A GRAPHIC DESIGNERS GUIDE TO THE SPECTRUM

CATEGORY: GRAPHIC/WEB DESIGN

DATE: 02/03/2019

AUTHOR: LEE ROBINSON

 

 

When it comes to working with colours as a Graphic Designer, there are two main factors, RGB and CMYK. RGB stands for Red, Green & Blue, these are the colours we see on a computer screen, the other option is CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) used in the printing industry and often referred to as real world colours. There are multiple colour options and combinations, knowing how these colours translate in the form of CMYK and RGB is important as bright colours that can be achieved in RGB will often come out darker and less saturated when printed in CMYK. It is important to note that anything designed for print should be 100% CMYK, thus guaranteeing that the colours seen on the screen will match up a lot better with the print when the time comes.

 

The Colour Wheel was originally introduced by Sir Isaac Newton and has changed somewhat over the years, with more colours being added, typically includes the primary colours - red, blue & yellow, the secondary colours - orange, green & violet/purple, and the tertiary colors - green-yellow, yellow–orange, orange-red, red–violet/purple, purple/violet-blue and blue–green as seen below.

 

 

 

 

The Colour Wheel can be split up into Primary, Secondary and Tertiary colours, at the same time it can be broken into two sections or categories, warm colours and cool colours. Warm colours tend to give off very bright colours that pop, Cool colours tend to be more subtle and give off a relaxing feel, when these Cool colours are mixed with their opposite Warm counterparts they always complement each other, hence why opposite colours on the Colour Wheel are called Complementary Colours, aside from Complementary Colours, the other popular colour options are:

 

Analogous Colours, which are colours that are closely located to one and other on the Colour Wheel.

 

Monochromatic Colours, which are various shades and saturation of one particular colour often used to create a soothing feel.

 

Triadic Colours, these are three colours that are equally separated on the Colour Wheel such as Red, Blue and Yellow (The colours of Superman).

 

The Colour Wheel can be further explored at Adobes colour site: Adobe Color CC

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