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factfile2.6 Colours and contrast


Colour is not just something artists and interior designers are tuned into – photographers and graphic designers exploit colour as a tool too. It can be one of the key elements of a composition. Colours react together in one of three ways: they clash violently, they contrast dramatically or they harmonize.

Colour wheels

The colour wheel diagrams show how to select these combinations for your graphic products: complementary colours clash - like red and green, for example, so are great for edgy, loud, in-your-face graphics; contrasting colours like purple and orange add drama and contrast; while harmonious colours (sometimes also called analogous colours) like blue and green create a serene, harmonious and peaceful mood.

When designing your web graphics for sections 3, 4 and 5 think carefully about the use of colour. Use suitable colours to fit the mood and consider which colours contrast best with each other for maximum impact.

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