Improve Your Color Printing Using Color Theory

For the do-it-yourself business person, there are a number of design tips and tricks that can go a long way in improving the professionalism of your color printing projects.  Don’t worry too much, these are not complicated theories or difficult concepts that you have to grasp.  The only thing you really need to have available is a color wheel, like the one below. 
   
   
Once you know how to use a color wheel, there are a number of wonderful color theories you can apply to your color printing projects.  In alphabetical order, here are some of the more common color theories you can try out.
 
Analogous colors
Looking at the color wheel above, analogous colors are those that are near each other on the color wheel.  If you’re using a red, analogous colors are those shades of orange and purple nearby.  Analogous colors are nearly fail proof because these color schemes can actually work so well with each other.
 
Complementary colors
For a dramatic effect, complementary colors are those that are on opposite sides of the color wheel.  If you choose a bright red, the opposite will be a blue.  Use complementary colors if you have a background color of one type and you need elements like text to jump off the page.
 
Monochrome colors
While the term monochrome may give you the impression that it is only a one-color scheme, the reality is that you’re using a single color as a background and one other color for all other elements.  In essence, it is a two-color printing project.  You can use complementary colors, but experiment with analogous colors as well.
 
Triadic colors
A well balanced color palette often is accomplished with triadic color theory.  Colors that are triadic are equally spaced – think in terms of a triangle or square that you overlay on top of the color wheel.  The points of your triangle or square would be touching colors that are equally spaced from other colors.  This is a great way to develop a well-rounded color scheme.
 
Summary
So if you do not want to afford a designer, these are some color theories to get you warmed up.  One area that you do not want a skimp on is your final color printing.  Make sure to work with a professional who can turn your ideas on your computer monitor into a functional reality.
 

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