Colors affect us in numerous ways, both mentally and physically. A strong red color has been shown to raise the blood pressure, while a blue color has a calming effect. With colors you can set a mood, attract attention, or make a statement. You can use color to energize, or to cool down. By selecting the right color scheme, you can create an ambiance of elegance, warmth or tranquility, or you can convey an image of playful youthfulness.
Being able to use colors consciously and harmoniously can help you create spectacular results.
The color wheel or color circle is the basic tool for combining colors. The color wheel is designed so that virtually any colors you pick from it will look good together.
In the RYB (or subtractive) color model, the primary colors are red, yellow and blue.
The three secondary colors (green, orange and purple) are created by mixing two primary colors.
Another six tertiary colors are created by mixing primary and secondary colors.
The color circle can be divided into warm and cool colors.
Warm colors are vivid and energetic, and tend to advance in space.
Cool colors give an impression of calm, and create a soothing impression.
White, black and gray are considered to be neutral.
Complementary color scheme
Dakore Akande at Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards.
Mix of yellow and purple for contrasting palette.
The high contrast of complementary colors creates a vibrant look especially when used at full saturation. This color scheme must be managed well so it is not jarring.
Complementary color schemes are tricky to use in large doses, but work well when you want something to stand out.
Complementary colors are really bad for text.
Analogous color scheme
As seen on Fan Bing Bing at Met Gala 2015. Mix of yellow, green and turquoise along the analogous palette.
Analogous color schemes are often found in nature and are harmonious and pleasing to the eye.
Make sure you have enough contrast when choosing an analogous color scheme.
Choose one color to dominate, a second to support. The third color is used (along with black, white or gray) as an accent.
Triadic color scheme
To use a triadic harmony successfully, the colors should be carefully balanced – let one color dominate and use the two others for accent.
All in all, when it comes to coordinating colours, there are principles and rules to follow to make the subject appealing. The play of colours is always fun and exciting to explore.