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  • Color harmony in design

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    Color harmony in design

    "Color does not add a pleasant quality to design - it reinforces it." - Pierre Bonnard

    What is evident when it comes to color is that it is a crucial component of design and creates an emotional response by the people viewing it. Every design whether by human or nature is about color. When we look at a magazines, an advertising or even nature, the thing we remember is the color. Sometimes we are conscious of our responses, sometimes we are not. Either way, color profoundly affects our experiences in this world on a minute to minute basis.
    Time and again we come across a great design and get impressed with the beautiful choice of colors in it. Well for creating a design like that it's important for us to understand how pure colors interact with each other in the most harmonious ways such that a design always looks balanced, natural and eye pleasing, just as certian note harmonies in music.
    We can create a color scheme using the traditional patterns or by creating our own palette.The traditional color scheme patterns have been extracted from the color wheel as Analogous, Complementary, Split - Complementary, Triad, Tetradic, Monochromatic. Let us discuss the traditional color scheme patterns here.


    We can create an Anologous scheme by picking up of the primary, secondary, or tertiary color from the color wheel. It’s mostly a three colored scheme but for making it a five-colored scheme we can include the two additional colors next to the two outside colors. Using this kind of scheme also gives a nice gradient to out work. For making the design look more vibrant we can keep enough contrast between the colors or we can also give it a rich monochromatic feel sometimes by choosing very close values of the colors. Nature is the best place to seek inspiration for this kind of color scheme.



    This color scheme uses the colors that are placed directly opposite to each other on the color wheel giving it the maximum amount of contrast there can be.This kind of color scheme is best suited at places where you want something to stand out in the whole design. Not a very good idea to use it with text though.Another thing to be kept in mind is not to lose balance in the design which can be achieved by managing the values of the colors. We can make one of the colors dominant and the other one just as an accent in the design. It's a little tricky but if managed nicely can help creating a beautiful vibrant design.



    Similar to the complementary scheme split complementary scheme also provides a high visual contrast to the design but a little less tension. The colors included in this are the one's directly adjacent to the complement of the chosen dominant color. This scheme creates a slight distinction in the color palette while withholding the benefits of contrast in the design.It's again difficult to balance well because of the fact that all the colors in this scheme provide contrast. Therefore it's important to manage the tone and value of the hues.



    It's one very interesting color scheme as it offers high contrasting colors without disturbing the tone of the design. Triad color scheme can be formed by picking up the colors that are equally spaced out in the color wheel.It’s quite popular among the designers as it offers strong visual contrast while retaining balance, and color richness and also it’s easy to balance the kind of colors that are included in this scheme.



    This color scheme is also known as double complementary and as it involves four colors it provides a wider range of possible variations. It works best when one color is kept dominant and others are used to compliment the first. Also plenty of care must be taken to balance the warm and cool colors in the design.Never use all the colors in equal amounts as the scheme may look unbalanced. The value and tone of the colors must be chosen in such a manner that the whole design looks subdued and not jarring to the eyes of the viewer.




    Monochromatic scheme allows us to play with a single color using different shades, tones and tints of the same hue. Although it looks very fascinating and clean but lacks contrast. This relative absence of contrast can be offset by variations in tone in the color.While creating a monochromatic color scheme make sure the design does not end up looking boring or lacks interest. We can also add textures along with the monochromatic colors to enhance their impact.




 2 Comment(s)

  • Absolutely right. Nice to read so informative and simple explanation.
    One of my friends designs costumes for dance shows. She often uses the similar schemes, and one more thing that inspires her to combine different colors is nature. She says that it gives her the brightest and always right ideas.
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