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Intro to Visual Communication - Colour Theory Colour Spectrum Colour Wheel Primary Colours Secondary Colours Complementary Colours Analogous Colours Split Complementary Colours Tints, Shades and Tones Simultaneous Contrast Successive Contrast Subtractive Colour Printing Primary Colours Additive Colour Colour MattersColour, Contrast & Dimension Web Links Colour Theory Colour Test Colour Test Answers
colour spectrum The concept of additive colour theory was developed around 1690 by Sir Isaac Newton who discovered that white sunlight passing through a prism split into different wavelengths of light - the colours of the spectrum. Main Menu
Colour Wheel Hue pure colour Main Menu
primary colours Next
primary colours primary colours can be found equally spaced on the twelve part colour wheel Main Menu
secondary colours each secondary colour is a mixture of two primary colours Main Menu
complementary colours Complementary colours can be found opposite each other on the twelve part colour wheel Next
complementary colours complementary colours provide maximum visual contrast of hue Next
complementary colours The sum of any two primary colours makes the complement of the remaining primary Main Menu
analogous colours colours which are close to each other on the colour wheel Next
analogous colours colours harmonise easily and are pleasing to the eye Next
analogous colours they can include tones, tints and shades Main Menu
split complementary colours this complementary variation introduces slight variations of the contrasting colour Next
split complementary colours using adjacent colours to the opposite hue Next
split complementary colours the effect is vibrant and exciting but less harsh than two straight complementary colours Main Menu
Tints Colour + white hue Hue + white Hue + more white Next
shades Colour + black hue Hue + black Hue + more black Next
tones colour + grey hue Next
hue 70% tint 50% tint 30% tint + light grey + dark grey Main Menu
simultaneous contrast of tone the same grey, shown as a central square, gives the illusion of being lighter set against a dark tone and darker when set against a light tone Next
simultaneous contrast the same effect occurs when the same grey is set against colours of different value Next
simultaneous contrast of colour The same grey is shown against a different background colour Next
look at the central spot after a few seconds the same grey has the illusion of appearing different in colour - taking on a complementary hue of its background colour Next
simultaneous contrast of colour The same yellow is shown against a different background colour Next
look at the central spot after a few seconds the same yellow has the illusion of appearing different in colour - it appears more intense set against a contrasting hue Main Menu
successive contrast look at the central spot and try to remain fixed on it until the screen changes Next
successive contrast the complementary colour appears as an after illusion as your eyes adjusted to the loss of colour Next
successive contrast try the illusion again what colour will appear? Next
purple / mauve Main Menu
subtractive colour i.e. using colour pigments primary colours red yellow blue Next
subtractive colour secondary colours two pigment primaries mixed together create a secondary colour purple orange green Next
subtractive colour secondary colours When mixing paint it is often proves difficult to mix an intense colour hue using the traditional primaries. Some colours appear dull. purple orange green Next
subtractive colour secondary colours purple orange green Red and yellow, mixed, create a good orange in this example, but purple and green appear dull Main Menu
printing primary colours yellow magenta cyan Next
to reproduce the widest range of colours printers use four process colours - magenta, yellow and cyan + black yellow magenta cyan + black Next
printing primaries printing primaries mixed together create good secondary colours Next
theoretically, all are mixed to create black but in practice this is impossible to achieve Next
thus black is printed as an additional colour to provide definition and depth Main Menu
additive primary colours Next
additive colour i.e. using light when all light primaries are mixed we see white Main Menu
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