Written by @iVigneshSuresh, 7 months ago

Exploring colors & the meaning behind different color schemes in design.

Color is very subjective.

To some people, color is a perception to the eye based on wavelengths of radiations visible to the human eye.

To another set of people, color in the design world is defined by hue, saturation, and lightness.

If you add some characteristics like harmony - where multiple colors (2 or more) are infused together, it produces an effect that can evoke a response.

Color is also a sensation

If it is blue, it is cool, if it is orange, it is considered warm. Some consider black, white, and gray as colors, but they are in fact just shades, that augment colors.

You can classify colors into two parts: additive colors and subtractive colors. One is created by mixing lights of various wavelengths, while the other is a mix of pigments.

Red, green, and blue when mixed together produce white light, whereas cyan, magenta, and yellow produce black when mixed together.

The usage of color Use color to create a mood or atmosphere. For example, warm colors can create a sense of coziness, while cool colors can create a sense of calmness. Use color to draw attention to certain elements of your design. For example, you can use a bright color to highlight a call-to-action (CTA) in user interface (UI) design.

Use color to create contrast. This can help to make your design more visually interesting. Use color to create balance. This can help to create a sense of harmony in your design. Use color to create unity. This can help to make your design look cohesive.

What are color schemes?

Color schemes are simply color palettes. In layman's terms, they are a combination of colors that, when harmoniously chosen, can create visually appealing compositions.

Monochromatic Color Scheme

This is created with a combination of shades, tints, tones of the same color. It is a play on brightness and saturation. Ex:

  • Shades are created by adding black to a color. This makes the color darker. For example, a shade of red is maroon.

  • Tints are created by adding white to a color. This makes the color lighter. For example, a tint of red is pink.

  • Tones are created by adding gray to a color. This makes the color less saturated. For example, a tone of red is burgundy.

Complementary Color Scheme

This is created with colors located on the opposite ends of a color wheel. This often creates a combination that can be vibrant and invokes excitement.

They are typically used in marketing material because the materials will stand out with the vibrancy in it.

Split-Complementary Color Scheme

Split complementary color scheme is typically created using one base color and two secondary colors. It is a combination of three colors rather than a mix of two colors. Split complementary colors can be used to paint your house or particularly a child's playroom where it doesn't feel too over the top.

Ex: blue, yellow-orange, and red-orange.

Analogous Color Scheme

This is the usage of colors that are similar (next to each other to be specific). The color combination creates a sense of cohesive and monochromatic look. They are very easy to bring together as a combination. It is often used to create a sense of warmth or coolness. Ex:

  • Red - Red-Orange, Red-Violet
  • Orange - Yellow-Orange, Red-Orange
  • Yellow - Yellow-green, Yellow-Orange

Triadic Color Scheme

A triadic color scheme is created by using three colors that are evenly spaced around the color wheel. This scheme is often used to create a sense of energy and excitement. Triadic color schemes can also be used to create a sense of balance and harmony.

Tetradic Color Scheme

As the name signifies, four colors evenly spaced around the color wheel are used to create this color combination. This scheme is often used to create a sense of boldness and creativity.

Neutral Color Scheme

Created using the three shades i.e. white, black, and gray with pops of color here and there to create a sophisticated look.

Please keep in mind that while choosing a color scheme, you need to consider what you want to communicate and research in a detailed manner as to what combination would be visually appealing and work well together. The only way to get a sense of the precise color combinations is years and years of practice and constant trial and error.