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How to Apply Color Theory: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Apply Color Theory: A Comprehensive Guide

Using color theory will help build your band and get you more sales. Understand the general application of color theory and the relationship between colors. Color Theory for Design.
How to Apply Color Theory: A Comprehensive Guide

by MVS Staff

May 26, 2019

While almost any type of visual graphic can be created online, a little background knowledge on the psychology of design goes a long way. 

This includes choosing the best color combinations for a certain brand, for example. Why? Because color has a way of influencing what we buy and why! 

For designers, it's critical to understand the theory behind color. It's relevant to what looks good together, and most importantly, what promotes sales. This guide on color theory should help... 

The Basics of Color Theory  

The color theory begins with the basic color wheel and its primary colors: red, blue, and yellow. 

When these colors are mixed, this results in standard secondary colors: green, orange, and violet. After this, there are tertiary colors which are a combination of primary and secondary colors.

All colors on the color wheel have tints and shades, too. Basically, a tint of a color is a variation of that color when mixed with white. A shade is a variation of color when mixed with black. 

Harmonious Color Combinations 

When it comes to branding, harmonious color combinations play a very big role in the look and feel of a design. 

A harmonious color combination is usually a mixture of two colors opposite each other on the color wheel. Typically, these harmonious combinations include green and red; yellow and purple; and blue and orange. 

These color combinations are also known as color schemes or color harmonies. As you move around the color wheel, these color schemes remain harmonious, regardless of the rotation angle. 

Designers must understand how colors work together to complement one another, rather than clash. This is super important when creating branding in order to appeal to a wide target market. 

How Does Color Theory Relate to Branding? 

When it comes to a successful business, there are three keys which apply: marketing, branding, and sales. 

It's the job of an experienced designer to create branding that appeals to a specific market. They should focus on smart design, text placement, and of course, color.

With a good knowledge of basic color theory, this allows a design team to make effective branding decisions. An in-depth understanding of the psychology of color and how it influences buyer habits is also useful.  

The Psychology of Color 

According to research, this is how these common colors used in branding affect customer perception: 

  • Red: associated with love, energy, lust, but also anger, danger, and violence
  • Yellow: associated with happiness, optimism, and youth. But also ''being cheap'', cowardice, and deceit
  • Orange: evokes feelings of happiness, energy, warmth, and excitement, but also translates to caution
  • Green: associated with harmony, balance, growth, nature and wealth but also envy and masculinity 
  • Blue: associated with competence, calmness, trust, wisdom, and loyalty. As well as productivity, security, and quality 
  • Black: this is a strong color and is often used to symbolize sophistication, authority, and power. It can also signify death, mystery, and rebellion

As mentioned above, color plays a key role in the psychology behind buyer behavior and the overall perception of your brand. That's why it's so critical that the right colors are used to best represent what your business stands for. 

Looking For Design Inspiration?

Whether you're looking for more facts about color theory, design aesthetics, and more, Maroon Vault Studio is your go-to for design knowledge!

Looking for design services and solutions? Take a look at our most recent design projects, here. 




Photo by Patchanu Noree from Burst

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