Color Analysis



The brown tones throughout the Tlingit and Haida site invoke sense of earthiness and familiarity with natural elements that are highlighted in native arts and construction. Brown is part of the warm color palate, described by ix to elicit emotion in the viewer. The muted, monochrome use here seems to veer toward a sense of dwelling within nature and living things. The author crafted background elements with hints of brightness that create movement within the static page. Even brighter elements draw the eye around the page to the image of youth and parenting, and to the president's message. These color directions tell the audience what is important to the tribe; it illustrates what they want you not to miss. At the same time, the tribe has courteously used contrasting colors to highlight menu links that will be of interest to the audience (see earlier assumptions). From these color elements we recognize that the author intended this website as both an intentional communications device as well as an invitation to explore what the tribe offers.


The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes ("CSKT") also uses a brown palate, but there are fewer highlights than used in the Tlingit and Haida site. The viewer can still absorb the sense of connection with natural elements, but there is little use of color to draw the eye around the page, aside from the red treaty rights memo. There are cool colors in the advertisements in the lower right, but they use predominantly cool colors, which do not create as much emphasis as warm colors. Overall, the use of color on this page only emphasizes the treaty rights memo and the audience receives no guidance in locating what might be important to the tribe or the audience itself.


The Puyallups chose to include a slideshow as their most immediate visual element and it shifts between cool and warm tones, shifting between moments of excitement and moments to relax. The red in the logo at the top draws the eye draws attention to itself and to the title of the site, making it clear whose tribe we are visiting. Aside from the slideshow and logo, the site uses black, white, and teal, conveying a relaxed and welcoming feel. The banners of teal work well as contrast and draw through the scrolling page, but the teal does not signal that the written information is necessarily more important than other information on the page. Of similar emphasis are the black icons that help group information. Because the page is simply created with lots of white space, the black elements stand out against the white. Finally, the predominantly black footer puts visual weight on the bottom of the page and conveys that this is the conclusion of important front page information. It is clear that the author took considered how the audience might approach the page and the use of color makes it easy to scroll through and find information.


Explore the slideshows below for visual examples of the use of color in tribe websites.
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