Is there any meta-analysis of Corporate Design Manuals or a guideline for developing CDs that includes which semantics CDMs associate with colors? What are they like, i.e. which kinds of semantic colors should be specified to be proficiently employed by users?
Many colors come in pairs of foreground (text) and background, often they can be switched. Frequently, one or the other has alternatives with different hues. Hue-based colors often come in different tints, shades and tones which often vary the different bases in a color scheme in a consistent way. Some software, e.g. MS Office, generates and offers such variants automatically:
The implementation in MSO, albeit better than nothing, is an example of dumb, non-semantic color schemes. As a user you have the predefined colors available, but you don’t know what they should be used for. They will have been applied properly in document templates (often made by the same designers who wrote the CDM), of course, but that way they still only bear implicit connections to semantics.
I’m thinking more in terms of default text, default back, emphasized text, highlighted text, header back, logo text, inactive interactive text, warning back, info text and so on. (My imagination seems a bit limited here.)
Please note that I’m not asking about just web-design, but e.g. physical products as well. My intended focus is not the designing process but user needs and affordances, hence I’m not asking at Graphic Design.