Combining colors on the color wheel: a quick overview
The key to successful color combination is understanding how different colors interact with each other. Mastering the color wheel and color harmonies (what works, what doesn’t and how color communicates) will help you combine colors, build a better brand and knowledgeably communicate with your designers and printers.
color relationships and color combinations on the color wheel
Understanding how colors interact and their relationships on the color wheel is important for successful color combination.
The color wheel consists of three primary colors (red, yellow, blue), three secondary colors (colors created when primary colors are mixed: green, orange, purple) and six tertiary colors (colors made from primary and secondary colors, such as blue-green or red-violet).
Draw a line through the center of the wheel, and you’ll separate the warm colors (reds, oranges, yellows) from cool colors (blues, greens, purples).
Warm colors are associated with energy, brightness, and action, while cool colors are often identified with calm, peace, and serenity. When you recognize that color has a temperature, you can understand how using them can impact your message.