science of colours – colour rules

Why are colours so important?

If we make decisions that include colours, these are influenced by the occuring colours. Like the colour of a product or whether I should click the blue or the red button. Therefore, colours are important and should be considered in future decisions.

  • colours are perception
  • Decisions are influenced by colours
  • People decide within 90 seconds and 90% of the decisions are influenced by colours

RGB

The 3 basic colours of the light are red (R), green (G) and blue. The RGB system. If you mix all the colours of the light, you get white.

  • known as additive colour mixture
  • mostly used on screens

CMYK

The basic colours are cyan (C), magenta (M), yellow (Y) and black (B) and this system is known as subtractive colour mixture. Mostly important for all printed media like books and magazines.

chromatic circle

The chromatic circle is used to define colour harmonies, colour mixtures and colour palettes.

  • 3 Primary colours: red, yellow, blue
  • 3 Secondary colours (mixture of primary colours): green, orange, purple
  • 6 tertiary colours (colours mixed from primary and secondary colours): like blue-green, red-purple

Moreover, the chromatic circle can be divided into warm and cold colours.

The association of the colours is often as follows:

  • warn colours: energy, activity and intensity or brightness
  • cold colours: calm, peace and clearness or clarity

colour schemata

Designers use colour schemata to define colours for specific advertisement materials.

  • Complementary colours: Colors that are opposite each other in the color circle; strong conrast between the colours; can make images stand out
  • Analogue colours: Colours lie side by side in the colour circle (e.g. red, yellow, orange); one colour dominating, one supporting and one accentuating; pleasant for the eye
  • Triadic colours: Colors are evenly distributed in the color circle; bright and dynamic; creates visual contrast and harmony at the same time

Complementary colours

Analogue colours

Triadic colours

Helpful resources