Friday, 27 May 2011

Colour My Day ...

So, I have been working on some new DIY wedding invitation designs and invariably when I speak to craft and stationery retailers they invariably want to see white and ivory - while these are "the classic" wedding invitation colours, I think that sometimes brides (and grooms) choose these time honoured neutrals because they are not quite sure were to start with colour.
I just love colour on a wedding day! Carry an idea all the way through from stationery - whether premade or DIY wedding invitations,  to bridesmaids dresses, to the flower on the MOB's hat, on past the flowers, the church pew ends and into the reception, on the tables, on the cake, with the favours, toiletry baskets - make it a scheme, rather than a single colour and create a wow with layers of colour throughout the day to make an impact.

Pick a Colour!
Article one in a series of colour theory for brides.

Some people are simply overwhelmed by the array of colour choices. All too often it's safer to pick a colour and stick with it - but let's mix it up and add some colour to your wedding day palette.
So first off - think it through! Sit down and think about colours you like, the season you're getting married in, the colour theme in the dining room at the reception, team colours, anything that will influence your decisions.
Make a list of all the things that you will be having on your big day - invitations, flowers, bridesmaids dresses, napkins, favours etc. Then pick a colour scheme - so how do we do that?
This basic colour theory is used by every designer - whether you are making websites, revamping wardrobes or planning a wedding.
So let's start right at the beginning...The Color Wheel!  The first color wheel has been attributed to Sir Isaac Newton, who in 1706 arranged red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet into a natural progression on a rotating disk. As the disk spins, the colors blur together so rapidly that the human eye sees white.

It is composed of your Primary Colors (Red, Yellow and Blue), your Secondary Colors (Green, orange and violet) and your Tertiary Colors which are a mix of a secondary and a primary (Red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-violet and red-violet).

You may have also heard the terms shade, tint, tone and value.

Tint - Color + White (Red+White=Pink thus pink is a tint of red)
Tone - Color + Grey (These make pastels)
Shade - Color + Black (Red+Black=Burgundy thus burgundy is a shade of red)
Value - How light or dark a color is.
Colors are also classified as to their "temperature".

 Warm (or Aggressive) Colors are the yellows, oranges, and reds. These come towards the eye more (spatially) and are generally 'louder' than passive colors.
Cool (or Passive) Colors are the greens, blues, and violets. These recede from the eye more (spatially) and are generally 'quieter' than the aggressive colors.
There are 6 common color schemes:

MONOCHROMATIC - Monochromatic colors are all the hues (tints and shades) of a single color. The tints and shades add depth and highlights. Simply select one "portion" such as blue from the color wheel.

COMPLEMENTARY - Colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel are considered to be complementary colors (example: red and green). The high contrast of complementary colors creates a vibrant look.

ANALOGOUS -Analogous color schemes use colors that are next to each other on the color wheel.  Analogous color schemes are often found in nature and are harmonious and pleasing to the eye.  Choose one color to dominate, a second to support.  The third color is used as an accent.

SPLIT COMPLEMENTARY - The split-complementary color scheme is a variation of the complementary color scheme. In addition to the base color, it uses the two colors adjacent to its complement.

TRIADIC - A triadic color scheme uses colors that are evenly spaced around the color wheel.  Triadic color schemes tend to be quite vibrant, even if you use pale or unsaturated versions of your hues.  To use a triadic harmony successfully, the colors should be carefully balanced - let one color dominate and use the two others for accent.

TETRADIC - The tetradic color scheme uses four colors arranged into two complementary pairs. It offers plenty of possibilities for variation and works best if you let one color be dominant.

Obviously this is a lot of information to remember but with practice you learn to team colours together and instinctively recognise which colours work and in time you follow these colour theories without even thinking about.
Colour is fun - I think too often people play it safe and stick with neutrals but a little splash of colour can really lift things from "nice" to "wow"!
So take your favourite colour scheme and see if you can make it really pop ...

1 comment:

Ger said...

Thanks for that reminder, always good to come back to basics when colours are baffling you! Ger x.