CMPT165-Colour Theory.docx

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Colour Theory
•How do we know which colours to use?
-Which colours look good?
-Which colour combinations look good?
•These issues are the subject of colour theory
HSB Colour
•The HSB colour system is a re-organized version of the RGB colour system
•HSB stands for hue, saturation and brightness
•Sometimes, HSB is referred to as HSV
•Hue is the name of the colour (red, blue, purple, magenta, etc.)
•Saturation is the fullness of the colour
•Brightness is … brightness
•100% saturation, combined with 100% brightness, give the fullest colour possible
•If you decrease the saturation, the colour becomes less rich
-At 0% saturation, the colour will become white, gray, or black
•If you decrease the brightness, the colour will become darker
-At 0% brightness, the colour will become black
Colour Combinations
•To choose good colour combinations, start with a standard colour wheel
•Note that none of the colours on the wheel have 100% saturation/brightness
•The simplest way to choose colours is to take two that are on opposite sides of the wheel
•These combinations (purple & yellow, red & green, blue & orange, etc.) are called
complementary colours
•Complementary colours have great contrast, but they can be a little harsh
•Another problem with complementary colours is that they can't be used well with text
•Complementary colours can look better by using a few different shades of the same hues
•Another way to choose colours is to take two or three colours that are adjacent on the wheel
•These combinations are called analogous colours
•Analogous colours give a more mellow appearance than complementary colours
•They also have weaker contrast
•To improve contrast, you can add white, black, and shades of grey
•Because white, black, and grey have no hue, they match with all colours
-You can add these to any colour scheme
•A third way to choose colours is to take three colours that are evenly spaced on the wheel
•These combinations are called triadic colours
•Triadic colour schemes have good contrast and can create a very striking appearance however;
if done poorly, they can be overpowering
•Triadic schemes are best when one colour is dominant, and the other two colours are used as
accents
•Triadic colour schemes are rare on the web
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