Color Theory for Designers

10 Apr

Traditional Color Scheme Types

There are a number of predefined color scheme standards that make creating new schemes easier, especially for beginners. Below are the traditional schemes, with a few examples for each.

MONOCHROMATIC

Monochromatic color schemes are made up of different tones, shades and tints within a specific hue. These are the simplest color schemes to create, as they’re all taken from the same hue, making it harder to create a jarring or ugly scheme (though both are still possible).

Examples:

Here are three examples of monochrome color schemes. For the most part with these schemes, the first color (if we look at this from left to right) would likely be used for headlines. The second color would be used for body text or possibly the background. The third color would likely be used for the background (or body text if color #2 was used as the background). And the last two colors would be used as accents or within graphics.

ANALOGOUS

Analogous color schemes are the next easiest to create. Analogous schemes are created by using three colors that are next to each other on the 12-spoke color wheel. Generally, analogous color schemes all have the same chroma level, but by using tones, shades and tints we can add interest to these schemes and adapt them to our needs for designing websites.

Examples:

This is a traditional analogous color scheme, and while it’s visually appealing, there isn’t enough contrast between the colors for an effective website design.

Here’s a color scheme with the same hues as the one above, but with the chroma adjusted to give more variety. It’s now much more suitable for use in a website.

Another example of a traditional analogous scheme.

And the above theme modified for use in a website design

COMPLEMENTARY

Complementary schemes are created by combining colors from opposite sides of the color wheel. In their most basic form, these schemes consist of only two colors, but can easily be expanded using tones, tints, and shades. A word of warning, though: using colors that are exact opposites with the same chroma and/or value right next to each other can be very jarring visually (they’ll appear to actually vibrate along their border in the most severe uses). This is best avoided (either by leaving white space between them or by adding another, transitional color between them).

Examples:

A wide range of tints, shades, and tones makes this a very versatile color scheme.

Another complementary color scheme with a wide range of chromas

Don’t forget that beige and brown are really tints and shades of orange.

SPLIT COMPLEMENTARY

Split complementary schemes are almost as easy as the complementary scheme. In this scheme, instead of using colors that are opposites, you use colors on either side of the hue opposite your base hue.

Examples:

A scheme where yellow-green is the base hue. It’s important to have enough difference in chroma and value between the colors you select for this type of scheme

Another palette with a wide range of chromas

TRIADIC

Triadic schemes are made up of hues equally spaced around the 12-spoke color wheel. This is one of the more diverse color schemes.

Examples:

Using a very pale or dark version of one color in the triad, along with two shades/tones/tints of the other two colors makes the single color almost work as a neutral within the scheme.

 

Alternately, using one very bright hue with paired muted hues makes the single bright hue stand out more.

 

 

All the information above was taken from the website below:

color-theory-for-designer-part-3-creating-your-own-color-palettes

 

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