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Choose colors wisely for successful designs

Added on Tuesday 16th of March 2010 12:59 am EST

Color plays a vital role in any design project from book layouts to marketing materials to websites. The right colors have the power to boost sales, create a mood, spark an emotion, and establish an identity. The wrong colors have an opposite effect, conveying the wrong message about your company, decreasing your design’s legibility—or worse—your sales. We’ll show you how to choose your color schemes thoughtfully for more attractive designs that will draw the right attention.

Back to the color wheel
An understanding of color theory gives you the competitive edge and benefits both you and your clients. To create designs with harmonious color schemes, Ait’s important to select colors based on basic color theory principles. To do so, refer to the basic color wheel shown in Figure A.


The color wheel is broken down into primary, secondary, and tertiary colors. The primary colors are those that, in their purest form, can’t be created from other colors. You can create the secondary colors by mixing two primary colors, and the tertiary colors result from mixing one primary and one secondary color.

Note: The medium you’re working with determines the primary colors. For example, in the printing industry, cyan, magenta, and yellow are the three primary colors. In the painter’s world, the primaries are red, yellow, and blue, and for...