Colors. There are so many. We see a plethora of them every day and hopefully, you stop and admire their beauty, in their natural state, or perhaps in a nice piece of design work? But, do you ever think about their connection to each other? Like…why do red and green go SO well together? What IS the color wheel all about?? WHAT DOES “ANALOGOUS” MEAN??

Well, keep your eyes glued right here because I’m gonna break that color wheel down for you.

The Color Wheel

You know the rainbow colors, right? Well, that’s your basic color wheel! Not necessarily Roy G. Biv, but similar. The color wheel is comprised of five color types, or groups.

 Primary Color Examples1. Primary Colors

Made up of Red, Yellow, and Blue, primary colors cannot be made from a combo of any other colors. While all colors can be super saturated, primary colors are more intense than other colors. When utilizing primary colors for design and a fourth color is needed, green is often thrown in, as can be seen in ebay and Google logos.

Secondary Color Examples2. Secondary Colors

Orange, Purple, and Green are the secondary colors; these colors are created by combining two primary colors. (They kind of remind me of sherbet.) In regards to their placement on the color wheel, they are the colors that lie halfway between any two primary colors.

Tertiary Color Examples3. Tertiary Colors

Tertiary (“tersh-e-airy”) colors are created by combining any two primary, or any two secondary, colors. Typically they are easy to tell as their name is literally a combo of its two colors: yellow-green, blue-green, blue-violet, red-violet, red-orange and yellow-orange.

Complementary Color Examples4. Complementary Colors

Complementary colors are across from each other on the color wheel. When placed next to each other, the colors complement each other by creating stark contrast. Christmas colors and the Firefox logo are complementary colors; even Van Gogh’s Starry Night with it’s blues and oranges adheres to this style.

Analogous Color Examples5. Analogous Colors

Colors next to each other on the color wheel are analogous colors. Usually a group of analogous colors is comprised of one dominant color (a primary or secondary color) and two or three adjacent colors, usually tertiary. Analogous color groups tend to fall into either warm or cool colors and offer less contrast then the other color types.


Color Temperature

Warm & Cool ColorsThe color wheel can basically be sliced down the middle into warm and cool colors. Introducing “temperature” of color opens the door to the emotional effects colors can have. Warm colors, as a whole, are inviting, yet intense and energetic and can stimulate love, creativity and intellect. Cool colors are soothing and tranquil and can evoke a range of representation from royalty and power to growth and money.

Colors are an important part of, well, life! We choose colors when we shop for clothing, when we’re styling our homes and for us MayeCreaters, we use color everyday in our design work. Should you ever get confused about which colors go with which, refer back to these handy styles and you’re sure to make wise decisions.

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