Color Theory – Understanding the 7 fundamentals of color

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Color theory is both the science and art of using color. It explains how humans perceive color; and the visual effects of how colors mix, match or contrast with each other. Color theory also involves the messages colors communicate; and the methods used to replicate color.

In color theory, colors are organized on a color wheel and grouped into 3 categories: primary colors, secondary colors and tertiary colors. More on that later.

Via unsplash

So why should you care about color theory as an entrepreneur? Why can’t you just slap some red on your packaging and be done with it? It worked for Coke, right?

Color theory will help you build your brand. And that will help you get more sales.

Let’s see how it all works:

RGB: the additive color mixing model
CMYK: the subtractive color mixing model
Color wheel basics
Hue, shade, tint, tone
Complementary colors
Analogous colors
Triadic colors
Why color theory is important

Understanding color

People decide whether or not they like a product in 90 seconds or less. 90% of that decision is based solely on color.

Color is perception. Our eyes see something (the sky, for example), and data sent from our eyes to our brains tells us it’s a certain color (blue). Objects reflect light in different combinations of wavelengths. Our brains pick up on those wavelength combinations and translate them into the phenomenon we call color.

When you’re strolling down the soft drink aisle scanning the shelves filled with 82 million cans and bottles and trying to find your six-pack of Coke, what do you look for? The scripted logo or that familiar red can?

People decide whether or not they like a product in 90 seconds or less. 90% of that decision is based solely on color. So, a very important part of your branding must focus on color.

RGB: the additive color mixing model

Additive color mixing. If you (like me) have a hard time wrapping your head around how red and green mix…..

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About the Author: V. Moss