There are some simple concepts that everyone should know about color. Especially when you’re trying to grab someones attention and inspire them to feel a certain way when consuming your marketing materials.

So how would I use a color wheel when designing my marketing project?

A color wheel will help you to determine color harmonies. For example:  yellow, yellow green, and green are a harmonious trio based on an analogous theory. In other words, colors that are similar (or close to each other on the wheel) go together.

The wheel will also help you to quickly determine a colors compliment so you can always put an eye catching pop of color in your projects.

Let’s just touch on some basic theories:

  1. The chart below clearly shows the colors in the color wheel that is based on the primary colors Yellow, Red, and Blue.
  2. The secondary colors are the result of mixing the two adjacent primary colors. i.e. Violet is created by mixing Blue and Red.
  3. The secondary colors are also considered to be the primary colors compliment color. Complimentary colors are always opposite each other on the wheel. i.e. Green is the complimentary color to Red and Violet is the complimentary color to Yellow.
  4. The tertiary colors on the wheel are created when combining a primary color with a secondary color. i.e. Yellow Orange is created by mixing Yellow and Orange.
  5. Generally the colors on the right side of the wheel are considered warm and the left side is cool. However, there can be warm and cool variations of all the colors in the wheel.

Color wheel chart based on the primary colors Yellow, Red, and Blue.

There are volumes of information to be learned about color. If you’d like to learn more, I go in-depth about color for graphic design, including how colors make people feel, in the Graphic Design Tutor Master Class.