The game of contrasts. How to combine contrasting colors


2018-03-17 22:16:23




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Coloring – it is a fascinating science that deals with the study of colors, their combinations and impact on people. It would seem that what is the science – to consider the color of? However, the study of color is given great attention in different fields: interior design, web design, photography, fashion design, hairstyling, floristry, advertising, marketing and even psychology.

Exploring colors

To Study the nature of the colors is not as easy as it may seem at first glance. Connoisseurs of color can talk for hours about what the basic, additional and a color composite. A lot will be said about the characteristics, the mixture of colors, of contrasts, color harmony, color scheme, color the language of spectra. To continue this list endlessly.

Colors & ndash; science is very important because proper color combination is not only pleasing to the human eye but strongly affects physiological processes and psychological state of the person. Skillfully combining paint, you can call up the desired associations, emotions, to create a certain image.


Colors. Effects in humans

Employees of advertising agencies skillfully use such a function of color, as the formation of a given image. Not without the help of psychologists, it was revealed that the advantage of certain colors in advertising can cause a person a certain feeling.

  • So, for example, red is identified with strong emotions, determination, danger. This color awakens the desire.
  • Green – both relaxing and invigorating. It symbolizes purity, freshness, nature, as well as a new beginning.
  • Orange – colour of optimists.
  • Blue – colour stability, tranquility and minimalism.
  • Black is associated with luxury and elegance. No wonder many luxury goods, such as cars, watches or luxury alcohol use is in dark colors.

Types of color combinations

At the moment the colour has 10 kinds of color combinations:


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  • Osnovnye.
  • Slojnye.
  • Zostanie.
  • Aromaticheskie.
  • Monograficheskoe.
  • Neitralnyi.
  • Dopolnitelnye.
  • Rodstvennye.
  • Kontrastnye.
  • Rodstvennie-contrasting colors.

One of the most common ways to combine colors – is a game of contrasts. Even if you don't know about what contrasting colors you've encountered this phenomenon in your life. Have you noticed how harmoniously on the Christmas tree look red ribbons and toys? All because red and green color-contrast. So what is ‘contrasting colors”?

Contrast-color red

Color circle of Itten

Professionals use special reference materials to determine the right combination of colors. Table of the combinations number in the hundreds, and each of them has its advantages. But most people use the creative direction of the color circle of Itten.

Contrasting colors

Johannes Itten – a true expert in the field of color. All his life he devoted to the study of color. This knowledge Itten gave the world the benefits called “the Art of color” that is “Bible” for artists, designers and everyone whose activity is connected with colors and designs.

In the color wheel there are 12 hues of the three primary colors: red, blue, and yellow. Contrasting colors are those that are sharply opposed to each other and are on opposite sides of the circle.

Referring to the image circle of Itten, it is immediately obvious that the yellow is a contrasting pair with purple, blue-orange, and the contrasting colors of red – green.

The Right mix

Often contrasting combinations of colors are called complementary. Why use such combinations?

This combination is often used in painting, when you need something to highlight or emphasize some object pattern. If you look around, you will notice that nature is full of contrasts: the blazing scarlet mushroom in the background of emerald green beckons with its colors; a bright yellow sun blazing in the blue sky; the blue waves lapping against the Golden sandy shore.

Kinship and contrasting colors

Interior Designers has long recognized that very effectively looks that the complimentary combination of colors. The table of combinations will help you choose a harmonious color pair, but you must remember a few points which will help ‘crank up" of shades:

  • Contrasting colors should not be in equal proportions – it will lead to imbalance. The best option – using the same color as the main and complemented by fresh accents of color.
  • Another way to combine contrasting pairs – use different shades of two colors. This will ensure a balance of colors.
  • To mute the brightness of the complementary colors, the "dilute" them with white or cream. For example, if a set of orange skirt and blue blouse looks too challenging, you can soften the way white accessories.
  • Professionals recommend the use of primary and complementary colors in certain proportions. For example, for the pair red-green, this proportion will be 1:1, orange and blue 1:2 yellow-violet 1:3.

These rules are useful if you take pure spectral colors. They can be found in the picture below.

the color Combination of the table of combinations

How to use contrasting colors

If you are afraid it is wrong to use contrasts, remember that muted colors are easier to use since they are smaller “kill” each other.

The Main rule combination of contrasting colors: the more intense the hue, the smaller should be the area of the surface on which it is used.

Following these rules, you can create the most harmonious way, whether it be clothes, bouquet, interior design, or web site. Otherwise appears disharmony, negative perception.


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Alin Trodden - author of the article, editor
"Hi, I'm Alin Trodden. I write texts, read books, and look for impressions. And I'm not bad at telling you about it. I am always happy to participate in interesting projects."

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