Theory of Colour

A detailed understanding of colour is very important before using them in a design. Colour is basically categorized into three groups known as primary, secondary and tertiary colours.

Primary Colour
Primary colors are the basic colours, in other words they are the first colours on the colour wheel. Red, Yellow and Blue are known as the primary colours and these colours cannot be mixed with any other colour. They are used in their original or pure form.

Secondary Colour
Mixing of two primary colours gives secondary colours. For example:-
*  Red + Yellow = Orange
* Yellow + Blue = Green
* Blue + Red = Violet
So over here, Orange, Green and Violet are the secondary colours.

Tertiary Colour
Mixing of one primary colour with one secondary colour that lie next to each other on the colour wheel gives a tertiary colour. For example:-
* Yellow + Green = Yellow-Green
* Yellow + Orange = Yellow-Orange
* Orange + Red = Red-Orange
* Red + Violet = Red-Violet
* Violet + Blue = Blue-Violet
* Blue + Green = Blue-Green
So over here, Yellow-Green, Yellow-Orange, Red-Orange, Red-Violet, Blue-Violet and Blue-Green are the tertiary colours.

After these colours come the tint, tone, shade and hue

Colour + white colour = tint
If we mix white colour with any colour, we get lighter shades of that colour, this lighter shade is known as tint. In other words, It’s simply any colour with white added. For example, if we mix red colour with white colour, we will get a Tint red colour. This done to get lighter shades of a colour.
Tints are soft, youthful and soothing.

Colour + Grey = Tone
A Tone is created by adding both White and Black. Any colour that is “grayed down” or mixed with grey colour is considered to be a Tone. Just like Tint, any colour can be used as the base of a Tone. Tones are pleasing to the eye.

Colour + Black = Shade
Shade is simply any colour with black added to it. When we talk of shade, we actually speak about how dark it is or how much of black is in it. Just like Tint and Tone, any colour can be used as the base of a shade. Shades are mysterious, deep and powerful.

Hue is the correct name for colour. They are the purest and brightest colours. They progress around the primary colour wheel forming the full spectrum of colours.

There are basically three colour schemes known as complementary, monochromatic and harmonious.

Complementary colours are those colours that lie opposite to each other on the colour wheel, for example, blue and orange, red and green, purple and yellow. Complementary colours give a contrast look and can be very tricky to use but if used in the right way they can give a very energetic look to the space. The right way to do this is by not applying the same amount of both the colours, one colour should dominate the other.

Monochromatic colour scheme refers to the use of shade, Tone or Tint of one colour. For example, if we choose the colour yellow then the entire room has to be done with different Tones, Shades and Tints of yellow only. These color schemes are easy to get right and can be very effective, soothing and authoritative, but at the same time they lack the diversity of hues found in other color schemes and are less vibrant.

Harmonious colour scheme refers to the use of colours that sit next to each other on the colour wheel. Under this scheme one can make use of several colours of the same tone. For example, using pastel colours in the same tone such as green, blue, lilac and pink without any one of them dominating the other.

Here are five different points to be considered when choosing a colour palette for a room:-

1. Owners taste and preferences.
2. What the room is going to be used for.
3. Size of the room.
4. Amount and sources of Light available in the room.
5. Height of the ceiling of the room.

Here is an explanation of the psychological effects associated with two different colours.

The colour red can be seen as Power, Physicality, Passion, Sex, Energy and Strength on one hand, whereas, Danger, Death, Aggressive, Demanding and Anger on the other. Red is a very dominating colour and has the longest wavelength. It is an attractive colour and children get attracted towards it. This is why it is used a lot in advertisements and child products including toys and cartoon characters. Red is a colour of passion that flattens the skin and therefore it is perfect for social occasions, restaurants and bars or romantic dining rooms. It stimulates the brain and raises the heart rate. I have attached a picture of a room with red colour scheme.

The colour white can be referred to as Cleanliness, Purity, Simplicity and Sophistication on one hand, whereas, Sterile, Cold and Unfriendliness on the other hand. It is a result of reflection and because of its this property it can visually create the illusion of space and height. Too much of white may cause strain, boredom and give a feeling of unfriendliness. When used with other colours, it can be very refreshing and attractive. If used with black in unequal proportions, it can get annoying.

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