A Color isn’t just an element that would make a design interesting, even though that is one of the main uses of colors in a design. Color could be a symbol for it has a meaning behind it. There are a lot of aspects that can shape a color’s meaning. The meaning it conveys is closely related to what kind of emotions these colors might evoke. There are also cultural aspects that might affect its meaning. For example, in China, red is usually used in celebrations, for its meaning is luck, prosperity, happiness, and long life. Whereas in South Africa the meaning of the color red is the complete opposite. Usually, the color red in South Africa is used in funerals for its meaning of violence and mourning. These aspects which affect a color’s meaning has to be considered when making a design so it could be compatible with the design itself, and to avoid misinterpretation.
A well thought color combination might result in a good and interesting design. Figuring out the right combinations can be achieved using a few techniques. One of the most important things is to learn the color theory. Basically, there are three main colors that can form in other colors. These colors are red, yellow, and blue, and are called the primary colors. By mixing these colors, you’ll get secondary colors, and by mixing those colors, you’ll end up having tertiary colors. Thus forming the color wheel. Other terms used in the color theory are hue, tint, tone, and shade. A Hue is a pure color, usually the base color or main one, and is usually the brightest. A tint is a lighter shade of hue, which can be achieved by mixing a hue with white. The tone is a somewhat more neutral kind of hue, which can be achieved by mixing a hue with gray. Shade is a darker shade of hue, which can be achieved by mixing it with black.
An easier way to choose colors is by using color palettes. A color palette is a group of colors that would complement each other into a certain theme. In many cases, the colors in a color palette are the ones that are compatible with one another. Even though color palettes makes choosing colors a tad bit easier, we still need to take consideration on what message do we want to convey with our design and what kind or type of design do we want to make.
There are warm tones and cool tones. Warm tones are the ones that range from the mixtures of red colors to yellow colors. Any color mixed with enough red or yellow will become a warm color, like yellowish green or reddish purple. These colors reflect warmness because it is usually associated with warm things like fire. Cool tones, on the other hand, are the ones that range from the mixtures of blue, like deep violet and aquamarine. Cool tones, of course, reflect coolness like ice and water.
A human’s ability to associate a color with other things is a psychological effect. In reality, colors don’t exist. The appearance of colors is caused by light waves that are received by the human brain which then interprets it. And because how we perceive colors is subjective, colors can evoke a certain emotion depending on how a certain human being interprets them. These aspects can be considered when making a design. For example, when designing a logo, the appropriate color choices can better convey the meaning it wants to promote. Take the Barbie logo for example. Barbie is widely known as a brand that sells dolls for little girls. Their logo is dominated by the color pink. Pink is most commonly associated with femininity, gracefulness, and gentleness. The color is deemed appropriate for the identity of a company that sells toys for girls and is proven to be one of the most iconic and successful brands of toys ever.
Carefully, choosing colors is something crucial that needs to be considered when we want to design something interesting or intriguing. Aside from being an aesthetical aspect, it also provides symbolism. How we play around with colors can affect how other people perceive a design. A design needs to reflect the meaning it wants to convey so it can successfully deliver the message. Hence, why we should learn how colors work in society, what kind of emotion it evokes, and how to play around with it the right way. As a result, an effective, meaningful yet aesthetic design can be achieved when we know what we’re doing with the colors we choose.