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  • Color.

  • It plays a vital role in design and everyday life.

  • It can draw your eye to an imageevoke a certain mood or emotion

  • even communicate something important without using words at all.

  • So how do we know which colors look good together, and which ones don't?

  • The answer is simple: Color theory.

  • Artists and designers have followed color theory for centuries, but anyone can learn more about it.

  • It can help you feel confident in many different situations, whether it's choosing colors for a design,

  • or putting together the perfect outfit.

  • All it takes is a little insight, and you'll be looking at color in a whole new way.

  • Let's start at the beginningthe very beginningwith a refresher on the basics.

  • Remember learning about primary and secondary colors in school?

  • Then you already have some knowledge of color theory.

  • Red and yellow make orange; yellow and blue make green; and blue and red make purple.

  • If we mix these colors together, we get even more in-between shades, like red-orange and yellow-green.

  • All together, they form what's called a color wheel.

  • You can probably see where it gets its name.

  • Now, let's take it one step further with hue, saturation, and value.

  • These are terms you might never seen in daily life, but they're the key to understanding

  • more nuanced colorslike all those little paint chips at the home improvement store.

  • Hue is the easiest one; it's basically just another word for "color."

  • Saturation refers to intensityin other words, whether the color appears more subtle or more vibrant.

  • Value has to do with how dark or light the color is, ranging from black to white.

  • As you can see, this gives us many different shades, from a deep reddish brownto light pastel pink.

  • So how do we put this all together to create professional-looking color schemes?

  • There are actually tried and true formulas based on something called color harmony that can help.

  • All you need is the color wheel.

  • The easiest formula for harmony is monochromatic because it only uses one color or hue.

  • Just pick a spot on the color wheel, and use your knowledge of saturation and value to create variations.

  • The best thing about monochromatic color schemes is that they're guaranteed to match.

  • An analogous color scheme uses colors that are next to each other on the wheel, like

  • reds and oranges... or cooler colors, like blues and greens.

  • Don't be afraid to play with the palette and create your own unique interpretation.

  • That's what these formulas really are: starting points to help guide and inspire you.

  • Complementary colors are opposite each other on the wheel; for instance, blue and orange...

  • or the classic red and green.

  • To avoid complementary color schemes that are too simplistic, add some variety

  • by introducing lighter, darker, or desaturated tones.

  • A split-complementary color scheme uses the colors on either side of the complement.

  • This gives you the same level of contrast, but more colors to work with

  • and potentially more interesting results.

  • A triadic color scheme uses three colors that are evenly spaced, forming a perfect triangle on the wheel.

  • These combinations tend to be pretty strikingespecially with primary or secondary colors

  • so be mindful when using them in your work.

  • Tetradic color schemes form a rectangle on the wheel, using not one but two complementary color pairs.

  • This formula works best if you let one color dominate while the others serve as an accent.

  • There are a few classic do's and don'ts when it comes to color.

  • For instance, have you ever seen colors that seem to vibrate when they're placed next to each other?

  • The solution is to tone it downliterallyand there's a simple way do it.

  • Start with one color, and try adjusting its lightness, darkness, or saturation.

  • Sometimes, a little contrast is all your color palette needs.

  • Readability is an important factor in any design.

  • Your colors should be legible, engaging and easy on the eyes.

  • Sometimes that means not using colorat least not in every little detail.

  • Neutral colors like black, white, and gray can help you balance your design,

  • so when you do use color, it really stands out.

  • Every color sends a message.

  • It's important to consider the tone of your project, and choose a color palette that fits.

  • For example, bright colors tend to have a fun or modern vibe.

  • Desaturated colors often appear more business-like.

  • Sometimes it just depends on the contextyou'd be surprised how flexible color can be.

  • You can find ideas for color schemes in all kinds of interesting places, from advertising

  • and branding to famous works of art.

  • You can even use a web resource to browse color palettes or generate your own.

  • Even experienced designers take inspiration from the world around them.

  • There's nothing wrong with finding something you like, and making it your own.

  • Everywhere you look, there's color, color, and more color.

  • It can be intimidating to use it in your work, but it doesn't have to be.

  • Just keep experimenting and remember what you've learned about color theory.

  • Soon, choosing great-looking colors will feel like second nature.

  • We hope you enjoyed learning the basics of color.

  • Check out the rest of our design topics, including typography, images, composition.


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B1 US wheel saturation color scheme design hue palette

Beginning Graphic Design: Color

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    田語謙 posted on 2018/02/07
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