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Last Updated: Mar 5, 2021

COLOR THEORY

Color theory encompasses a multitude of definitions, concepts and design applications. All the information would fill several encyclopedias. As an introduction, here are a few basic concepts.


The Color Wheel

12 part color wheel

A color circle, based on red, yellow and blue, is traditional in the field of art. Sir Isaac Newton developed the first circular diagram of colors in 1666. Since then scientists and artists have studied and designed numerous variations of this concept. Differences of opinion about the validity of one format over another continue to provoke debate. In reality, any color circle or color wheel which presents a logically arranged sequence of pure hues has merit.

 

  Primary colors

PRIMARY COLORS
Red, yellow and blue

In traditional color theory, these are the 3 pigment colors that can not be mixed or formed by any combination of other colors. All other colors are derived from these 3 hues

SECONDARY COLORS
Green, orange and purple

These are the colors formed by mixing the primary colors.
 


TERTIARY COLORS
Yellow-orange, red-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green and yellow-green.

These are the colors formed by mixing a primary and a secondary color. That's why the hue is a two word name, such as blue-green, red-violet, and yellow-orange. 

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