Have you ever come across a color that quickly brought to mind a specific brand? It’s possible you’ve had trouble unwinding in a room due to the conflicting color scheme or rejected a product because the shade wasn’t quite right.
It’s amazing how much color can influence our moods, emotions, and even our ideas. Based on findings from the Institute for Color Research, individuals subconsciously form a judgment within 90 seconds of seeing a brand, and 62% to 90% rely only on color to do so.
For UI designers, the challenge is to use color so that it effectively conveys the brand style of a company. While a site’s color scheme can be a matter of personal preference, UI designers employ a framework known as color theory: a multilayer collection of principles that regulate the use of colors in designing.
Here, we’ll cover all you need to know about hue theory, from understanding colors variation to selecting the correct palette for your designs with the Adobe wheels of color. All the photos used in the article are taken from freepik.
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When it comes to defining color theory, perception is everything. This returns to the more technical, but it does not have to be as analytical. Understanding our senses of color is something that we all know instinctively as humans.
We don’t typically consider how our brains interpret light coming in via our eyes and tell us what colors we see. We do, however, make simple connections. We’ve seen the sky enough times to know it’s blue, and we’ve seen the grass enough times to know it’s green.
The same principles apply to graphic design. If we were searching for Sprite in the supermarket, our gaze would be drawn immediately to anything green. We’d be tempted to do anything blue if we were seeking a postal box in our area.
Color theory is a conceptual framework that guides the use of colors in visual art, directs the selection of color palettes, and aids in the efficient delivery of a design concept on an appealing and psychological level.
In terms of modern color theory, Isaac Newton’s color wheel, which he invented in 1666, is primarily responsible. Using a simple color wheel, you can see three different levels of color: primary, secondary, and tertiary.
Let’s quickly review what each of these color families means:
Primary Colors: Primary colors can only be produced by mixing one primary color with another. The three prominent hues are red, blue, and yellow.
Secondary Colors: Orange, purple, and green are examples of secondary colors. These are hues that may be made by mixing any two of the primary colors.
Tertiary Colors: Primary colors are combined with secondary colors to produce tertiary colors. Magenta, vermillion, violet, teal, amber, and chartreuse are tertiary hues.
Adobe Colors Wheel Theory
This might come to your mind that there are a lot more than 12 colors to choose from. Yes, you are correct, and they can all be found on a more advanced photoshop color wheel.
The color wheel picker shows the primary, secondary, and tertiary colors and their hues, tints, tones, and shades. The color wheel aids designers in creating unique color palettes that encourage aesthetic harmony by showing how each hue on a rainbow color scale compares to the one adjacent to it.
In order to better understand these color choices, let’s go a bit further:
The word “color” and the concept of “hue” are almost interchangeable. In other words, all of the colors in the rainbow are “hues.” When creating a secondary color by mixing two main colors, keep an eye out for hues. If you don’t utilize the hues of the two main colors you’re combining, you won’t obtain the secondary color’s hue. This is because a hue contains the smallest number of different colors. Adding extra tints, tones, and hues to two basic colors makes the final color reliant on the compatibility of more than two colors.
The word “shade” is probably familiar to you because it is frequently used to describe the bright and dark shades of the same color. However, the color you obtain when you mix any hue with black is a shade. The different “shades” are different amounts of black.
Although a tint and a shade are opposites, most individuals don’t know the difference between the two. When you mix in white, the color takes on a new shade. As a result, a color can have a variety of tints and shades.
To produce a tone, mix white and black pigments into the color you’re working with. Although tone and saturation are interchangeable terms when discussing digital picture colors, saturation is more commonly used. The use of tone in paintings will increase in the future.
Even if you’re a complete color noob, you’ve probably heard the words “warm, cold, and neutral” thrown around in connection to color. The term for this is color temperature, and it’s an important one in color theory.
Colors with a yellow or red undertone are considered warm; those with a blue, green, or purple hue are considered cool; and those with a brown, gray, or black undertone are considered neutral. We have a strong emotional reaction to colors depending on their warmth. Warm colors evoke feelings of enthusiasm, optimism, and inventiveness, whilst cold colors evoke feelings of serenity, harmony, and balance.
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Additive and subtractive color models
As soon as we’ve mastered the different color combinations, we’ll be ready to add and remove color. Two types of colors exist intangible colors that can be seen on the surface of objects, and light-generated colors (also known as photochemical colors). Additive and subtractive color models distinguish between these two approaches to color. Let’s go a little further to find out what they imply in the Adobe color.
RGB color models, on the other hand, are designed for electronic displays like computers.
The RGB color model is based on the additive model of light waves and stands for Red, Green, and Blue. This implies that when you add more color, the closer you go to white, the more saturated the image becomes. Computers create RGB images on a 0–255 scale. When it comes to color, black has the following values: R=0, G=0, and B=0. The RGB values for white are R=255, G=255, and B=255.
The RGB values or the HEX code are commonly provided by web programs, although this isn’t always the case. When it comes to picking colors for digital photos or websites, RGB is generally your best choice.
However, CMYK’s subtractive color model gets its hues by subtracting light from the original one. CMYK is an abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow, and black and is commonly used during physical printing. The name derives from the fact that to get to white, you must remove hues. Adding more shades brings you closer to black since the inverse is true as well.
When you visualize CMYK as a series of matching integers, it makes things a lot clearer. CMYK uses a 0 to 100 scale. With these values, you get black. However, if the sum of the four hues is 0, you’ll get pure white.
So far, we’ve looked at the many different ways a color may appear and learned about the color models. We’ve arrived at the most exciting phase of the process: creating color palettes!
A color palette is a collection of colors that designers may draw from when creating an interface. Adobe color gradient offers a huge source of selections. Color palettes, when applied appropriately, establish the visual basis of your brand, assist in remaining consistent, and make your user interface attractive and pleasurable to use.
When it comes to digital design, the most frequent way color palettes are utilized is as a collection of HEX codes. HEX codes tell a computer what hexadecimal value should be used to represent a specific hue. Most computer color palettes in the 1990s only included eight colors. Designers may now pick from a broader range of color schemes thanks to the color wheel.
The use of schemes can aid in the differentiation of various color families. Instead of merely specifying specific colors to be used in the design, schemes can make it easier to keep track of everything. There are several topics to think about if you want to create a project that communicates well and some details about Adobe color trends.
- Analogous: Analogous only utilizes the three hues that are next to each other on the color wheel. For example, a fire may have a similar color palette of red, orange, and yellow.
- Monochromatic: Monochromatic is simply achieved by depending on one hue with numerous shades and tints to generate variations rather than shitting via various colors.
- Triad: This scheme uses three different colors at opposite ends of the color wheel, as the name suggests. To get an idea of this scheme, place a triangle on a color wheel and see where the three equal-sided points go.
- Complementary: Colors positioned in front of each other on the color wheel make up complementary color palettes. Complementary color palettes, despite their name, are the opposites of analogous and monochromatic color palettes, attempting to create contrast. A red button on a blue backdrop, for example, will stand out on any interface.
- Split Complementary: One primary color and the two colors next to the dominant color’s complement make up a split complementary scheme. This results in a more nuanced color pallet than a complementary color scheme while keeping the benefits of contrasting colors—only the amount of colors used in the split-complementary color palette changes from the complementary color palette. If you pick the color blue, for example, you’ll need to choose the two colors that are next to its opposite color, which in this case are yellow and red.
- Double Split Complementary: When two hues (colors) are next to each other on the color wheel and matched with two neighboring hues on the other side, it’s called a double complementary scheme. This results in a color palette consisting of four neighboring but opposite hues: blue-green, blue, orange, and red-orange.
- Square: The square color scheme creates a square or diamond shape by combining four colors on the color wheel that are equidistant from each other. While this evenly spaced color scheme adds a lot of contrast to your design, it’s better to choose one dominant color instead of trying to balance all four. Color schemes with squares are fantastic for adding interest to your web designs. Don’t know where to begin? Choose your favorite hue and work backward to determine whether this scheme would fit your company or website. It’s also a good idea to test square designs on both black and white backgrounds to see which one works best.
All of this isn’t being said as if the color theory is some complicated subject that needs a philosophical approach to grasp. The purpose of this information is to help you understand why we perceive colors in the way we do. When it comes to design, our minds correlate colors, and it’s up to us to find out how to appropriately push and pull them.
To understand color theory, you don’t need to swallow a magic pill or study a dozen books on the topic. All you have to do is utilize your best judgment when it comes to color perception. Color theory is all about perception, as discussed before in this essay.
So, when it comes to color, don’t overthink it. Choose the colors you think would work best for your project, experiment with them, and modify them until you’re happy with the message you’re sending. It’ll be considerably less scary than attempting to grasp the energy we’re always looking at with our perception-altering eyes.
- How to use Adobe color wheels?
Ans. To access the Color Themes panel, go to Window > Adobe > Adobe Color Themes. Create, Explore, and My Themes are the three panes that make up the panel. A smaller, more basic version of the color wheel is available under Generate, which you may use to create new Color Themes as you work. There is also an option for online.
- Is Adobe color free to use?
Ans. Anyone may use Adobe Color because it is a free web service. So anyone can open a computer browser window, go to color.adobe.com, and start messing about with all of these cool-looking color-theme-creation tools. You no longer have any restrictions when it comes to designing color themes. Adobe color download is very easy to experience the service.
- What are the 7 color schemes?
Ans. Monochromatic, analogous, complementary, split complementary, triadic, square, and rectangle are the seven major color schemes (or tetradic).
- What is Adobe color used for?
Ans. Adobe Color is a wonderful application that combines the power of color theory with a simple, easy-to-use interface that is suitable for more than just designers. Designers, graphic artists, photographers, online professionals, and video makers may all benefit from Adobe’s Creative Cloud.
- What colors are complementary?
Ans. Modern color theory utilizes either the RGB additive color model or the CMY subtractive color model, and in these, the complementary pairings are red-cyan, green–magenta, and blue-yellow. In the classic RYB color scheme, the complementary color pairings are red-green, yellow–purple, and blue–orange.