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Visit for excellent tools on picking and choosing color for the web.

For information on RGB vs CMYK, take a look at this web page.

Before we discuss color a certain distinction must be made between LIGHT and PIGMENT.
The primary colors within a standard color wheel change based on if you are reproducing color through light (RGB) or pigment (RYB). It is very difficult (without calibration tools) to represent a "Pigment" color on a computer screen since it uses the "Light" method of reproducing color...Ever try color picking brown in Photoshop? Though not impossible, it is very difficult. For the purpose of this section we will discuss the color harmonies of a Red, Yellow, Blue (ink, paint, pigment) color scheme.

There are many different sections that comprise a standard color wheel. A wheel can be broken into two halves. warm or aggressive colors include all of the reds, oranges and yellows. cool or receding colors include all of the greens, blues and purples.

A color harmony can create additional strength in a design without the use of fonts, alignment, layout or proximity rules. color harmonies exist in nature and in physics (light) as well as on a color wheel and are broken down into these formats:

Any two colors on a color wheel that are 180 degrees apart from each other. red and green, blue and orange, yellow and violet.

Red Green Blue Orange Yellow Violet

Split complementary-
Any color and the two colors directly next to it's complement. This must be a 3 color harmony.
Red Green-Yellow Green-Blue Violet Yellow-Orange Yellow-Green

Any 3 colors equally spaced around the color wheel. (primary colors, secondary colors, tertiary colors)
Red Yellow Blue Violet Orange Green

There are three additional color schemes to work with as well in addition to the natural color harmonies. Each of these color schemes works within a hue, shade or tone of a single color.

Monochromatic scheme-
Using any shade, tint or tone of only one color
color schemes

Achromatic scheme-
A colorless scheme using only black, white and all shades of gray from very dark to very light.
color schemes

Analogous scheme-
Any colors within 90 degrees of each other on a color wheel. Any shade, tint or tone of these colors are used.
color schemes

Points to remember:
Every color can stimulate emotion- use the emotions effectively

Do your best to not cross a 3-4 color threshold in a design. 2-3 is ideal.

Incorrect use of color in a design can cause conflict and confusion and render the design relatively useless.

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