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choosing colors

color theory

Color is the way we see light reflected from a surface or refracted through a prism.

Colors that we see in nature are reflections of light on the surfaces around us.
For example: a green surface absorbs all visible light except green.

All colors are arranged in a spectrum. This arrangement is called Color Wheel.

We use Color Wheel to choose Color Schemes.

Color scheme is a set of colors (color combination) that is used in a design or an artwork to achieve certain goals.
Color schemes are used to create style, appeal, and an aesthetic feeling.

color schemes

monochromatic - variations (shades and tones) of just one color

analogous - variations of 3-4 similar colors - colors that are next to each other in the color wheel

complementary - variations of the opposite colors

triadic (split 1) - variations of any 3 colors that are separated by one color in the color wheel

triadic (split 2) - variations of any 3 colors that are separated by two colors in the color wheel

triadic (split 3) - variations of any 3 colors that are evenly spaced in the color wheel

You can achieve different effects by choosing different color schemes for your design.

For example:

Complimentary color scheme is a unique one - there is a trick with complimentary colors that you need to know:

  • When complimentary colors are placed next to each other - they "complement" each other and make each other look their brightest and most vibrant.
  • When tame colors are mixed with each other - they "kill" each others vibrancy and become brown!!!

Knowing complimentary colors is helpful when you want to emphasize something or create a contrast.

There are also variations of this scheme, like split complimentary color scheme - where instead of using a direct opposite color, you can use the two colors right next to it.