Colour is a key part of any design work whether it’s on the web or print. Having a consistent, unique and engaging colour scheme is the first step in having people recognize your brand.
A colour palette is a specific set of colours that a designer picks to be used together in a project. These colours should be picked carefully so that they are pleasing to the eye, evoke the desired mood and make readability easy.
There are a variety of colour schemes that are commonly used, not all colour palettes will always fit into one of these core types however they serve as a good basis to go from.
One base colour is used varied in saturation and lightness
Uses two colours side by side on the colour wheel, one colour becomes the dominant one and the other becomes an accent
Uses colours across from one another on the colour wheel to create a high contrast scheme. One of the two colours should be dominant
This colour scheme uses any three colours which forma triangle on the wheel, equally spaced apart
Compound schemes are almost the same as complementary schemes. Instead of using colours that are opposites, it uses colours on both sides of the opposite hue.
A good tool to begin thinking about potential colour combinations is Adobe Colour.
Colour and Brand Identity
Researchers have found that up to 90% of snap judgements made about a product can be based on colour alone. Which is why, It’s key for a brand to consistently “own” colours and be consistent with their uses so that it provides a distinct recognition cue.
Colours have a significant impact on people’s emotional states:
- Non primary colours are more calming than primary colours
- blue is the most coming of the primary colours.
- Red evokes a high energy and urgent mood.
- Blue text is said to increase reading retention.
- Yellow evokes cheerfulness
Colours also have a functional impact on readability, eye-strain, and ability to attract attention. This is important in choosing colours for signing, website pages, print ads, and other marketing media.
The most legible of all colour combinations are high contrast. with black and white being the easiest to read on both paper and the computer.
The other aspect of colour that needs to be noted is it’s role in accessibility. Having contrast between your text and your background is necessary for your site to meet modern accessibility guidelines. A good example of high colour contrast is black and white; while an example of poor colour contrast is light yellow and white.
If you’re unsure about the colour contrast on your designs this is a great tool: https://contrast-ratio.com/#