Color Theory for Beginners | FREE COURSE

Colors are a powerful visual tool they Have the ability to evoke emotions and In brand design they can represent a lot More than just a color palette or a Brand hi my name is Laura kyung and I am A graphic designer with over 15 years of Experience in this course you will learn Everything you need to know about color Theory we will start with a color wheel How to use it and what it is how you can Create color harmonies in a color Palette I'm going to use RGB and CMYK And how to create a color palette that Goes with a brand I'll show you real Life examples from a vato elements so You can understand all about color Theory envato elements is a great Resource for high quality templates Photographs fonts and much more so let's Get started In color theory colors are organized on A wheel and in order to understand how Harmonies work we need to understand how This Color Wheel Works and Sir Isaac Newton invented this color wheel in 1666 And now it can help us understand how Colors can work together So in order to create Harmony start Placing to the eye and communicate and Evoke certain emotions we can use this Very handy tool You probably heard it in school and the Color wheel consists of three primary Colors we have red yellow and blue

These three colors are very contrasting And they can be used as a single color Palette like in this example now if we Mix these three primary colors we will Get this other three secondary colors And those are green purple and orange This is also another contrasting color Palette with only three colors like in This example and by mixing primary and Secondary colors we can get tertiary Colors so you could get something in Between so an orange yellow or a red That is a little bit more orange and so On We don't see these colors mixed together That often because they are so Contrasting and have so much saturation That means that they are very vibrant so They can compete with each other There are also color qualities for each Color on the wheel so here we have Hue Saturation in value Hue is any color on the wheel that has Its maximum saturation when we speak About saturation we're speaking about The vibrancy of the color so a Desaturated color means that it is dull In a very saturated color means that It's the most vibrant and then we have Value and this has to do on how light or Dark a color is and this is where we're Getting to shade tint and tone But before that I want to show an Example of hue saturation and value we

Have this beautiful polygon background Image it's very abstract and it has it Has so many colors with different Hues And different saturations and values and We can see that when we turn it into Black and white we can see the high Contrast between all of these colors we Can see that some colors have different Values compared to darker colors or even Lighter colors like yellow So let's talk about the next examples a Shade is created by adding black to a Hue in order to darken the color for it To be richer tint is created by adding White to make a color a little bit less Intense while tone is created by adding Gray to a hue The color wheel can also be split into Temperatures two main temperatures and That will be warm and cool warm colors Are associated with the sun energy Warmth fire and these would be usually Yellow red orange and all of it there Are different shades and tones While cool colors are associated with Calm tranquility and peace and the same As the warm colors we have to consider All of the shades and tones when we Combine Hue saturation value temperature Shade tint and tone we find ourselves With a myriad of color combinations so Let's take a look at some of these Textbook harmonies that you can use to Create color palettes color Harmony

Refers to colors that just work Beautifully together that look balanced And appealing so let's use the color Wheel in order to understand some of These harmonies that will help us in the Future put color palettes together that Just simply work First we have complementary so Complementary colors are pairs of two Colors that are directly opposite from Each other so in this example we have Red and green and this helps us create a Very strong contrast On this first example we have orange and Blue in these two colors sit opposite Each other on the color wheel we can see That they just create a very strong Contrast the yellow is just in the Background but right now we want to Focus on the two main elements And on this next example we have a Combination of colors but it's mostly at The bottom we have red and green and Again these two also said opposite of Each other Next up we have analogous and this color Harmony works by combining a main color With colors that sit next to it So in this first example we have a green And then another lighter or a little bit More dull green a combination of green And yellow and then we have yellow so This color Harmony tends to be a little Bit more calming and easy to apply or

The second color wheel will have a Magenta or purple and a blue purple and Again these three colors just work Naturally together oh this first example We have a landing page that has green Colors and greens are a little bit more Yellow and then we have a lighter tone Of yellow and just right at the bottom Where the the walkway is on the second Example we have again A variation of Blue fuchsia magenta and just a little Bit of blue popping around to create a Little bit more contrast we can see how These colors work really well as Gradients too Next we have monochromatic and this Takes just one basic color or hue from The wheel and it uses different shades Tones and tints to create a color Palette it looks very simple and Cohesive for instance here we choose one Hue and then we can work our way to a Different tint tone or shade depending On how many colors you want on the Palette we have here a cool geometric Background and it has the same blue and Green in this case but it's also using Different tints tones and shades to Create a depth of field or create Lighter more prominent triangles And on the second example we can see the Different oranges on the pumpkins so From top to bottom we can see uh and Even also on the Shadow and the light

The to to create more depth on the Pumpkins uh we can see that there are Different shades tens and tones of the Same orange color Next up we have a triadic color scheme And this uses three colors that are Evenly spaced on the color wheel to form A triangle so like we saw on the first Example the primary colors here we have Blue yellow and red You know this second example we can see A combination of the secondary colors Green orange and purple oh this primary Color example we have red yellow and Blue and we can see that it just works Beautifully all of the colors are used Very evenly so there is not one color That overpowers the rest and on the Second example we can see that there is More than three colors the blue and is Used as a background color it's adding a Lot of contrast in the orange the green And purple are being used as accent Colors tetratic colors are two sets of Complementary colors that work together As a whole palette these colors work Best when one of the colors is the Dominant one in the palette and the last Three are used as accent in this case we Have a yellowish green a yellowish Orange a purpley blue and a magenta Together And because these are such vibrant Colors one of these would have to be

Used as as a contrasting color or as one Color that overpowers the rest and the Last example was a great example of that This second color wheel shows a blue Green Magenta in Orange and again one of These colors would have to be the one That takes over the other three and if We don't want them to be super vibrant We can use different tints tones and Shades of the other three colors This landing page is a good example of Using just contrasting colors or accent Colors and here we have the orange blue And green as the little accent colors And then we have the magenta that takes Over most of the landing page the second Example is using a little bit more Balance between three colors and the Green is just just sparingly we can see In here just just a line right in the Middle But they blew the red and the yellow are Over taking most of the design these Harmonies are a great guide to create Color palettes that work together add Intense Shades and tones allows you to Mix and match different colors and Achieve a good looking color palette as Designers we'll need to either output or Work on paper or screen and there are Two different color modes to use that Will optimize the way you work let's Take a look at RGB and CMYK you probably Have heard of color spaces and these are

Two concepts that are really important You know especially if you're a graphic Designer depending on what your project Will end up as so if it will be printed Or if it will be shown on screen you Will need to choose the right color Space right from the get-go when you Start your design so that way you can Work with the right color space but also You can save time and keep a tidy file And it will just be easier for everyone Involved in your design process so there Are two color spaces and that's CMYK in RGB These spaces are again used depending on The medium that your design will end up On RGB stands for red green in blue and This is the color mode for any device That needs light to show color RGB uses The additive color method and that means That when all the colors are combined we Get white CMYK stands for cyan magenta Yellow and black this is the color mode To use if the design will be physically Printed cnyk uses the subtracted color Mixing method so this color mode starts With a white paper and then we subtract Color until we get to black one Important thing to know is that the Colors we see on screens will never be As vibrant when they're printed so this Colors get slightly washed out that's Because the cnyk method is a very

Limited compared to the amount of colors We can create with RGB that's why when You see colors on a screen they look a Lot brighter sometimes you can even get To neon colors but these won't get Printed on a CMYK method unless you're Using a Pantone color and that would be A specialized color so to recap the RGB Color mode can only be used if your Design will end up on a screen so if you Will be showing it on an iPad it will be A website or if it's an application a Phone application things like that they Should start as an RGB color mode and if Your design will be printed on a page on A t-shirt or as packaging then you need To start your file as a CMYK color mode It is essential for designers to know The difference between these two color Modes and when to use them especially if You're working with a design team that Needs to keep files tidy and organized Or if someone else will be working on Your file so now that you know the Difference between these two color modes Let's take a look at how you can create A color palette creating your own color Palette can be quite intimidating but Now that you understand color theory and How the Color Wheel Works it can be easy There are a few things to consider just Like warm colors represent passion Energy and cool colors can represent Calm and Tranquility the rest of the

Color wheel can also evoke certain Emotions and behaviors Color psychology can be a powerful tool In graphic design that can help us evoke Certain emotions from our target market There are different factors that can Affect the way people perceive colors And those would be different cultural Backgrounds age gender and sometimes Even life experience but there are very Specific colors that can evoke a very Specific emotions let's take a look at Some of these colors bread usually Represents passion strength power We can see that on this logo we have the Majority of it red and on this other Artwork where there is a combination of Red black white and blue from the color Wheel perspective there is a lot of Contrast here that's why the red works Really well Blue can be perceived as a calming color It can mean trust and stability many Corporations and brands that want to Be perceived as a serious brands use Blue many of the brands that have Anything to do with technology or Looking to convey trust also use this Color next we have green and green is Nature growth and serenity many brands Are connected with environment work or Healthcare also use this color this Illustration represents that idea Perfectly next we have yellow and that

Can represent happiness energy and Friendliness yellow is usually used for Anything related to kids because it's Such a friendly color and easy going Color we can see that in this Illustration and on this flyer the Combination of all of these colors but The yellow is overtaking most of it it Makes us feel that this is directed to Kids purple represents luxury nobility And power many high-end Brands tend to Use this color brands that want to come Across as elegant serious Inexpensive like we said purple can Represent luxury and we can see that on This layout it is beautifully designed Very simple a lot of white space and Just letting the colors speak last we Have orange and that represents optimism Creativity and warmth Orange is a loud color very bright very Energetic many brands that want to look Alive and ready Use orange on this example orange is Very loud and it's used in combination With yellow to contrast it but also to Balance it And here we also have an illustration With orange yellow and a very dull green That is helping balance the brightness Of the reddish orange and the yellow Colors so now that you know the basics Of color psychology the color wheel and Color harmonies let's take a look at how

You can create your own color palette Here I have the color wheel and all of The color harmonies just to guide us and Here I want to create let's create a Square That will make it easier for us I want to choose a color I will choose Blue to start with that will be my main Color based on the complementary Harmony I will choose the colors That are next to the complementary color So yellow and orange And here we'll have our accent Colors I have this black rectangle and here I Want to test the saturation so ideally Our color palette would have a different Contrast in saturation between all of The colors I am doing this by just Creating a black rectangle and setting The transparency to color so here I want The blue to have a little bit more Contrast compared to the rest of the Palette now we can see that the yellow And the blue have more contrast I want something in between for the Orange so let's tweak this a little bit And here we have our color palette with Black and white as the neutral colors so Let's say that we want the black and White to be different neutral colors That go more with the palette so let's Choose this and base it on the yellow And I just want sort of a neutral yellow

There is there will be a lot of tweaking To find The right shade tone and tint Let's do the second one In here I want a little bit Maybe a blue it can be a blue or it can Be just a very very neutral color and Again let's drag The black And here we just need to tweak the Yellow a little bit more so here we have Our first color palette with black and Gray and then we have the second palette With a neutral color that is neither Black or gray in one gray color Let's create a second one Get back to the beginning And let's paste this on an analogous Color Harmony so we have the green the Lime green and the yellow and then the Total opposite of that would be the Magenta And then I want A neutral green here So let's start tweaking Here I am looking for something the Second main color and the yellow I want To sort of create more of a contrast Between the first two main colors The magenta is A good color but it's not of my Preference and this is where you have to Use your design intuition as judgment Here the magenta I want to maybe make it

A little bit darker We can add more cyan And then the neutral color I want to have a bit of a Pink undertone So let's get back our rectangle here to Look at the saturation I want to tweak this green to be a Little bit brighter compared to the First one and here let's put the yellow On top to see if it works well with both Greens Let's do the same with the magenta This is vibrating a little bit so let's Tweak these we can make it darker make It lighter and again here we can keep Twigging so I think I prefer the purple And here we can keep tweaking until we Find The right color so the magenta seems a Little bit bright it will take away too Much from the green Let's bring the black rectangle here to Check on the saturation or the value And that seems to be working better for Me So this is where you use your design Intuition to guide yourself it if this Is a color pad that you want to go for And to me this color palette it is Fun it is vibrant because we have two Very bright greens but also we have a Little bit more of a toned down yellow And purple

Now let's take a look how this would Look like With just a black and gray So one last color palette and here I Want to use the tetratic colors so these Colors are two complementary colors Opposite each other and because these Are such bright colors using them all Together in the same ratio would be too Much so we have to find one dominant Color and then the rest of the colors Would just be used as accent colors and Just to demonstrate the color ratio I Want to change the size of these Rectangles Let's bring Our black Rectangle here and let's start tweaking The colors so I want a very bright green Maybe a paler yellow let's test this Purpley blue here Maybe something bright Maybe something dark The pink I want to make a little bit Paler and then the neutral color at the Very right I just want to make it very Very light Let's tweak again this green And remember we're looking for balance Harmony and also some of your designer Intuition here to make this color Palette work The green I want it more saturated This orange yellow a little bit lighter

And there we have it a very strong color Palette that is different from the one On the left even though the colors Are similar but by using different tints Tones and shades you can evoke different Feelings and emotions As you've seen each color can evoke Certain emotions and communicate more Than what it shows creating your own Color palette won't be difficult anymore Now that you learned how to work out Color harmonies and combine them with a Different color qualities now you know All the basic color theory to get Started on your own project so let's Recap what you learned on this course Colors are a powerful visual tool that Can evoke different feelings and Emotions when used correctly a color Palette can not only represent a brand But also communicate an idea in this Course you'll learn what is a color Wheel how to use it how it is classified The different ways it can be classified You also learn color Harmony so you can Create your own color palette the Difference between RGB and CMYK and some Color psychology if you're looking for Creative templates be sure to check out Envato elements it is a great resource For high quality templates photographs Fonts and much more if you're new to Design be sure to check out our courses And videos on our Channel

My name is Laura kyung and from all of Us at envato's Plus thank you for Watching and we'll see you on the next One [Music]

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