smuug · Dec 15, 2015

Color Combos

Choosing the right color combos in your design is such a big deal. We’re all drawn to certain colors and said colors play a factor into our feelings, it’s all physiological just like smell. I’ve seen a lot of color studies and while most of them are true, it’s also good to remember that every country shares different views. For example, in one country black is a associated with evil and in another purity. When I was in art school, I took a color theory class and we went into depth on all this, it was so interesting.

The power of color is very strong and that’s why I feel it’s so important to get it right, but it’s also a very personal thing. There is definitely an art to choosing colors and not everyone gets it right. For myself, I’m drawn more to neutral shades, it’s kind of like how you always see fashion designers wearing black. They choose to do so because they immerse themselves into work and then go basic with their own choosing. That’s also how I feel as a graphic designer. While I do love color, who doesn’t? I also know that when you get it wrong, it’s so bad. That’s why I prefer to go neutral with my own design and then play with color when it comes to my post graphics.

There are several questions to ask yourself when choosing colors. Will I like it for years to come? Will it look good printed? Will it display my message? In the world of design we group colors into seasons, yes, just like nature and you already know the colors that go along with them. Choose one of those seasons and stick to colors within it for a strong identity. I do love that everything is more daring these days. We can mix colors, metals and patterns in a way that still work and while it’s fun to do these things, it’s not always best to choose this method on your identity. By keeping your colors grouped they will stay reliable and not bore you down the road. A good design does not change constantly, it stays the same.

I’ve created a simple board above with 9 various color combos. As I was making it I kept wanting to add pinks and blues, then I realized that these were also Pantones colors of the years. If you look around places like Pinterest you will see those combos were being used way before they made the choice, they just work so well together and I love the various shades of the two combined. Did you all know that the color schemes of the year are actually chosen a few years in advance? Fashion designers (what I went to school for) know the materials, colors, etc. all in advance and that’s how they can make collections well in advance, pretty interesting stuff.

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