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 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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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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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 colour

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 after the screen changesillusion as your eyes adjusted to the loss of colour

successive contrast

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try the illusion again the screen changeswhat colour will appear?

successive contrast

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purple / mauve the screen changes

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primary colours the screen changes

red

blue

yellow

subtractive colour

i.e. using colour pigments

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secondary colours the screen changes

two pigment primaries mixed together create a secondary colour

purple

orange

green

subtractive colour

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secondary colours the screen changes

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, the screen changes

but purple and green appear dull

secondary colours

purple

orange

green

subtractive colour

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magenta the screen changes

yellow

cyan

printing primary colours

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magenta the screen changes

+ 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 the screen changes

printing primaries mixed together create good secondary colours

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

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when all light primaries are mixed we see white

additive colour

i.e. using light

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