Here Are the 5 Principles of Color

The five principles of color are hue, value, chroma, temperature, and pattern.

Hue is the name of a color on the color wheel. Value is how light or dark a hue is. Chroma is how pure or intense a hue is. Temperature describes whether a hue appears warm or cool. Pattern refers to how colors are used in combination with one another.

Types of Color. The basic principle of the color wheel starts with three primary colors red, yellow and blue

Color can be divided into two types: cool and warm. Each type has its own set of hues that can be used to create different effects in a design.

Warm colors are often associated with energy, happiness, and excitement. They can make a space feel more intimate and inviting. Common warm colors include red, orange, and yellow.

Cool colors are often associated with calmness, relaxation, and peace. They can make a space feel more open and airy. Common cool colors include blue, green, and purple.

Complementary Color Scheme

The most important thing to remember when using a complementary color scheme is to use a light hand. Too much of either color will make the design feel unbalanced and jarring. It is important to use both colors equally throughout the design, or to use one as an accent against a background of the other.

Another thing to keep in mind when using a complementary color scheme is that these colors tend to be very intense. If you want your design to have a more subtle feel, you may want to consider using analogous or monochromatic colors instead.

Analogous Color Scheme

To use an analogous color scheme, start by picking a main color. Then, choose one or two colors on either side of your main hue to create a cohesive palette. When using three colors in an analogous scheme, it’s important to consider the tonal value of each hue. For example, if you’re using a light blue as your main color, you might want to select a slightly darker blue and a greenish-blue for your accent hues. This will help create visual interest and depth in your design.

While analogous color schemes are typically more subdued than others, they can be spiced up by adding a pop of contrasting color or by using different shades, tints, and tones of the same hues.

Triadic and Tetradic Color Schemes

A color scheme is a set of colors that are used together, usually in a design. There are many different types of color schemes, but the two most common are triadic and tetrad ic.

Triadic color schemes use three colors that are equally spaced on the color wheel. Tetradic color schemes use four colors that are equally spaced on the color wheel. Both of these types of schemes can be either warm or cool, depending on the colors that you choose.

Warm triadic color schemes typically use one warm color (like red or orange) and two cool colors (like blue or purple). Cool triadic schemes typically use one cool color (like blue or green) and two warm colors (like red or yellow).

Tetradic schemes can also be either warm or cool, but they tend to be more versatile than triadic schemes because there are more possibilities for harmonies and contrasts. Warm tetrad ic schemes might use two pairs of complementary Colors, such as red and green, blue and orange, or purple and yellow. Cool tetrad ic Schemes might use a pair of Complementary Colors plus two Analogous Colors, such as blue-green and yellow-green with purple-blue and red-purple.

More Color Schemes

1. Analogous Colors

Analogous colors are those that sit next to each other on the color wheel. They typically create harmonious and natural-looking designs. To use an analogous color scheme, choose a dominant color, then select two colors on either side of it as accent colors. For example, if you choose red as your dominant color, your accent colors might be orange and pink.

2. Complementary Colors

Complementary colors are those that sit directly opposite each other on the color wheel (e.g., blue and yellow). While they might seem like they would clash, when used together in small doses they can actually create quite a striking effect. A common way to use complementary colors is to pair a light hue with a dark one (e.g., light blue with navy). This provides good contrast and visual interest without being too jarring.

3. Triadic Colors

A triadic color scheme uses three colors that are evenly spaced around the color wheel. This can create a bold and vibrant design, especially if you use one or two of the brighter or more saturated hues. For example, you could use yellow, purple, and pink; or red, green, and blue.

4. Tetradic Colors

A tetrad ic (also known as double complementary) color scheme uses four colors in total which are two sets of complementary pairs. This can produce quite a complex design so it’s best suited for more experienced designers or those looking for a challenge! An example tetrad ic color scheme might feature orange, purple, green & pink; while another could be red & yellow-green & blue-violet & white (tints/shades/tones of these hues would also work well).

5. Monochromatic Colors

As the name suggests, this type of scheme uses only one hue but in various tints shades tones & saturations – basically any variation on that one base hue! Because all the different values should work together harmoniously this can be quite difficult to get right but when done well it creates a very stylish look. Black white & gray variations of the same hue count as monochromatic too so there’s plenty of room for experimentation!

I'm a photography enthusiast with a passion for classic film cameras and writing. I believe that photography is a powerful tool for storytelling and I strive to create images that are evocative and meaningful. I hope you enjoy my work!