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  • Writer's pictureKatarzyna Hasnik

Colours Theory not only for UX and UI

But first what is actually a colour? Color or colour is the visual perception based on the electromagnetic spectrum. Though colour is not an inherent property of matter, colour perception is related to an object's light absorption, reflection, emission spectra and interference. (Wikipedia)

Colour theory is a field of study that explores how colours interact with each other and how they are perceived by the human eye. It encompasses various principles, concepts, and guidelines that help artists, designers, and other creative professionals understand and effectively use colour in their work. Here are some key aspects of colour theory:

1. Colour Wheel: The colour wheel is a circular representation of colours, which organizes them based on their relationship to one another. The most common colour wheel consists of primary colours (red, blue, and yellow), secondary colours (orange, green, and purple), and tertiary colours (a mix of primary and secondary colours).

2. Primary Colours: These are the fundamental colours that cannot be created by mixing other colours. In traditional colour theory, the primary colours are red, blue, and yellow. However, in modern colour theory, the primary colours are often considered to be cyan, magenta, and yellow, which are used in various colour printing and mixing systems.

3. Secondary Colours: These colours are created by mixing two primary colours. The secondary colours are orange (red + yellow), green (blue + yellow), and purple (red + blue).

4. Tertiary Colours: These colours are formed by mixing a primary colour with a neighbouring secondary colour on the colour wheel. For example, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-violet, red-violet, red-orange, and yellow-orange are tertiary colours.

5. Colour Harmony: Color harmony refers to the pleasing combination of colours in a composition. Various colour schemes and combinations are used to achieve harmonies, such as complementary colours (colours opposite each other on the colour wheel), analogous colours (colours adjacent to each other on the colour wheel), and monochromatic colours (variations of a single colour).

6. Colour Properties: Colours have several properties that affect their visual impact. These include hue (the colour itself), value (lightness or darkness of a colour), saturation (intensity or purity of colour), and temperature (warm or cool).

7. Colour Psychology: Colours can evoke different emotions and associations in people. This aspect of colour theory explores how colours are perceived psychologically and how they can be used to convey specific moods or messages.

8. Colour Contrast: Contrast refers to the difference between colours. It can be achieved through variations in hue, value, or saturation. Contrast is used to create visual interest, emphasize elements, and enhance legibility.

9. Colour Mixing: Color theory also covers the principles of colour mixing, both in traditional media (such as paint) and in digital media. It explores how different colours can be combined to create new colours and how colour interactions can be utilized to achieve desired effects.

10. Cultural and Contextual Considerations: Color associations and meanings can vary across cultures and contexts. The colour theory takes into account these cultural and contextual factors when considering the use and interpretation of colours in different settings.

Colour theory is a vast subject, and these are just some of the fundamental concepts within it. By understanding colour theory, artists, designers, and individuals working with colours can make informed choices and effectively communicate visually through their use of colour.

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