Finding the left two images tough to focus on? Feeling a little woozy? Surprised that the middle one isn’t a GIF, but rather a static picture?

There are all sorts of sciency reasons for why your eyes and brain find it difficult to figure out where one color stops and the other begins, but what you need to know is that any text and background in vibrating colors will drive away readers. They might not know exactly why they’re annoyed and frustrated, but they are, and they will stop reading.

A color wheel displaying all the colors at your disposal when it comes to design.The vibration is stronger when the colors are complementary — right across from each other on the color wheel.

Make it easy on your readers (and their eyes) by choosing colors that contrast in saturation and intensity, as well as hue.

Design and share your own color palettes, or check out ones that others have made at kuler.adobe.com.

Not all vibrations are bad. Pick up some good, good, good, good ones here.

Have a marketing design challenge? Call Kim Landry at 484-829-0021 or email [email protected].

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