The Ultimate Guide: How to create a strategic color system: Color Schemes

 
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The Color Schemes

Now that you have the basic knowledge of color psychology and associations, let’s talk about the color schemes.

When creating color palettes, you have to create harmony. Harmony helps in creating balance in your brand colors and promotes consistency and cohesiveness in your brand. You don’t want a riot or chaos in your brand color palette since it will drive away clients and your audience.

In respect to that, there are 4 color schemes:

  • Monochromatic

  • Analogous

  • Complementary which comprises of:

  1. Split Complementary

  2. Double complementary

  3. Side complementary

  4. Double split complementary or Pentagonal

  • Triadic

Monochromatic

This is when all shades are of the same color. It is commonly misrepresented as tones of grey; however, its true definition is tones of the same hue.

They are soft and subtle but can appear washed because they lack contrast.

You will have to be clever when you choose a monochromatic color scheme so that your brand doesn’t appear like it has no personality. You can switch it up by adding in light and dark tones to create contrast.

Analogous

These are colors that sit next to each other on the color wheel. Because they are so similar in hue, create contrast by using different hues.

However, they are a family of colors and they create a pleasing and relaxed palette. They usually include all cool colors or all warm colors.

You might want to add a complementary color if your 6 colors are analogous depending on the look and feel you are trying to achieve for your brand.

Complementary

These are colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. The high contrast application creates a vibrant pairing and a strong visual effect.

This color scheme often includes both warm and cool colors.

This is usually the best color system to work with in my opinion because it creates more dimension and balance. Plus, it’s so much easier because it has both warm and cool colors which mean you can use different hues to create a balanced color scheme.

There are 4 types of the Complementary color scheme:

  1. Split Complementary-made of two similar colors along with one contrasting hue.

  2. Double complementary/Rectangle Tetrad

  3. Side Complementary

  4. Double split Complementary

Triad

These are colors that sit in an even triangle across the color wheel. A successful balance of these hues is when one color dominates over the other two.