Wherever there is light, there is color. While we think of colors as independent this blue, that red a color is never seen alone but always in context of other colors. Like a musical note, no one color is good or bad. Rather it s one part of a composition that as a whole is pleasing or not.


SATURATION: The degree of purity of a hue.


The color wheel has five concentric rings from dark to light shades are the big rings, tints are the small, and hues are the middle. Desaturated in 2 ways: Mixing a hue with black to shade (darken) Mixing a hue with white to lighten (tint) Doing this raises or lowers the degree of intensity (saturation) and the value = relative lightness or darkness of a color. It defines form and creates spatial illusions: Contrast of value = separates objects in space Close values = flattened shapes; objects seem closely connected in space Contrast = separate objects in space stand out gradation of value suggests mass and contour of a contiguous surface


A monotone color scheme = one hue and its variations in terms of tints, shades and saturation. It has no color depth, but it provides the contrast of dark, medium and light that s so important to good design. However, be aware that there is the risk of monotony. A special instance consists of only neutral colors ranging from black to white = monotone acromatic color scheme. An efficient, but boring scheme. Adding just one bright color for highlight can be very effective.


Primary colors are the wheel s parent colors; they are the only colors not made from other colors. These colors are Yellow, Red and Blue. The primary colors are rarely seen as a trio except in children s products. Red and yellow, however, are popular in American culture for everything from fast food to gasoline. Red and blue are common but attractive only if separated by open space.


Secondary colors are halfway between the primary colors. Each is made from equal amounts of the nearest primaries. This equal mixture results in: Orange, Green and Violet. Secondary colors have a lot in common two share blue, two share yellow, and two share red so harmonize easily. As a trio they are soft, inviting and rich, and have pleasing depth and dimension that are hard to get in other ways.


Tertiary colors fill the remaining gaps. They are made from equal amounts of the adjacent primary and secondary colors. This mixture results in: Yellow-Orange, Yellow-Green, Blue-Green, Blue-Violet, RedViolet, and Red-Orange There are all the colors that lie in between the primary and secondary colors.


The analog colors are those colors which lie on either side of any given color. Share strong undertones (here, yellow and red), which create low-contrast harmony. Color schemes found in nature.


Direct opposites on the color wheel are complements Contrast, energy, vigor and excitement; it is in their nature to stand out against each other. Opposite pairs can bring out the best in each other in terms of relative warmth and coolness. This juxtaposition can cause images to appear to advance or recede. CAUTION: Vibrating Boundaries may occur. This may be a desirable illusion or a problem if creating visuals that are to be read. Typically the complement is used in a smaller amount as an accent; a spot of orange on a blue field, for example.


Split complement: One step either way are the complement s own analogous colors Its strength is in the low-contrast beauty of analogous colors, plus the added punctuation of an opposite color. Using split complementary colors can give you a design with a high degree of contrast, yet still not as extreme as a real complementary color. It also results in greater









Primary with secondary (green) accent


Analogous with compliment accent






Analogous compliments


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