Advanced Color Theory
Go Beyond the Color Wheel:
CIELAB and Advanced Color Models
Coming Soon
Monochromatic Color Schemes:
Tips, Examples, and Applications
Coming Soon
Making Colors "Pop" with Chevreul’s
Law of Simultaneous Contrast
Coming Soon
How to mix colors and
create beautiful gradients
Coming Soon
Contrast and Accessibility
Utilizing WCAG to improve text readability and contrast
Coming Soon
Creating accessible designs for people with color vision deficiencies
Coming Soon
How popular is Dark Mode, and
is it actually useful?
Coming Soon
Color for Brand, Web and UI Design
Creating effective color palettes
for UI/UX design
Coming Soon
Color in typography and text hierarchy
Coming Soon
Color Theory for Data Visualization Design
Coming Soon
Easy to Replicate Techniques
for Visual Appeal
Coming Soon
Biology, Psychology and Emotion
The impact of color on user
experience and behavior
Coming Soon
Understanding color trends
and how they affect design
Coming Soon
How biology and evolution
influence our perception of color
Coming Soon
Meanings of Color
Across Different Cultures
Coming Soon
Debates and Opinions
Why Perfect Color Matching
Just Isn't Possible
Coming Soon
Are black and white colors, and
should they be used in design?
Coming Soon
Global color survey: insights and trends
Coming Soon

Techniques for creating harmonious color combinations


Color harmonies are your navigation device for the vast space of color. It takes you from an overwhelming variety of colors to meaningful selections.

The RYB (red, yellow, and blue) color model forms the basis of traditional color theory. These primary colors, when mixed, create secondary colors (green, orange, and purple) and tertiary colors, which are mapped on a color wheel. This wheel is used for understanding color relationships, harmony, and contrast.

Analogous Colors: Seamless Gradients and Transitions

Colors next to each other on the wheel, like blue and violet, are great for creating soothing designs. They provide a visually cohesive experience, ideal for gradient backgrounds, subtle UI elements, and gentle transitions.

Complementary Colors: Ideal for Grabbing Attention

Use opposite colors like blue and orange for elements that need to stand out, such as call-to-action buttons or key graphics in infographics. The high contrast grabs attention but should be used sparingly to avoid overwhelming the viewer.

Split-Complementary: Versatile for Web and Graphic Design

This scheme offers both harmony and contrast, ideal for web layouts and graphic design projects. It provides a visually appealing balance, suitable for designing web pages or marketing materials where you want to blend impact with visual comfort.

Triadic Colors: Best for Dynamic and Balanced Designs

A triadic scheme, involving three evenly spaced colors, works well for achieving vibrant designs. Use this for interactive UI elements or in branding materials where a lively yet harmonious feel is needed. Ensure one color is dominant for visual clarity.

Tetradic: Great for Rich and Diverse Visual Narratives

The use of two complementary pairs offers a diverse palette, suitable for complex branding projects or packaging designs where a rich and varied visual narrative is needed. Prioritize one color to maintain coherence in the overall design.

Monochromatic: Sleek, Minimal and Alluring

Using varying shades of a single color creates a unified and clean look, perfect for minimalist designs and user interfaces. Designing with a monochromatic scheme ensures consistency between shades and creates strong visual hierarchy.
On this website, you can see that there are many shades of grey used for the text, layout and UI elements. Rather than trying to match each color, we generate a spectrum based on the same hue and saturation, and then plot where needed.

Remember to Break the Rules

These rules are a great place to start, but you should also give yourself freedom to explore. In many cases, such as digital product, you will need to use more than 3-4 colors, and likely in varying shades, to achieve a good outcome. In other cases, you might need to manually tune your color selection to get a balanced appearance.
In the next lesson, we will look into the short comings of this model, and what modern alternatives have come around since.
Table of Contents
Advanced Color Theory
Go Beyond the Color Wheel:
CIELAB and Advanced Color Models
Coming Soon
Monochromatic Color Schemes:
Tips, Examples, and Applications
Coming Soon
Making Colors "Pop" with Chevreul’s
Law of Simultaneous Contrast
Coming Soon
How to mix colors and
create beautiful gradients
Coming Soon
Contrast and Accessibility
Utilizing WCAG to improve text readability and contrast
Coming Soon
Creating accessible designs for people with color vision deficiencies
Coming Soon
How popular is Dark Mode, and
is it actually useful?
Coming Soon
Color for Brand, Web and UI Design
Creating effective color palettes
for UI/UX design
Coming Soon
Color in typography and text hierarchy
Coming Soon
Color Theory for Data Visualization Design
Coming Soon
Easy to Replicate Techniques
for Visual Appeal
Coming Soon
Biology, Psychology and Emotion
The impact of color on user
experience and behavior
Coming Soon
Understanding color trends
and how they affect design
Coming Soon
How biology and evolution
influence our perception of color
Coming Soon
Meanings of Color
Across Different Cultures
Coming Soon
Debates and Opinions
Why Perfect Color Matching
Just Isn't Possible
Coming Soon
Are black and white colors, and
should they be used in design?
Coming Soon
Global color survey: insights and trends
Coming Soon