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I enjoy creating simple yet engaging imagery that allows me to have fun with colour, shape, layout and typography.
Colour wheel basics
The colour wheel is comprised of 12 core colours or hues. Learning how to use this wheel can help make those art directed choices. You will be able to make informed decisions based on logical and effective design related principles. These examples are just the stepping stones to colour theory but might be the first of many steps you take in this field of design.
fig 1: The colour wheel was first thought to be created in 1666 by Sir Isaac Newton but since then many other variations have been developed. In reality any circle of colour comprising of pure hues smoothly transitioning from one to the other could be considered a colour wheel of some type. Looking at the colour wheel below see if you can spot the three starting colours (Primary's), then the Secondary colours and finally the Tertiary colours.
1.1: Red-violet 1.2: Red 1.3: Red-orange 1.4: Orange 1.5: Yellow-orange 1.6: Yellow 1.7: Yellow-green 1.8:Green 1.9: Blue-green 1.10: Blue 1.11: Blue-violet 1.12: Violet
fig 2: The Primary colours. These three colours define the wheel. Red, Yellow, and Blue.
fig 3: The Secondary colours. Using the Primary colours we can mix them to make the Secondary colours.
fig 4: The Tertiary colours. Using a combination of Primary and Secondary colours we can make these remaining colours.
That's the very basics, a simple wheel with 12 colours and some much potential. It's from here on that it starts to get interesting but only for the adventurous. Simple patterns can be seen and made using these 12 little colours. Splitting the wheel in half shows the first two patterns.
Fig 5: An array of cool colours, a perfect starting point for a brand with a serious and trustworthy tone.
fig 6: Warm colours make up the other side. A friendly and bright design might use these colours.
Colour schemes are a logical combination of these principles used to make designs more appealing. Try experimenting with the colours to see what combinations work for you. If you need a starting point try adding black, grey or white to make shades, tones and tints within your colour schemes.