Understanding Color Theory in Graphic Design

Color is one of the essential elements in the field of design. It can provoke, evoke, and stir the emotions in humans. But the catch is to use them cautiously, and the interface should be in visual harmony with other elements. Different colors stimulate different kinds of emotions. It gets essential to understand the role of color theory in all fields of design. Let’s start with graphic design.

What is graphic design?

Graphic design is the art of creating visual content to meet users’ needs, communicate specific messages, or to solve a problem statement. Graphic designers make use of elements like colors, typography, images to convey the necessary information and make it a cherishable experience for the user.

What is color theory?

Color Theory is a set of rules and guidelines we follow to create an aesthetic and harmonious color combination, which is both pleasing to the eyes and resourceful to use. It comprises of segments like- Color Wheel, color schemes, and color harmony. Let’s look at the various color schemes available.

What is the color wheel?

The wheel that displays the relationship between various colors and the color schemes that follow after combining the colors is coined as a color wheel. There are three categories of colors on the color wheel. Primary Colors(Red, Yellow, Blue), Secondary Colors (Mixing the three primary colors- Orange, Green, Purple), Tertiary Colors (Combining primary and secondary- Yellow+Orange, Red+Orange, Red+Purple, Blue+Purple, Blue+Green, Yellow+Green).

Various color schemes

Different color schemes can be formed based upon how you would want to combine the colors. Let’s read about some of the basics of them.

Complementary Color Scheme

The color scheme formed by combining the opposite colors on the color wheel is a complementary color scheme. E.g., red and green. They create a high contrast color scheme.

Analogous Color Scheme

The color scheme formed by using the colors that are placed adjacent to each other is an analogous color scheme. One of the colors is used as the dominant and second to use as a supporting color. The third color acts as an accent to the entire scheme. E.g., blue-green, green.

Triadic Color Scheme

The color scheme formed by using the colors placed equidistantly on the wheel is termed as a triadic color scheme. This is the common color scheme used by designers. It produces a vibrant color scheme. Ensure to maintain the balance. Eg-Purple, Green, and Orange.

 How to use the color scheme in graphic design?

Using a color scheme efficiently in graphic design can influence the purchase of the buyer. Companies are utter careful while creating logos. It helps them in building their brand identity as each color has its emotional impact.

Blue leaves a calm and more professional impact. It is mostly used by the education, finance, and IT sector.

Black stands for elegance, stability. It is used by Gaming, design, and fashion industry.

Pink reflects feminine and a sense of emotions and comfort. It used by the fashion or toy industry.

Red is used for drawing attention and even a signal of danger or warning. Fire trucks are all red. The food and entertainment industry also uses a lot of red.

Yellow generates a positive emotion and symbolizes hope. It is used by the travel and food industry as well.
These were some of the examples. All color generates emotions, and it is necessary to choose which connects best with your user. Graphic design is all about connecting with the user and creating interfaces that add value to the product they are using.

Here are some of the links for your reference. They will surely help you in choosing the correct color suiting your needs.

Rajat Bagree