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A color palette is a group of colors used in a design. It is generally used in the graphic design and interior design industries. A color palette is usually made up of a main color and its supporting colors. The main color is the dominant color of the palette. The supporting colors build off the main and create a richer design. When you’re creating a color scheme for your brand, it is important to remember to define your brand color palette in every available online code such as PMS, CMYK, RGB, and HEX color codes as in the digital world, the colors are expressed in these values.
PMS stands for Pantone Matching System. Pantone® is known around the globe as the standard for color communication in the printing world and is used by both designers and printers ensure accuracy of color. CMYK stands for cyan, magenta, yellow, and key (black). This model, also known as process color or four color, is a subtractive color model that is used in color printing – the letters in the name refers to the four shades used during the process. The name RGB color model comes from the initials of the three primary colors: red, green, and blue. It is an additive color model in which red, green, and blue light are added together in varying ways to produce a wide range of shades. Lastly, HEX is the abbreviation of hexadecimal because in this format color codes are expressed as a six-digit combination of numbers and letters. These color values are supported in all browsers and structured to look like this: #RRGGBB as it depicts how much of red, green, or blue is used in the hue.
While most people would result to an online color palette generator for color palette ideas, experienced designers know to start with the Color Theory when it comes figuring out how to make a color palette for a website or brand. The Color Theory combines science and art to describe how people perceive colors and the meanings they can impart upon people. It organizes colors on a circle spectrum called the Color Wheel and categorizes the colors into 3 groups called primary colors, secondary colors and tertiary colors.
Primary colors are red, green and blue. When combined together, they create pure white light. Secondary colors are the result of combining two primary colors. They are orange, green and purple. Tertiary colors are made by combining a primary color with a secondary color. These result in more complex colors such as red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-purple, and red-purple.
With the Color Theory categorizing hues into groups, color combinations are easily made. This is why designers use the model and its philosophy as a guideline to convey certain messages to their audience and structure appealing color schemes to use in visual projects. When you understand Color Theory, you know how to make a color palette and you can create color combinations that evoke specific emotions in people and give off a particular aesthetic to convey a brand’s values or express a client’s desired message each time.
Whether you’re building a site for a client or just experimenting with web design on your own, you’ll probably need to know how to create a color palette at some point. A good color scheme is essential for producing a visually appealing design, so the more you know about creating one, the better. Color palettes are a great way to bring consistency to your website designs and branding. They provide a visual hierarchy so your visitors can easily scan and navigate your website. When you’re designing a new website, the colors you use on the site can make a big difference in how well your target audience responds. From first impressions to brand recognition, it’s important to create a color scheme that reflects your brand and supports the purpose of your site. The color palette you choose for your website will have a major impact on the overall feel of the design.
The most basic use of a color palette is to choose colors that work well together. However, it can be used for more than just picking colors. You can also use a color palette to create emotions in your customers or indicate a specific message. The best color palettes are created with a goal in mind. For example, you might want a color palette that will make your product easy to shop for, one that will make your company memorable, or one that will give your brand an edge over its competitors. McDonalds uses a red and yellow color palette to influence clientele to purchase their projects. Red indicates emotions such as excitement, action, and desire. It is known to increase people’s heart-rate and make them feel hungry. Yellow suggests feelings of happiness and enthusiasm. It also attention-grabbing and is linked with spontaneous or irrational behavior. With this knowledge, it makes sense as to why most fast food establishments use this color combination.
These companies are making use of a practice known as Color Psychology. Color Psychology is the study of hues and how they influence human behavior. It plays closely with Color Theory and its philosophy that explains that color has the ability to affect sensitivities that are not obvious. They have qualities that can invoke certain emotions of people and have even been known to enhance the efficacy of placebos in experiments.
Now that we understand colors, we can focus on how to combine them into an aesthetic color palette. According to Color Theory, harmonious color combinations can be analogous, complementary, or split complementary. Analogous colors are any three colors beside each other on the color wheel. Complementary colors use any two colors opposite each other on the color wheel, such as blue-orange or red-green. Split complementary colors is a structure that uses three colors wherein one color is matched with two analogous colors on the wheel. For example, red with blue-green and green-yellow. When it comes to pairing colors, you will find that opposites attract and commonly results in a high-contrast color combination that grabs the attention of a viewer.
Knowing that color has the ability to affect us in many different ways, it is important to understand it and know how to use a color palette in your designs with intention. Apply color consciously in your projects to create a cohesive and thoughtful color palette as we now know that they can evoke an emotion, tell a story, create a mood, or even determine if we take action or not. It plays a big hand in your effectiveness in making sales and drawing in loyal clients.