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Color Tips

Arrow Image Some basics on how to use color to its full extent

Today I will be talking about color relations and some tips on which colors to use.

There\'s almost an infinite amount of colors out there, so how the devil do you intend to pick a nice set!? By the end of this tutorial I hope you get a basic idea.

First we take the extreme basics, the PRIMARY COLORS OF >LIGHT< (otherwise it\'d be RYB).


In older art people were limited to these three, black and white, which explains superman among some. These colors are absolute values of the color scale as you can see from their hex values and RGB values.

Mixtures of these are Secondary, and beyond that are tertiary, but I won\'t go into detail on these.

I assume that you have at least BASIC knowledge of hex here, so on to explaining hex color codes. the first 2 digits are Red, then Green, then Blue.

Now that you have an idea of how hex color and RGB color works to the colors meanings.


Red - Passion, Romance, Love, Fury, Intensity, Fire
Green - Wisdom, Growth, Affluence, Greed
Blue - Calm, Peace, Relaxing, Business, Trust Ability, Loyalty
Yellow - Warning, Caution, Cowardly, Chicken, Fear, Reluctance
Purple - Riches, Wealth, Affluence, Royalty, Nobility, Overpowering
Orange - Caution, Warning, Warmth, Security, Forthtelling
Black - Dark, Mystery, Contaminated, Dirty, Overpowering, Demonic, Fear, Batman(ftw!?)
White - Pure, Innocent, Light, Clear, Empty, Void

Now then we have families of color off of this that work quite well together.

COOL- Blue, Green, Purple, White
WARM- Red, Orange, Yellow, Black

Those are alone great themes to use in design because of their relations, also known as color families.

I must warn you though that a majority of lighter colors MUST be coupled with a dark to contrast it, like yellow and white fails without something separating them or a golden hue of yellow or darker.

Another family is Complimentary. This would be colors like Green/Red, Blue/Orange, Yellow/Purple and etc. Be warned again NOT to overuse this, it can be overly distracting.

I hope you learned quite a bit from this, color is something not to be under-rated, it can make or break ANYTHING. Have fun with it, experiment, if it makes you flinch don\'t keep going, redo it.

That\'s it for this one, look out for future articles!


korgon February 29 2008 - 03:54:34
Kinda lame on this one. Not a lot of info if you know what I mean.
ThorsDecreeon March 22 2008 - 06:15:06
a bit newbie oriented, but Lemur I agree, color is _very_ important. mmm, I'm thinkin of painting my Nova metalflake black with chrome stripes Grin. I know a guy who can chrome anything, not typical electroplating Grin
a240on March 23 2008 - 00:17:26
Good start, but it could use more information.
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