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Color scheme

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challenged and removed. (September 2006)

Celebration with fireworks over Miami, Florida, USA on American Independence

Day. Bank of America Tower is also lit with the red, white and blue color scheme.
In color theory, a color scheme is the choice of colors used in design for a range of
media. For example, the use of a white background with black text is an example of a
basic and commonly default color scheme in web design.
Color schemes are used to create style and appeal. Colors that create an aesthetic
feeling when used together will commonly accompany each other in color schemes. A
basic color scheme will use two colors that look appealing together. More advanced
color schemes involve several colors in combination, usually based around a single
color; for example, text with such colors as red, yellow, orange and light blue
arranged together on a black background in a magazine article.
Color schemes can also contain different shades of a single color; for example, a color
scheme that mixes different shades of green, ranging from very light (almost white) to
very dark.
Use of the phrase color scheme may also and commonly does refer to choice and use
of colors used outside typical aesthetic media and context, although may still be used
for purely aesthetic effect as well as for purely practical reasons. This most typically
refers to color patterns and designs as seen on vehicles, particularly those used in the
military when concerning color patterns and designs used for identification of friend
or foe, identification of specific military units, or as camouflage.
A color scheme in marketing is referred to as a trade dress and can be sometimes be
copyrighted, as is the pink color of Owens-Corning fiberglass.[1]


1 On the color wheel

o 1.1 Monochromatic color scheme
o 1.2 Analogous color scheme
o 1.3 Complementary color scheme
o 1.4 Split-analogous color scheme
o 1.5 Split-complementary color scheme
o 1.6 Triadic color scheme
o 1.7 Tetradic color scheme
o 1.8 Neutral color scheme
o 1.9 Accented neutral color scheme
o 1.10 Warm and Cool Color Schemes
2 Examples of media where color schemes are used
3 See also
4 References

5 External links

[edit] On the color wheel

Color schemes are often described in terms of logical combinations of colors on a
color wheel. Different types of schemes are used.[2][3][4]

[edit] Monochromatic color scheme

A monochromatic scheme consists of different values (tints and shades) of one single
color. These color schemes are easy to get right and can be very effective, soothing
and authoritative[5]. They do, however, lack the diversity of hues found in other color
schemes and are less vibrant. A special case is a two-color black-and-white scheme.

[edit] Analogous color scheme

Analogous color scheme

Analogous colors are colors that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel. Some
examples are green, yellow green, and yellow or red, orange and yellow. Analogous
color schemes are often found in nature and are pleasing to the eye. The combination
of these colors give a bright and cheery effect in the area, and are able to
accommodate many changing moods. When using the analogous color scheme, one
should make sure there is one hue as the main color.

[edit] Complementary color scheme

Complementary colors are colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel, such
as blue and orange, red and green, purple and yellow. Complementary color schemes
have a more energetic feel
The high contrast between the colors creates a vibrant look, especially when used at
full saturation. Complementary colors can be tricky to use in large doses.

[edit] Split-analogous color scheme

A color scheme that includes a main color and the two colors one space away from it
one each side of the color wheel. An example is red, blue, and violet.

[edit] Split-complementary color scheme

A color scheme that includes a main color and the two colors on each side of its
complementary (opposite) color on the color wheel. These are the colors that are one
hue and two equally spaced from its complement. To avoid fatigue and maintain high
contrast, this color scheme should be used when giving powerpoint presentations, or
when using a computer for an extended period of time. Additionally, certain colors
should not be mixed, like red and green. Colors that should be used are red/purple and

[edit] Triadic color scheme

A color scheme in which 3 colors of equidistant distribution on the color wheel are
used, e.g., red, blue, and yellow.

[edit] Tetradic color scheme

Tetrads (or quadrads[4]) are any four colors with a logical relationship on the color
wheel, such as double complements.

[edit] Neutral color scheme

A color scheme that includes only colors not found on the color wheel, called neutrals,
such as beige, brown, and gray.

[edit] Accented neutral color scheme

A color scheme that includes neutral colors, like white, beige, brown, grey, or black,
and one or more small doses of other colors. eg.brown and beige with blue, gray and
black with red

[edit] Warm and Cool Color Schemes

Warm color schemes do not include blue at all, and likewise, cool color schemes do
not include red at all. For example, a color scheme that includes "warmer" colors may
have orange, yellow, and red-orange in it. "Cooler" colors are green, violet, light blue,

[edit] Examples of media where color schemes are


Graphic design
Product packaging
Logo design
Graphical user interfaces
o Window managers such as GNOME, KDE and Blackbox.
o Irix 4dwm's GUI uses more color schemes, whose information is
stored in files named BaseColorPalette.
The World Wide Web
o Cascading Style Sheets allow easily-editable color schemes to be
applied to HTML webpages.
o Modern magazines use a range of colors in text and imagery which
tend not to conform to a specific set of colors throughout the magazine.
Interior design
Video Games

[edit] See also

Light-on-dark color scheme

Dark-on-light color scheme
Color tool

[edit] References
1. ^ Gordon V. Smith and Russell L. Parr (2005). Intellectual Property:
Valuation, Exploitation, and Infringement Damages. John Wiley and Sons.
2. ^ Stephen Quiller (2002). Color Choices. WatsonGuptill. ISBN 0823006972.

3. ^ Jackie Shaw (1994). The Big Book of Decorative Painting: How to paint if
you don't know how and how to improve if you do. WatsonGuptill.
ISBN 0823002659.
4. ^ a b Edith Anderson Feisner (2006). Colour: How to Use Colour in Art and
Design. Laurence King Publishing. ISBN 1856694410.
5. ^ Christopher Simmons (2006). Color Harmony: Logos: More Than 1,000
Color Ways for Logos that Work. Rockport Publishers. ISBN 1592532446.

[edit] External links

Color Schemes Creator

Color Palettes & Color Schemes
Color Scheme Generator 2
Color Harmonies
Color Palette and Color Scheme Online Generators
Color Brewer - Creates Compatible Color Pallets

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