Color is basically the visual perception characteristic of things we describe by assigning various names. The physics of colors in itself is very complex involving a gamut of things like wavelength, absorption, emission, the functioning of our eye and a lot of many others. From the point of using these colors on day to day basis, we will restrict the article to not go into the physics of the colors.
Colors add spice to things and provide them a different dimension and meaning altogether. Without them, the world is boring and definitely all black and white.
The guy has a colorful personality – You know exactly what that means.
Color theory in itself is very vast but one should know the terms in it. Below are some of the terms commonly used in color theory:
Red, yellow and blue are the primary colors. These colors cannot be made by combing any colors.
These colors are made from the combination of primary colors. Orange, green and purple are secondary colors.
When we mix primary colors, we get tertiary colors
Some examples are:
Luminance is the amount of light emitted by a flat surface of the body per unit area. You can understand it as the difference between a dull and vibrant personality. More luminance a color is brighter and happening it will look.
When we compare the difference between the luminance of two colors when placed together, it is called a contrast between the colors. This comparison can label one as hot color and the other as cold color in comparison.
Contrast plays a major role in website development and graphics design as their combination brings out different elements.
All colors do not compete with each other but support them by bringing the best in one another. On the color wheel, they sit next to each other. They are used in compositions to bring excitement and make the other color more vibrant than it is.
These colors do not usually appear on the color wheel and are also called earth tones. Some neutral colors are black, white grey, beige, brown, etc.
These colors stand neutral to other colors and have an identity of their own, you can use yellow, red, green or any other color with this neutral color and the neutral color just stay neutral.
Warm colors give us a warm feeling when we look at them. These colors are red, orange, yellow and colors that come in their range. These colors remind us of sun or fire and feel to emit out towards you, thus giving a warm feeling.
These colors give us a cool feeling when we look at them. These colors are blue, green, purple and colors that come in this range. When looking at these colors, you might feel the colors recede from you, unlike warm colors where the colors seem to come towards you.
A color scheme is basically the combination or choice of colors that one uses. Repeated use of the same colors keeps the meaning and aesthetics uniform throughout. This impacts the mood of the user subconsciously.
Although subjective there are some set ways of getting color schemes. Let’s look at the three most successful color schemes generally used.
This color scheme uses three colors that are separated by 120 degrees on the color wheel. On the website, one color can be used for the background; another color can be used for content and the last for navigation or call to action buttons.
This color scheme is pretty safe as it does not use contrasting colors but uses colors that do not compete.
This color scheme uses four colors – two complementary pairs. The colors in these combinations are very difficult to harmonize as it makes the color palette too colorful and finding a balance can be difficult. However, it is also the most awarding if done well.
These colors sit next to each other in the color wheel and their color wavelengths are closer than any other colors. These colors work in harmony with each other.
A typical example can be red, orange and yellow. These three colors on any composition will not seem to compete. If you place blue in the same composition, it will seem to compete due to its contrasting nature.
These are basically shades and tints of the same color. These shades are made by mixing them with different quantities of white or red to get a light or dark shade.
These monochromatic colors are used to give a uniform sense in the composition.
RGB and CMYK are two prime color models used everywhere. They both have different ways of looking at the colors and their usage depends on the device itself.
RGB stands for Red, Green, and Blue.
This color model is additive in nature as combining these colors (secondary, tertiary and so on) gives different colors that can be used. RGB is used primarily for websites as the color comes out easily.
If you mix red, green and blue colors of equal volume, you get white. Newton’s disc is another example of the mixing.
The full form of CMYK is Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key (Black).
This color model is subtractive and uses white as its background. The ink subtracts colors from the white light to give the CMY of the color model.
CMYK color model is used primarily in printing to give deep colors and also use less of the ink pigments.
Colors are one of the most crucial components in website, graphics, and print. They help us to shift the focus of the viewer and guide his view. It also enables us to highlight the call to action functions in the website and graphics. If you are looking for any advice on color schemes of your website, feel free to connect with us.
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