If we do a word association with the word color we will get words like joy, fun, adventure, exciting, dramatic, exquisite and rich and so many others. What I mean to say is that colors mean fun and to understand colors we have to learn the color theory.
The concept of color theory and its explanation is broad and hundreds of books have been written to explain its view. Here we will discuss it in simple terms and focus more on color wheel and how to use it. Color theory consists of three basic concepts that include the color wheel, color harmony and color context.
A color wheel is a circular diagram that consists of different colors. The colors are divided into primary, secondary and tertiary colors. The primary color includes red, blue and yellow whereas the secondary colors include the primaries (red, blue and yellow) and three more colors created from the combination of primaries resulting in green, orange and purple. The tertiary colors consist of a combination of the previous tier colors resulting in yellow-orange, red-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green and yellow-green.
What does harmony mean? Balance and that’s where the concept originated. Color harmony means color balance which is extremely important. Why you ask? The answer is simple, it’s because an imbalance of colors will be an underdoing and overdoing of visuals.
A human mind interprets different colors and easily interprets a balanced visual but if the visual has imperfections and too much inappropriate color then the brain won’t recognize it. Color balance helps in delivering visual interest and an organized visual.
How a specific color correlates to the other color; this concept is called color context. Let’s take the example of a circle having different backgrounds and another circle embedded within it having a different color.
As we can see that red is more prominent when background is black, similarly it feels dull when it has a white background whereas with a blue background it feels rich. This whole concept of color sensation comes under the color context.
Color wheel is considered a pillar of color theory and it has extensive uses. All designers use color wheels when designing a visual. Here at 4DGraphix we use the standard Adobe Color CC for designing and color reference. They help you to identify the best color combinations for your visuals.
Color wheels are used for designing color pellets which act as a reference for a certain visual and is common in photography. Below are some examples pertaining to color pellets:
Remember that you don’t need to use every color from the color wheel but you still need to understand what each color means and its relationships with other colors to draw a balanced visual which is both attractive and appealing.
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The color wheel is a simple yet extremely helpful tool for the designers. It helps them identify the best color combinations and which colors complement each other. Many professional designers with years of experience still use the color wheel in their everyday tasks. These color wheels are also available in modern graphic design tools like Adobe Photoshop CC. It is truly a Holy Grail of graphic artists and designers alike.