Color Theory Play

One of my favorite things to study in design was color theory. I loved learning about how colors act with each other and how color can influence different outcomes in design. I made a little color test to show you some fun effects that can happen with color.

This is based off the book The Elements of Color by Johannes Itten.  Look at the rows of colors above. Each row contains a bottom colored square and a top colored square. How many colors appear on each row?

It looks like four, right? The small squares slightly different shades of the same color.  But, there are really only three colors per row. The small squares on each row are EXACTLY the same color. Cool, huh? It's interesting to see how a color can change when influenced by another color.

Takeaway for small business owners: be careful when choosing your color palette for your printed materials, website, and interior applications. What you think might be a good color combination, might come out looking totally different than you had hoped. Not because of any printer error- but because of the surrounding colors.

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  1. Nice subject for this post.

    I am also a big color theory person. Another point to this article is that when two colors get too close in value, they visually vibrate. Much like the examples you show here. These colors appear to be of another hue, but in actuality are not.

    Often times I see color choices that are selected like and truly suffer in visibility and contrast for the viewer. Great tip.