Posts Tagged ‘combinations’

Understanding Colours for Business – part 3

December 15, 2010

To conclude this article, in part three we discuss the neutral colours, which can offer a profound effect on your design.

NEUTRAL COLOURS
Black:
The colour black brings a very sophisticated look to a design, not to mention the powerful impact it creates with other colours. Add the warm colours from part 1 of this article (red, orange & yellow) and your design comes alive with power. One often associates dangerous creatures with a combination of these colours (bees, poisonous frogs, snakes etc.).

White:
This neutral colour offers a fresh clean look to any online design and the use of open space is best created using white. Representing purity, white is by far the best background colour for bringing text to life on a website page.

Grey:
This combination of black and white offers a very neutral tone to a design. It symbolizes maturity and portrays a sense of security and reliability, but can be a little on the boring side if used as a single colour.

Brown:
The fascinating thing about brown is that it straddles between being a neutral colour & also being a warm colour. It represents the earth, showing absolute stability in any design you create. Brown has the ability to blend well with colours especially green, yellow, orange etc.
Now that we have covered some of the basic characteristics of the most popular colours, we can look at how they work together in your designs using different combinations.

Using single colours (monochromatic) and incorporating their unique values is the first step to creating a harmonious look and feel to your design. These single colours create individual tones that represent a specific mood, so choose your colour carefully if you plan to go with monochromatic colours.

Using a combination of colours that work well together like red, orange and yellow, but are not necessarily the same colour are referred to as analogous colours. Designers tent to lean towards analogous colours when designing a site as the combined colours tend to build positively upon the overall look they try to achieve. They select one colour that dominates the site and the other analogous colours fill in as accent colours.

Contrasting colours are also often used together as they are appealing together. With the use of a colour wheel, the colour directly opposite the colour you have chosen is the contrasting colour. Examples of this are yellow and purple, green and red or even blue and orange. Note that the eye struggles to focus on more than one contrasting colour at a time, so don’t use both colours too dominantly on a page.

Triadic colour schemes are created by combining three opposing colours together. Red, yellow and blue would be a good example of this using the “full strength” colours. Triadic colour schemes, as you can imagine, create a harmonious tone to your design because the colours seem to make sense.
If in doubt, refer to nature for perfect combinations of every colour you can imagine.

by Cherie Eilertsen