Colour Induction

Today we had a colour induction with Lucy, where we discussed colour terminology, colour theory and colour profile, on Adobe Photoshop.  Colour is one of the first things that draws a consumer’s attention, however is is probably one of the least understood concepts within design.

First of all, we learnt the definitions for colour terminology. These are basic terms used within industry and can be found easily on Photoshop when changing or editing the colour of a page or piece.

Hue– What colour something is.

Chroma– How pure a colour is.

Saturation– The strength or weaknesses of a colour.

Value– How light or dark a colour is.

Tone– Is created by adding grey to a pure hue.

Shade– Is created by adding black to a pure hue.

Tint– Is created by adding white to a hue.

We next looked at colour theory. This is the idea that each colour has different meanings behind it. So depending on what type of look you are going for, you would pick a certain colour. But just remember these are westernised ideas of colour. So when choosing a colour for a global market, you need to consider what each culture’s colour theory’s are.

For example:

Blue– Calm/ Sadness/ Honesty/ Responsibility.

Green– Nature/ Harmony/ Abundance/ Peaceful.

Orange– Energetic/ Happiness/ Creativity.

Yellow– Cheerful/ Optimistic.

White– Cleanliness/ Purity/ Virtue.

Here is an example image chart of colours and their meanings. Including different brands that choose specific colours for a purpose. I think the best example and probably one of the most well-known logo on this chart is the Barbie Logo. The pink colour was chosen to represent and feminine brand. And maybe also define the brand as being warm and caring.


Colour Forecasting is a process with great complexity. Websites such as ‘WGSN’. ‘Nelly Rodi’ and ‘Trend Stop’ all interpret upcoming themes/Trends/ Styles and fabrics that will be popular in the future. These companies’ will collect information about Global Politics, Underground art movements and new technologies in order to find these upcoming trends.

The basic 12 spoke colour wheel is an important tool in creating a colour scheme. From this there is a number of techniques to choose from.

Monochromatic– Different tones, Shades and tints within a hue.

Analogous– Three colours with the same Chroma level.

Complementary– The colours that are opposite to each other in the wheel.

Split complementary– Similar to complementary colours but using the two colours adjacent to its compliment.

Triadic– Hues equally spaced around the colour wheel.

Custom– This is the hardest to create. And its as it says, custom.


This colour scheme would go on a colour board. This is different to your mood board and is a talking point. Defining the colours and creating a solid foundation.

We then started talking about the different colour profiles you would use on Photoshop. Although we spoke about them briefly during the workshops then outlines the reasons for them.

RGB– Stands for ‘Red Green and Blue’. You would use this colour profile when you are creating anything that would be presented online using a phone, computer or tablet device.

CMYK– Stands for ‘Cyan Magenta Yellow and Black’. This would be used if you were going to print the piece of work. The colours are made up of different amounts of the four colours. Cyan, Magenta, yellow and black.

Pantone– This is a global colour reference system. This method is expensive to use but would be the method you use within industry. You cannot achieve these colours using CMYK, each colour is a solid colour.

We then watched two videos expressing how to use colour in Adobe Illustrator and using colour swatches.


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