How to Choose the Right Color for Your Design

Design Graphic Design color theory logo design



When you're looking through your news feed, what usually catches your attention? Is it the Youtube videos? Maybe pictures or funny GIFs or memes? Nowadays, there are a lot of tools out there to help graphic designers create stunning visuals, and even those that have little graphic design knowledge can take part. But, where do you even begin? Let’s take a look on how to choose the right color for your design. It might be seem easy at first, but once you are looking at a color wheel, you'll wish you knew what you were looking at. 


The Color Theory

Let us go back to basics and discuss the fundamentals of color. Have you heard about the primary, secondary and tertiary colors? These are very important to know about, so read below to learn more:


  • The primary colors are red, yellow and blue. Think about these colors as if you are painting something. These colors are not possible to create by mixing two other colors. 

  • Secondary colors are composed of three colors which are green, purple and orange. These are formed by combing the three primary colors.

  • Tertiary colors are created when you take a 50% of primary and  50% of a secondary color and mix them together. 


  • Screen_Shot_2016-09-23_at_10.38.52_AM.png


After this, it gets complicated so in order to be an expert in colors, you will need to understand the components first.

RELATED: Why is the Pantone Color of the Year Important?


The Colors in Between

Aside from the twelve basic colors, you can create even brighter, lighter, darker or softer colors by mixing the original colors with black, white and gray. There are also different terms for these colors such as: 

Hue is pretty much the same as using the word color. All the primary and secondary colors are hues. The next is shade. You might be familiar with this word because this term usually refers to how light or dark the hue is. But in reality, a shade is the color that you get when you add the color black to any given hue. Shade refers to how much you add the color black. Tint is the opposite of shade where you add white to a color. Tone or saturation is when you add both white and black color together to create a tone.


LEARN MORE: Graphic Design 101 - The Power of a Logo



RGB stands for Red, Green and Blue and is based on the color of light waves. This means that if you add more color, you will be closer to getting the color white. Electronic displays, especially those that are being used by computers, use this. RGB is usually created using a scale from 0 to 255.



CMYK is an abbreviation for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (Black). These colors are usually the ones that are listed in your ink cartridges. CMYK is referred to as the subtractive color model because usually you will subtract colors in order to get the color white. The more colors you add, the more you get closer to black. CMYK works using a scale of 0 to 100.







How familar are you with SEO? Are you following all SEO requirements? Find out with this FREE ebook:


5 Ways to Rank Higher On Search Engines Using SEO



Daniela Belevan

Written by Daniela Belevan

Daniela Belevan is the Marketing Director at DecoGraphic, managing and implementing inbound marketing strategies. When she’s not at Deco uploading blogs or optimizing client’s websites, you can find her lifting (or attempting to lift) heavy at CrossFit.


Posts by Topic

see all