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Understanding Color by Guest Blogger Intellicore

Even if you are not a designer, chances are you remember the internet when it was in its infancy-- and all the cringeworthy color schemes associated with it. Or, perhaps you know of a small business that had an excellent product or service, but a color scheme for their logo, menu, or website that would make even 1970s wallpaper blush.

This infographic reveals some of the reasons why color plays such a large role.


Each one instills a different emotion, sets a different tone, and inspires a different impression. It is up to the designer to strike the right balance and get into the mind of his consumers.

At the most basic level, there are primary and secondary colors.

The three basic primary colors, if you were paying any attention in elementary school, are red, yellow, and blue.

The secondary colors-- called that because they are created from the primarys-- are orange, green, and purple.

The color wheel includes both primary and secondary colors, and adds tertiary colors. Tertiary colors are a combination of primary and secondary, such as yellow and green being combined to make yellow-green or "lime".

The colors are further divided into warm and cool colors. Warm colors range from oranges, reds, and yellows to reddish purple like magenta.

They are meant to convey a number of things like energy, happiness, and intensity. Combining them with shades of grey can give a more serious and sophisticated look.

Cool colors, on the other end of the spectrum, range from light green to a deep blue-violet. They instill feelings of peace, calm, and serenity. It is recommended that you choose either solely cool colors or solely warm. If you want to be a bit more adventurous with your color schemes, there are:

    Complementary
    These are  directly across from each other on the color wheel, like purple and orange.

    Split-Complementary
    These are similar to complementary colors, except you select one color and the two adjacent to its opposite.

    Analogous
    These are three contiguous colors that are next to each other on the color wheel, like green, blue, and violet.

    Triadic
    These are a trio of colors equally spaced from each other on the color wheel, such as teal, magenta, and yellow-orange.

    Tetradic
    These are four colors that form a rectangle within the color wheel. One such example is red, yellow-orange, turquoise, and blue.

Colors can be organized even further by mode (additive RGB and subtractive CMYK), hue, saturation, and brightness. Perhaps you have found that there is even more variance to color than you thought! This underscores the importance of finding the right palette to suit your project's needs. The right color scheme can mean the difference between a failure and the next Kickstarter.

Brought to you by CRM specialists Intellicore of Aberdeen in Scotland.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff

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