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Colour Theory 101


colourtheory mainIf you’re a small business owner who wants to know more about creating business graphics or just someone really into design, then it’s vital to understand a little bit about colour theory.

As a whole, colour theory is a complicated topic, but here are some of the basics to get you started.

Colour Theory 101 – Introducing Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Colours


You probably already know that red, yellow and blue are considered primary colours. They are the colours that form the base of every other colour – and all other colours are built using these three hues.


Your secondary colours are the colours that are formed by mixing two of the primary colours together. For instance, if you mix red and yellow you get orange, mix red and blue and you get purple and then of course there is green – which is achieved by mixing blue and yellow.


A tertiary colour is formed by mixing a primary and a secondary colour together: Blue + Green for example will make a teal, turquoise or aqua depending on the mix of colours, but either way, it will always be a tertiary colour.

Colour Harmony

Just like a musical arrangement that is pleasing to the ears – colour harmony is achieved when your arrangement of colour is pleasing to the eye. To achieve harmony you’ll need the right mix of order and balance, or you risk your design being boring or chaotic. To find harmony you need to choose colours that work well together.

A quick way to find colours that work well together is to use your colour wheel as a guide. For analogous colour harmony, choose 3 colours which are side by side on the colour wheel. For complementary colours choose any two colours that are directly opposite each other on the wheel.

Colour Context

How your colour choice relates to the other elements in your design will affect the end result. For example, a red square placed on a black background will appear larger than the same square on a white background. Observing the way that each element interacts will help you gain a better understanding of colour theory.

For great advice on how to incorporate colour into your business designs, contact the team at your local Kwik Kopy today.

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