Learn the basics of colour theory

e-commerce web design

e-commerce web design

Whether you’re interested in pursuing a career as an e-commerce web designer or you’re simply intrigued by acquiring new knowledge in the arts, it’s worth developing a basic understanding in colour theory. Just like crafting your outfit for the day, a website should also look aesthetically pleasing and follow appropriate colour combinations. While you can always try to use your best judgment when it comes to pigmented pairings, the glow, hue, shade and intensity are all elements of chromism making it best to grab hold of the basics to select eye-catching colours. 

Master the colour wheel   

While colour theory is a design fundamental that should never be overlooked, the best place to start is with the foundations of the colour wheel. While you probably discussed the colour wheel during your primary days in school, it’s always useful to refresh the brain to guide you into making the best colour choices. 

Red, blue and yellow are all primary colours. When you mix red and yellow, you will get orange; mix blue and yellow, you will get green; mix red and blue, you will get violet. Hence, orange, green and violet are your secondary colours. Tertiary colours are derived by mixing primary and secondary colours together, such as red-violet and blue-violet. 

All the colours on the colour wheel have tints and shades. A tint is comprised by mixing the colour with white, while a shade is comprised by mixing a colour with black. However, if you’re a beginner dabbling with the artistic trend, stick to solid colours for now and leave this advanced colour scheming to the e-commerce web designers

Warm vs. cool colours 

Yet another elementary school basic, warm and cool colours are a crucial element in e-commerce web design. Not only do these colour schemes exhibit different energies, but they also can convey human emotion. For example, red is the colour of love, but it’s also the colour of war, danger, power and passion. It’s an emotionally intense colour that has high visibility. Whereas blue can be attributed to the colour of sadness, but also be associated with trust, wisdom, faith and intelligence. Warm colours are usually the best ones to use if you’re wanting to express happiness and joy while cool colours are best to convey calmness and peace.  

What are colour schemes?

By placing all of the above colour categories into a wheel, you will be able to see how the pigments flatter each other. 

Complementary colours: These colours are opposite each other on the wheel (blue and orange/ red and green). They are considered to be high-contrast colours and are ideally used on an element of design when you want it to stand out from the framework. 

Split complementary colours: Through the use of three colours, this scheme takes one colour and matches it with two colours that are adjacent to the complementary colour. (blue, yellow-orange and red-orange). 

Analogous colours: When three colours next to each other on the wheel are used (orange, yellow-orange and yellow). It’s best to avoid combining warm and cool colours if you aim to use this scheme in your e-commerce web design.

Triadic colours: This refers to any three colours that are equally apart from each other around the colour wheel (red, yellow and blue). This scheme is considered to be high-contrast and allows one colour to balance the design with the other two accenting it. 

What did you learn about colour theory? Drop a comment below to share.

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The Basics of Colour Theory & Website Design