Color Help: Color Theory and Design Psychology

By | 17 September 2017

Coloration concept is a complete science unto itself, and to get a full image of the way it all works, I would recommend choosing up a couple of artwork books. On this article, nonetheless, we’ll take a short have a look at the necessities of shade concept, in gentle of the ideas of Design Psychology. we’ll first record a time period, after which supply a brief abstract of how the time period pertains to Design Psychology.


The bottom title of a shade with none white, grey, or black added. The phrases hue and shade are interchangeable.

Coloration wheel

A shade wheel comprises twelve colours, based mostly on primitive pigments. The three major colours are pink, blue, and yellow. Three secondary colours (composed of mixtures of the three major colours) comply with: pink and blue make purple; pink and yellow make orange; yellow and blue make inexperienced. Six tertiary colours (comprised of mixtures of major and secondary colours) type the rest of the colour wheel: yellow-orange, red-orange, violet, blue-green, and yellow-green. Black is the entire absence of shade and white is the reflection of all colours.

Worth or Lightness

This denotes the diploma of lightness or darkness of a hue, in relation to pure white or black.

Depth, Saturation, or Croma:

This time period describes the diploma of purity of a hue as in comparison with impartial grey of the identical worth. That is the liberty from added white or grey; how vivid or uninteresting a shade seems in relation to the fundamental hue.


These are deep tones, by which black is added to a shade.


These are pastels, by which white is added to a shade.


Including grey of the identical worth to a hue or including its complement creates a tone.


The depth or depth of shade, equivalent to darkish or gentle.

Monochromatic Coloration Schemes

This time period is used to explain rooms with solely tints and shades of the identical shade. Impartial shade schemes are normally monochromatic.

Analogous, Facet-by-Facet, or Associated Coloration Schemes

These rooms use adjoining colours to the principal shade on the colour wheel. That is thought of a pleasant scheme, as a result of the colours mix properly and create a gentle impact.

Complementary or Reverse Coloration Schemes

Rooms that use colours from reverse sides of the colour wheel. That is thought of to be an influence and motion scheme.


Consists of three colours, spaced an equal distance aside on the colour wheel. Triad shade schemes can doubtlessly trigger obvious and complicated emotions when all the colours are intense.


Consists of 4 colours, spaced an equal distance aside on the colour wheel. Tetrad shade schemes create attention-grabbing results due to the potential selection obtainable. They’re greatest when two colours dominate.

Topographical Coloration Schemes

These schemes include colours from nature, equivalent to rocks, earth, sky, sea, and crops.

Floral Coloration Schemes

These schemes use sensible or pastel colours present in crops and flowers.


Materials and wallpapers come in numerous mixtures of colours, or colorways. A material sample may have a number of picks of colorways to select from. A sample could also be obtainable in colorways of: yellow, blue and inexperienced, pink, blue and inexperienced; or purple, burgundy and blue.

Visible Vibration

This happens when neighboring colours seem to conflict and vibrate in our imaginative and prescient, making a dizzying impact that provides to nervousness and tiredness.

Cusp Colours

These are colours on the sting of two colours that tackle completely different values below completely different lighting conditions, equivalent to, darkish blue/purple (periwinkle), orange/pink (terra-cotta reds), and blue/greens (teal). Periwinkle could seem extra purple than darkish blue at evening or below completely different lighting programs.

Easy Coloration

This can be a true shade, with out additive colours, equivalent to sky blue, grass inexperienced, or apple pink. A easy shade is a pure shade.

Advanced Coloration

This can be a mixture of colours, equivalent to silvery blue, or lichen (grayish green-brown). A posh shade is a shade that requires an extended description, equivalent to “kind of a grayish-blue with a touch of pink.”


The complete vary of colours utilized in a design mission.

These are the fundamental phrases used to explain shade schemes throughout the ideas of Design Psychology. Studying them is step one towards creating dynamic areas for each the inside and exterior of your private home.

(c) Copyright 2004, Jeanette J. Fisher. All rights reserved.


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