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Design Element: Color Schemes - How Signs Happen

Posted by Frank Murch | May 2, 2014 9:36:00 AM

signage colors

A color scheme is the colors used in a design. They are use to give the design style and appeal. The main objective of having a color scheme in a design is to create an aesthetic and pleasing design to the viewer’s eyes. Color schemes are often described and picked from logical combinations of colors on a color wheel.

There are different kinds of color schemes; here are some of the most traditional ones used in design.

color schemesMonochromatic Colors are all the colors, tints, tones and shades of one single hue. This means that a single color is picked and it’s extended using its shades, tones and tints by adding either the color’s blacks, grays and whites. This color schemes create a more subtle combination due to its lack of contrast.

Complementary Colors are pairs of color that when combined with the right proportions, create either white or black. When placed next to each other they produce a strong contrast to reinforce each other. They are widely used in art and design. In the more accurate RGB color model, used to make colors on computer and television displays, red, green and blue light are combined at various intensities to make all the other colors. The complementary pairs are red–cyan, green–magenta, and blue–yellow. In color printing, another system of subtractive colors, the colors cyan, magenta, yellow and black are used to produce all printed colors; the CMYK-system complementary pairs are the same as in the RGB system: red–cyan, green–magenta, and blue–yellow.

Achromatic Color scheme is a color combination where unsaturated or near neutral colors are being used. Black, white and grays are all pure achromatic colors while browns, tans, pastels, and darker colors are considered to be near neutrals. Neutrals are obtained by mixing pure colors with white, black and gray. Black and white combine well with almost any color, black decreases saturation of brightness of colors paired with it and white shows off al hues to equal effect.

Analogous Colors color scheme are groups of colors that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel, with one being the dominant color. The term analogous refers to the having analogy or corresponding to something in particular. An analogous color scheme creates a rich, monochromatic feel to a design. These color schemes usually lack contrast. Red, Yellow and Orange are examples of analogous colors.

Image-Based Color Schemes are those color schemes created by using a color picker or an eye-dropper tool to get colors from an image and use those colors as a color scheme. Imagery is important to know what kind of color scheme a design might need, when not sure what color scheme to use, create one with the colors of your image.

Now there are different resources online that let you pick a nice color scheme for your designs, there are tools like Kuler from Adobe that lets you use color schemes other designers upload to the website. Still not sure which color scheme is best for your design? Contact Signs for San Diego and we will gladly help by picking the best color combination for the message you’re trying to get across.

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Topics: signs, Signs for Oceanside, Signs in Vista, signs for Carlsbad, signs for San Marcos, Signs for San Diego, oceanside, carlsbad, vista, Design, Graphic Design, Typography, Imagery, Color, Color Scheme, Hierarchy, Layout, image, colors

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