Monthly Archives: July 2011

That’s such a lovely red. No, no not complimentary colors, complementary colors.

Colors that create contrast are opposite each other on the color wheel. These colors when put next to each other make things pop. They are in the simplest form primary and secondary colors. Primary colors are: red, blue and yellow. No other colors are mixed to create them they are pure. Secondary colors are: green, orange and purple. Secondary colors are created by mixing primary colors.

Green = blue + yellow
Orange = red + yellow
Purple = red + blue

Hence, complementary colors are: red/green, orange/blue, purple/yellow. The best way to remember? Since secondary colors are two primary colors mixed, the complementary color is the third primary color. If yellow and red make orange then the remaining primary color is blue. Blue is the complementary of orange. See? Easy peasy.


Warm feelings for cool colors

You hear it, warm colors, cool colors which is which? Maybe you don’t hear about warm and cool colors. For those of you that have no idea what I’m saying there are such things as warm colors and such things as cool colors. Super simple–not! But I’m going to make it simple to get you started. Warm colors: orange, red, yellow. Cool colors: blue, green, purple. There are such things as blue reds (cooler-but not cool) and neutral greens, definitely not cool! (I mean the other cool as in, “Lisa Belloli, her blog is so cool.”) Don’t panic, I’ll type slowly so you’ll understand. Reds can have a bluish quality, think cherries or an orangey cast, like a cardinal. Greens as a neutral is a little harder and something designers and painters like to argue about. Certain shades of green can go nicely with lots of colors hence, its described neutrality. Me, I go with cool, makes my life easier.

It seems so obvious and yet …

Certain combinations of ink and paper don’t mix. Here are a few to avoid. The ubiquitousness color printers allow for checking colors but sometimes that color of paper isn’t available. Be careful but don’t be afraid to do something different. Check with your printer, that’s what they are there for.

  • Transparent ink on colored paper can disappear
  • Blue ink on dark green paper
  • Yellow on white paper
  • Black ink on red paper

These combinations can work, but best stay away or develop the color scheme in concert with your printer.