Sticky: What You Need to Know About Color

It isn’t always easy to come up with the right colors for a scheme. Let’s go back to basics, and it will make things clearer to you. The basic color wheel has twelve colors on it which are divided into three separate groups. Those groups are your primary colors, secondary colors, and tertiary colors.

The primary colors (red, yellow, and blue) are colors that cannot be made by mixing other colors together. Your secondary colors are those which can be made by combining any two of the primary colors; i.e. red and yellow equal orange, red and blue make purple, and blue and yellow produce green. The tertiary colors are created by mixing a primary color with a secondary color.

Look at the colors on the color wheel to determine which ones will work well together. There are basically six ways to go:

Complimentary Scheme – Always bold, these will use two colors that are opposite from each other in their placement on the wheel…such as yellow and blue.
Split Complimentary Scheme – Choose a color, look at the opposite color on the wheel, and then use both the
colors on either side of it, instead of that one.
Analogous Color Scheme – Using two colors that sit next to each other on the color wheel.
Triad Color Scheme – Use three colors that are equidistant from each other.

Tetrad Color Scheme
– Choosing two pairs of complimentary colors.
Monochromatic Color Scheme – This uses one primary color, which can be mixed with black or white, to change its shade and tone.

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