Welcome to our free Color Theory tutorial. This tutorial is based on Webucator's Color Theory course.
Building the color palette and applying it to a project are two skills that are often handled by two different people. Often the application of the color palette requires extensive knowledge of the software platforms being used by the developers.
Based on your medium, the type of presentation of your color palette will vary. A good color palette will have a few common properties.
Many of the individuals that will be using your color palette will benefit from having an electronic copy so they may "sample" the color and then apply them to project mockups in programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Dreamweaver.
If you are working with a physical project, an electronic form is still helpful as many designers use computer mockups to display the end results with the client.
Color Schemes may be represented in many ways. Using a tool such as Photoshop or Illustrator, we can create a very interactive color scheme.
Create a color scheme in Photoshop:
Once we have our color palette, we need to use caution and not oversaturate the application of the colors as every medium can benefit from empty space, often called white space.
The philosophy of less is more embodies the spirit of white space. In a physical space a few items really does bring attention to the focal point.
Before: Too much in one space, hard to focus on any one thing.2013 Tracy Berry
After: Removal of most of the objects allows the main artwork to be seen.2013 Tracy Berry
In a web project, the product/message should be the focal point. The clean, simple design allows the focus to be on the content, not the design.2013 Tracy Berry
In a marketing piece, the balance of empty space vs. content should be balanced based on the type of project it is. See the two-page brochure below and notice the use of white space and balance..Page 2 of the trifold brochure:
In this exercise, you will create a color scheme in Photoshop or Illustrator (you may use any graphics program with a color selection). Note that the solution assumes Photoshop:
One possible solution: