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The Magic Colour Wheel


If you are having trouble deciding on a colour scheme for your next printing project, just remember your old friend ROY G. BIV. Each letter in the name stands for another colour in the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.

In between each colour on the wheel, you can create even more colours! Red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, purple, and more! Colours that sit opposite each other on the colour wheel are known as complimentary colours: red and green, yellow and purple, blue and orange. Pairing these colours will make a striking and lively colour scheme for your printing project.

Red, yellow, and blue are known as the primary colours. Using just these three, you can create any of the colours in between! Using the three primary colors together gives your printing project a bright, energetic feel.

If you are looking for a more blended colour scheme, you can team up three colours in sequence on the wheel. Try yellow, yellow-green, and green together, or blue-green, blue, and indigo. These blends give you a variety of colours that are all well-matched and related. If three colours in a row blend too closely for your eyes, try skipping one: pair red and orange, or yellow and green.

Keep in mind that warm colours -- red, orange, and yellow -- tend to catch the eye. Cool colours -- blue, green, and violet -- tend to slip into the background. Pairing a warm colour with a cool colour gives you a chance to be creative with highlights and lowlights. And don't forget about the emotional associations that come with colours. Warm tones tend to agitate or excite; cool tones tend to soothe and relax.

Black and white are colours, too! Always be aware of your white space when designing your printing projects. White space gives the eye a chance to pause and the brain a moment to digest information. In a really good design, the white space helps guide the reader's attention from one element to the next.

Only using one colour to keep your printing costs manageable? That doesn't limit your options as much as you may think. Any one colour can be lightened or darkened to create more than one tint (lighter) or shade (darker). Even if your printing budget is large enough to allow many colours, it generally isn't a good idea to use more than two or three different colours in any one project. Too many colours can be confusing or distracting for your audience.

Even black can be lightened into different shades of grey; just keep in mind that using only black, white, and grey (known as an achromatic colour scheme) can be boring for your audience. Adding even one extra colour for headlines and highlights can help your printing projects grab more attention!

" The Magic Colour Wheel " was brought to you by Advance Printing and Signs Pty Ltd...A true "one stop" PRINTING & SIGNAGE supplier. Want to save TIME, MONEY & STRESS on all your printing needs? Contact us on 02 9749 1966 at 38 Railway Street, Lidcombe, Sydney, NSW Australia 2141

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ADD: 38 Railway Street, Lidcombe NSW 2141 TEL: (02) 9749 1966 FAX: (02) 9749 7587