One of the most exciting changes to SharePoint in the last few years is the advances in custom formatting of columns, views, and forms. These capabilities have transformed lists from functional tools that are pretty boring to exciting, dynamic, visual presentations of data with colors, icons, and almost anything you can design in HTML/CSS. By default, most of the custom formatting samples for columns are shown in a single view, but it is just few steps to make this formatting active in every view.
Recently, I built a web part for a client, which led to a discussion about why the web part background was static white, which did not reflect the branding on the page. My quick fix was to just change the color manually, but now I wanted to know more about how I could build webparts that are aware of the area that they are in. It turns out, there are several options, depending on the capabilities needed and the web part framework.