Review - Color Theory Basics for Graphic Designers

Review - Color Theory Basics for Graphic Designers
Have you ever wanted to create your own color palette but didn't know where to start? In this Skillshare course entitled Color Theory Basics for Graphic Designers - Creating Color Palettes by Lindsay Marsh, you will learn how to build a simple custom color palette for any type of project.

Marsh begins with an introduction to color theory and color harmony. She covers the psychology of color, as well as the terminology used when working with color. Moving around the color wheel, she discusses each main color's characteristics and in which type of projects each color is most successfully used.

Marsh also introduces the Hue Cube in Adobe Illustrator. Once you decide on a base color for your palette, she demonstrates how to use the Hue Cube to create tints, shades and tones from that base hue or hues. After building a basic layout of swatch shapes for collecting colors from the Hue Cube, she shows how easily one can choose tints from along the top of the tool, shades from along the side of the tool and tones moving diagonally across the tool. Once done, she builds her first color harmony, which is the Monochromatic, by picking the best color squares from the layout.

Next, Marsh discusses the main color harmonies, including the Analogous, Complimentary, Split Complimentary, Triad and Monochromatic. She introduces the online color tool to help identify coordinating hues for those harmonies. She shows how to choose secondary palette colors and hues on the color wheel. Once you have at least two hues for your color palette, she creates tints, shades and tones for each of the main hues. Finally she demonstrates how to build a palette by choosing the best color swatches.

The student project is to create two color palettes, one with soft and one vibrant colors, using her process.

The course has two color guide downloads. The first summarises the psychology of color, including the common uses for each main hue on the color wheel. The second download is a great guide to color theory, color harmonies and the color wheel. It starts with the primary and secondary colors. Next is a chart explaining hues, tints, shades and tones. A second chart contains examples of the color harmonies, including sample swatches. Finally, there is a list of color combinations, such as jewel tones, color pop, grayscale, rich, nature based, muted tones, bright and nature.

Color Theory Basics for Graphic Designers - Creating Color Palettes by Lindsay Marsh (affiliate link)

Disclosure: As a participant in the Skillshare affiliate program, some of the links in this article are affiliate links. However, my opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

Screenshots used by permission of Skillshare, Inc.

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