How Color Enhances Your Design

There is no doubt that everywhere we look, from the galaxies in space to the highest of mountain tops and the deep oceans, color makes the human experience unique. Color is everywhere; most times, vibrate, bright, warm, glowing, moody, and even gloomy overcast days sometimes have a way of evoking emotions and playing with our minds. Centuries ago, people drew colors from nature; fruits, plants, roots, and many more. Mother nature probably still shows off with her color palettes. Have you ever admired a sunset and noticed how the colors blend into each other and how blends of colors create other colors? Or snorkeled or swam in the ocean to the beautiful color of the corals and sea life? Sometimes, adding more of a particular color will enhance or change the color and emotional composition altogether.

Color can influence your mind, affect your emotions, and set the mood on how your designs are seen. Colors communicate meaning, and we need to be careful what unseen tones and colors convey to the viewer. The use of color has to be intentional. 

Graphic Design

Whether a designer is working on a personal project or for a client, they regularly need to choose colors for their design projects. As a designer, you may have to work with a client who has a personal preference, or you will have to work within brand guidelines, general design principles, or mood boards. Colors intrinsically connect to human psychology, and the colors your client chooses also have the power to influence or impact how their consumers. However, if you have a client who gives you the freedom to experiment with colors, you must first understand how colors work, and here is where color theory can be useful. To better appreciate these guidelines and to use them in action, it’s essential to understand fundamentally what color is, how human beings perceive it, and the science behind colors in the human context.

How To Choose a Color Scheme

Understanding the meaning of color is different from choosing a color scheme. Usually, when deciding on a color scheme, you will have to begin with the dominating color. When selecting a dominant color, think of the words you would like to describe the brand and the company website. What emotional responses do you want to raise, and what feelings do you want people to have when looking at the design? Imagine the brand your design represents and what kind of connection you want people to make between the design, product, and your brand.

  • Monochromatic color schemes are the use or containing only one color, and they tend to look clean and elegant and can be effective at establishing a mood. It produces a soothing effect and is very easy on the eyes. It is especially true when using blue and green.
  • Complementary color schemes look best when a warmer color is sitting against a calming color. It creates an intrinsically high level of contrast and creates a dramatic look. Complimentary colors intensify each other and are incredibly eye-catching and vibrant. 
  • Analogous color schemes are similar to monochromatic ones; however, they offer more nuances while drawing from a broader range on the color wheel. 
  • Triadic color schemes offer solid visual contrast while still retaining harmony and a richness of color which is pleasing to the eye and create an impact and grab a viewer’s attention. A triadic color scheme comprises three evenly spaced on the color wheel, and the most obvious triadic colors are primary colors red, blue, and yellow.
  • Split Complementary color schemes are high contrast colors while omitting the strong tension of the complementary color schemes. 
  • Tetradic color schemes are hard to harmonize and may look out of sync with each other, and are rich color schemes with a lot of variation.  

Color schemes play a massive part in the design, and just as an individual color might convey a specific meaning, so too the combination of colors and its Color Theory.

Colors in Fashion

As fashion comes and goes and specific trends are repeated every 10-20 years, one thing that remains is dressing in seasonal clothes. Seasonal colors are the hues that mirror the changing of the four seasons in nature. Each season has its own sets of traditional colors. Seasons like summer combine bright, bold, airy colors that help lift our spirits like the sun, ocean, and summer blooms. Autumn is blended in with more earthy colors and shifts towards neutral tones of rich colors like the changing colors of the leaves and nature. Seasonal colors will always remain intertwined with the current fashion trends of the year. Did you know that colors in fashion are generally characterized and chosen approximately eighteen months in advance? 

Colors in Art

Over the centuries, artists have been using color to draw people to their work, the painting’s object. Artists have learned the art of contrasting colors, blending colors, and defusing colors to have the effect they want to portray. Ever visited a Van Gough museum? Textures and colors are there to either enhance or blend. The twirls, the straight lines, the figurines are the paintings’ objects and always hold the most dominating color. Abstract art is the only art that plays on colors, shapes, and sizes, and it does not have to make sense. It’s large, offers space; bright colors and shapes make it hard to look away. Abstract artists change the way we look at art, and we will probably never look at art in the same way. 

Wassily Kandinsky – Synesthetic Abstraction

Final Thoughts

We have established that color can either make or break your design. As designers, it is good to know the color trends for each year, and it’s vitally important to help your clients understand how colors work and how they can affect your customers. 

Here at Kingdom Branding, we are passionate about designing with intention. Every element in any design we create serves a purpose. When we help clients build their brand, we explain the importance of color theory and help you explore different colors and color palettes to help you take your brand to the next level. If you want to learn more, visit our website and book a discovery session with us at this link.

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