Hello E/D readers! I’m thrilled & honored to be sharing some design knowledge & tricks alongside Emma with our new column – Design Guide. We’re starting the series off with one of our favorite & most important design elements: COLOR! And the first post on color is dedicated to the basics. Whether you’re a new to design or a seasoned professional, check out the definitions & diagrams below to help refresh your memory on the fundamentals of color. Cheers & enjoy! –Chelsea Fullerton

The color wheel is a basic yet super handy tool to remind us how colors relate to each other. It all starts with red, yellow & blue, or the primary colors. Secondary colors are created by mixing two primary colors together. ( yellow + blue = green ). Tertiary colors are the combination of one primary & one secondary ( red + orange = red/orange ). As easy as it is to create color combinations on the computer, I encourage you to go old school with your colored pencils or paints on occasion.

When it comes to creating palettes, there are no rules. But using the below three palette tricks is always a good place to start when picking a set of colors that will compliment each other nicely.

Monochrome / A monochrome palette uses just one color (hue) in a range of light and dark shades. In the example above, I used the lovely red/orange as my base color.

Analogous / This set of colors describes the use of hues that are close to one another on the color wheel. Analogous palettes are great for clients who need to deliver a calming message, like a yoga studio or spa.

Complimentary / This palette is the mix of two colors opposite one another on the color wheel, such as purple and yellow or red and green. The effect is dramatic and eye catching.

Hue / Another word for color.
Warm / The red, yellow and orange colors found on the color wheel.
Cool / The blue, green and purple colors found on the color wheel.
Tint / A color made lighter by adding white.
Shade / A color made darker by adding black.