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Design impact using colors


The color wheel is made up of 6 colors.

    3 Primary: Red, Blue, Yellow
    3 Secondary: Green, Orange, Purple

Primary colors cannot be mixed from any combination of colors.

Secondary colors are combinations of the primary colors.

Red and Yellow = Orange
Red and Blue = Purple
Blue and Yellow = Green

Complementary colors are opposite colors on the color wheel.

    Red and Green are Complements
    Yellow and Purple are Complements
    Orange and Purple are Complements
    Orange and Blue are Complements
    Yellow and Blue are Complements

Complementary colors work well together. When used in an interior setting they should be used in equal amounts and equal tone or intensity.

Harmonious colors are the colors next to one another on the color wheel.

    Red and Orange
    Blue and Purple
    Blue and Green
    Green and Yellow
    Yellow and Orange
    Red and Purple

In the 1920ís Itten, who is affiliated with the German Bauhaus movement, developed the color star that included 12 colors.

    3 Primary Colors
    3 Secondary Colors
    6 Tertiary Colors

Mixing two secondary colors together creates Tertiary Colors.


Adding white or black to a color changes the shade of that color. For example: adding white too red creates a pink, which is a shade of red.

An interior scheme made up of different shades of the same color is a monochrome color scheme.


Tone describes different gradations of a color. There are warmer and cooler tones of a color. For example: add green too blue and you have blue-green that is warmer or add blue to purple and create a blue-purple that is cooler.

The important concept to understand is every color has a different tone or undertone.

Many times the undertone does not show itself on a single paint sample. It helps to see the colors that come before and after the color on the paint chart. This will give you a hint as to what tone the color may take on.

Another way to see a color's undertone is to put the color next to the other colors in the room. You will then begin to see the undertone of a color.

Have you ever painted a room one color and it turns out to be another? This is because all colors have an undertone. Looking at an all white paint chart will help you to visualize this concept. They are all white but if you see them next to one another some appear pink, yellow even blue.

In issue two we will discuss the effects' colors have on people. For example: Green has a calming effect.



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