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Backlighting in the spotlight

Posted on February 1, 2014

Since the advent of Lightbox, the standard background for displaying an image has always been a black, translucent panel, which would set the image apart from the rest of the site while someone cycled through your gallery. The key characteristic of this was to provide a plain backdrop for the image and reduce visual noise. With flat design being the latest trend and large areas of block colour used, it is no longer necessary to blank out the website and set the images apart in that way.

With this in mind, providing a suitable backing colour for the images will always leave the designers choice limited to less intrusive colours or those that contrast well with the white border common in the flat design image galleries. This begs the question – what if you could change the colour of the backdrop based on the content of the image?

A designer named Brian Gonzalez has come up with a novel idea called Adaptive Backgrounds. This JQuery plugin scans the image as instructed by the user and returns the most dominant colour within that image, allowing backdrop to be recoloured to suit its contents.

The idea behind this is similar to the backlit televisions that illuminate with the dominant colour on screen, giving a more immersive experience for the viewer. Ideas like this are a small but important part of the new web, which is no longer just about providing information and selling products, but also about creating an immersive experience that give people tangible and enjoyable experiences that they will share and create emotional attachments with. After all, what stirs the emotions more than beautiful colour and visuals?

Steven is Engage Web’s go-to man for all things web-related, bringing his knowledge of current trends in web design and development to the team.

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