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The Ten Commandments of Colour Theory Cheat Sheet by

The ten commandments of colour theory
colour     theory     ten     commandments


A glance of this infogr­aphic summarizes ten key points to think about when you’re designing and trying to determine what your colour scheme should be. Let’s face it, it’s not always easy. Follow these ten points and it will make picking out colours for your next project a breeze.

10 Comman­dments

1. Know the colour wheel well! You can learn more about how colours impact your marketing here.
2. Match it. Try the look of analog colours, which are colours that are beside each other on the colour wheel.
3. If you don’t want to match it, try clashing with comple­mentary colours. These are colours opposite each other on the colour wheel.
4. If contrast is too intense for you, split it! Try using the two colours on either side of the comple­mentary colour.
5. Try double the comple­mentary colours for double the fun. This is a great way to get more variat­ions.
6. Go for a triad. With 3 different hues, you can have more to choose from!
7. Sometimes you gotta stick with monoch­rome.
8. And then sometimes achromatic works best. Because sometimes you want to go for the basic black and white look.
9. Know your hues, tints, shades, and tones. A hue is the root colour on the colour wheel. A tint is when white is added to a colour (think pastels) while a shade is when black is mixed with a colour. Any colour that is “greyed down” is considered a tone – that’s when both white and black is added to a colour.
10. RGB, CMYK, and Pantone are not the same! RGB is the colour model that is used for web design, consisting of red, green, and blue. CMYK is the colour mode that is used for print design and consists of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. Pantone is a solid colour matching system that is typically used for offset printing.

Color Theory Infogr­aphics

Color Wheel

There are many colour wheels that are used for specific purposes; however, the most common version has 12 colours and is based on a colour model known as RYB. In this model there are three primary colours (red, yellow and blue), three secondary colours (green, orange and purple) and six tertiary colours (combi­nations of primary and secondary colours).

Colour Wheel - Tint, Tone and Shade

By adding either white, grey or black to a colour, a tint, tone or shade of that colour is created. Adding white creates a lighter colour and adding black creates a darker colour. Adding grey does not make a colour lighter or darker necess­arily, it simply changes the way that the eye perceives it.

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