Intro to Visual Communication - Colour Theory
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Intro to Visual Communication - Colour Theory. Colour Spectrum Colour Wheel Primary Colours Secondary Colours Complementary Colours Analogous Colours Split Complementary Colours Tints, Shades and Tones Simultaneous Contrast Successive Contrast Subtractive Colour

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Intro to Visual Communication - Colour Theory

  • Colour Spectrum

  • Colour Wheel

  • Primary Colours

  • Secondary Colours

  • Complementary Colours

  • Analogous Colours

  • Split Complementary Colours

  • Tints, Shades and Tones

  • Simultaneous Contrast

  • Successive Contrast

  • Subtractive Colour

  • Printing Primary Colours

  • Additive Colour

Colour Matters

Web Links

Colour Test

Colour, Contrast & Dimension

Colour Theory

Colour Test Answers


Colour


colour spectrum

The concept of additive colour theory was developed around 1690 by Sir Isaac Newton who discovered that white sunlight passing through a prism split into different wavelengths of light - the colours of the spectrum.

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Colour Wheel

pure colour

Hue

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primary colours

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primarycolours can be foundequally spaced onthe twelve partcolour wheel

primary colours

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each secondarycolour is a mixture oftwo primary colours

secondary colours

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Complementarycolours can be foundopposite each other onthe twelve partcolour wheel

complementary colours

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complementary coloursprovide maximumvisual contrastof hue

complementary colours

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The sum of any twoprimary colours makesthe complement of theremaining primary

complementary colours

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colours which areclose to each other onthe colour wheel

analogous colours

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colours harmoniseeasily and arepleasing to the eye

analogous colours

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they can include tones,tints and shades

analogous colours

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this complementaryvariation introducesslight variations ofthe contrastingcolour

split complementary colours

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using adjacentcolours to theopposite hue

split complementary colours

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the effectis vibrant and exciting

but less harsh thantwo straightcomplementary colours

split complementary colours

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Colour + white

hue

Hue +white

Hue +more white

Tints

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Colour + black

hue

Hue +black

Hue +more black

shades

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hue

colour + grey

tones

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hue

70% tint

50% tint

30% tint

+light grey

+dark grey

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the same grey, shown as a central square, gives

the illusion of being lighter set against a dark tone

and darker when set against a light tone

simultaneous contrast

of tone

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the same effect occurs when the same grey

is set against colours of different value

simultaneous contrast

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The same grey is shown against a different background colour

simultaneous contrast

of colour

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look at the central spot

after a few seconds the same grey has the illusionof appearing different in colour - taking on a complementary hue of its background colour

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The same yellow is shown against a different background colour

simultaneous contrast

of colour

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look at the central spot

after a few seconds the same yellow has the illusionof appearing different in colour - it appears more intense set against a contrasting hue

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look at the central spot and try to remain fixed on it until the screen changes

successive contrast

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the complementary colour appears as an afterillusion as your eyes adjusted to the loss of colour

successive contrast

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try the illusion againwhat colour will appear?

successive contrast

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purple / mauve

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primary colours

red

blue

yellow

subtractive colour

i.e. using colour pigments

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secondary colours

two pigment primaries mixed together create a secondary colour

purple

orange

green

subtractive colour

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secondary colours

When mixing paint it is often proves difficult to mix an intense

colour hue using the traditional primaries. Some colours appear dull.

purple

orange

green

subtractive colour

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Red and yellow, mixed, create a good orange in this example,

but purple and green appear dull

secondary colours

purple

orange

green

subtractive colour

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magenta

yellow

cyan

printing primary colours

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magenta

+ black

yellow

cyan

to reproduce the widest range of colours printersuse four process colours - magenta, yellow and cyan + black

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printing primaries

printing primaries mixed together create good secondary colours

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theoretically, all are mixed to create black but in practice this is impossible to achieve

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thus black is printed as an additional colour to provide definition and depth

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additive primary colours

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when all light primaries are mixedwe see white

additive colour

i.e. using light

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