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Color Harmony

Color Schemes

Color harmony has a wide number of aspects. Here, we will see the most common techniques to create harmonious color schemes.

Monochromatic color scheme

Monochromatic colors are all the colors (tints, tones, and shades) of a single hue. Monochromatic color schemes are derived from a single base hue, and extended using its shades, tones and tints (that is, a hue modified by the addition of black, gray (black + white) and white. As a result, the energy is more subtle and peaceful due to a lack of contrast of hue.

monochromatic color scheme

Complementary color scheme

Complementary colors are colors which cancels each other's hue to produce an achromatic (white, gray or black) light mixture. They are at the exact opposite from each other on the color wheel such as red and green and red-purple and yellow-green.

The high contrast of complementary colors creates a vibrant look especially when used at full saturation.

complementary color scheme

Split-Complementary color scheme

The split-complementary color scheme is a variation of the complementary color scheme. In addition to the base color, it uses two adjacent colors to its complement.

Split-complementary color scheme has the same strong visual contrast as the complementary color scheme, but has less pressure.

split complementary color scheme

Analogous color scheme

Analogous colors (also called Dominance Harmony) color scheme are groups of colors that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel, with one being the dominant color, which tends to be a primary or secondary color, and two on either side complementing, which tend to be tertiary.

Analogous color schemes are often found in nature and are harmonious and pleasing to the eye.

analogous color scheme

Triadic color scheme

The triadic color scheme uses three colors equally spaced around the color wheel. The easiest way to place them on the wheel is by using a triangle of equal sides.

Triadic color schemes tend to be quite vibrant, even when using pale or unsaturated versions of hues, offers a higher degree of contrast while at the same time retains the color harmony.

triadic color scheme

Tetradic color schemes

Rectangle color scheme

The rectangle color scheme uses four colors arranged into two complementary pairs and offers plenty of possibilities for variation.

Rectangle color schemes work best when one color is dominant.

rectangle color scheme

Square color scheme

The square color scheme is similar to the rectangle, but with all four colors spaced evenly around the color circle.

Square color schemes works best when all colors are evenly balanced.

square color scheme