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Colour schemes

Colour schemes and finding the right one can be the hardest thing for a company and brand to do, you need to ensure that it’s eye-catching however overloading it with highly saturated colours isn’t the way to do this as it leaves a site looking tacky and cheap which is the opposite of what you want!

First of all, I’m going to teach you what exactly what the difference is between Tones, Shades, and Tints just to make it clear what the difference was between them all in order to avoid messing them up in the future. This is quite simple really, Tones is when grey is added to a pure tone of one hue, Tints is when white is added to a pure hue and finally Shades are when Black is added to the pure hue. In my previous work and projects, I have looked at the colour wheel and the different harmonious colour schemes, however, I believe that it is vital information for anyone to know!


The first scheme that I will be looking at is the most basic one that almost everyone knows. This is when one colour is picked on one set of the colour wheel and the directly opposing colour. An example of this would be having picked red, the colour directly opposing that is green so these two would be the complimenting colours used within a scheme. I do like this scheme as the contract is what makes it stand out against each other however this does limit the colour selections.


The next scheme that I will be looking at is the Analogous style, this one is slightly different as it doesn’t go far away from the original colour on the wheel. This one also allows one more than the basic complementary colour scheme does. If a green is picked the colours used can be a bluish green and greenish yellow, this seems far more linked with each other and connected when compared to the first scheme. Personally, I think with this scheme, it makes a tight link between the colours, however, nothing really pops out that well on it, nothing really brings in the attention that the offset of the complementary colours seem to bring. these seem more harmonies with the correct amount of contrast between them.


Triadic colour scheme uses colours that are evenly spaced around the colour wheel. This sort of scheme seems to be quite vibrant and outstanding as the colours are picked in such a way to make them stand out against one another, in this one colour will dominate while the other two will be accents to them.


The next colour scheme I wanted to look at was incredibly similar to the previous one, however, this one uses a slimmer triangle when selecting colours. While the Triadic colour scheme uses an equilateral triangle this one uses a slimmer triangle with a smaller base. This one has a high contrast between the picked colours however to be these colours seem less offensive to the eye when compared it the previous one, this to me is more of a reason to pick this scheme as it is still bright and outstanding however it still drags the attention of the viewer as it is a simple scheme.


This scheme is one of the few that gets the most shades, in this one we get a stretch of four different colours. These scheme uses two sets of complementing colours that when all put together to create a complementing set to work with, this one gives one of the most possible variations as the rich colours stand out against each other. A balance should be used within this design though as to balance out the warm and cool tones. This so one of my favorite schemes as you can have a mass amount of colour to play with however it seems to be one that could easily go wrong as the colours all have a high contrast.


The final scheme that I will be looking at is incredibly similar to the rectangular colour scheme. The only difference is that all the colours are directly spaced out between the colour wheel. In this one, the direct contrast of two colours is picked up which like in the rectangular colour scheme. Like the others, the balance between the cool and warm tones should be looked at as well as having one colour be dominant over the two of them. Making sure that the colours fit in well is the most important thing to do which can be a struggle with this scheme as well as the previous one however when used correctly it can be extremely effective.

After finding your colour scheme make sure you save the hex codes for each of the colours to your brand guide! This will massively help out designers as we can then ensure a consistency throughout all your branding, taking note and adding these to your brands’ design guides will be one of the most helpful things you can do for your designers and for yourself as it will show consistent branding throughout.


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