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Contrast of Tone
  • Formed by the juxtaposition of light and dark values. This could be monochromatic. 
  • The Rods in your eyes differentiate tone. 
  • Monochromatic is the tone of one colour, not just greyscale. 
  • In greyscale, the primary colours are the lightest, the darkest and the mid tone, when the colour wheel is desaturated.
  • Tonal Spectrum, white round to black.
  • White and Black on 50% are equally legible, even though the contrasts are extreme, as they're both the same distance from 50%.
  • The same principle can be applied to colour. (Example, Red on Orange)
Contrast of Hue
  • Formed by the juxtaposing of different hues. The greater the distance between hues on a colour wheel, the greater the contrast. 
  • On a white background, blue would stand out the most, as, seen in tone, it's got the darkest value. 
  • On a black background, yellow stands out the most, as it has the lightest tonal value. Red almost blends in, as it's the mid tone. 
  • Use black and white very carefully in Graphic Design, as it cancels out colours.
  • High contrast colours, RYB, when placed together all fight for attention.
  • The contrast of hue and tone are having an impact on our ability to read words.
Contrast of Saturation
  • Formed by the juxtaposition of light and dark values and heir relative saturation.
  • Grey background with blue on, we would say the blue shape is blue.
  • However, when we add a more saturated blue, the original blue shape looks let saturated, and not really 'blue'.
  • This process can be repeated, contrasting more and more, until we get the primary blue, absolute blue, and the rest become very desaturated, looks paler, greyer, duller. etc.
  • The same process can be applied to other colours, and tints. (for example, adding white)
  • Contrast of Hue, Tone and Saturation, all work in this sense.
Contrast of Extension
  • Former by assigning proportional field sizes in relation to the visual weight of a colour. Also known as the proportion. 
  • Assigning different subjective values to colours, certain colours have certain weights.
  • Blue would appear the heaviest, as it's the darkest, Yellow would appear the lightest, as it's the lightest, and Red would be the mid tone. 
  • We have have less Violet, and more Yellow to have a visual balance. 
  • In relation to this, we can have less Yellow and more Violet, and we see a stand-out balance.
  • If we talk about imbalance, one of this colours is going to jump out. (see slides)
  • Using stripes of violet creates an imbalance, and it's easier to look at a block of violet. 
  • However, then these stripes are spaces out across a bigger area of yellow, your field of view increases, and it become almost easier to look at.It affects our ability to see those colours accurately. 
  • Hierarchy - spacial quality also applies, as it would with type.
  • High contrast colours, always, jump out at you. 
  • Small amounts of colour, with large amounts of colour work better. Don't use the same amount of colour. 
Contrast of Temperature
  • Formed by juxtaposing hues that can be considered "warm" or 'cool'. 
  • The warmest colour would be something which sits in the red-orange area
  • The coolest would be in the blue-green area.
  • In-between we have colour which movie from the warm to the cool, and vice-versa, on both sides. 
  • Taking a mid red and pushing it towards violet, you're making it cooler. 
  • However, this makes the red look more orange, making it look warmer.
  • If you add a more orange red, it makes the original red look cooler, and the violet look even cooler.
  • However in contrast this makes the orange look warmer. 
  • The middle section, which is a flat colour, appears to look like a gradient (see slide)
  • If you place colours of the decreasing temperature, next to each other in a gradual pattern, it looks like a gradient. 
  • We can see the (above) colours are separate colours, with black bars in-between them, but when the black is taken away, it's a gradient. 
Complementary Contrast
  • Formed by the juxtaposition complementary colour from a colour wheel of perceptual opposites. 
  • Red and Green are complete opposites on the colour wheel, and putting those two colours together looks almost painful.
  • De-saturating the blue and the orange in this image, and it becomes a complementary contrast, these two colours are fighting of attention.
  • Yellow and Blue and equidistant from the green so when Yellow and Blue stiles are applied, they look better. However, Blue has a similar tone to Green than Yellow, so it's easier to look at.
  • If you invert the background, the blue becomes difficult to look at, the the Red becomes calm, it's not fighting for your attention. 
Simultaneous Contrast
  • Formed by the boundaries of colours which perceptually vibrate. 
  • Bright Yellow, with Bright Green on top of it.The longer you stare at it, the yellow begins to turn slightly more orange.
  • When you put certain colours next to each other, they start to vibrate.
  • Putting Yellow on grey, there's a hint of violet, then with blue and grey, there's a hint of orange. 
 Taken from my Design Principles post from Level 4.  

Colour Systems 

Designers have a selection of colour systems and frameworks to work wot. The selection of a particular colour system will often depend upon how the final design is to be produced and/or presented, as different systems possess different limitations and options. It is important to recognise and understand that a final design needs to incorporate the appropriate colour system for its intended use. 

Two of the most widely recognised and commonly used colour systems are RGB (red, green and blue) and CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black). RGB is typically used for digitial publishing and initial designs, and CMYK is used for print publishing. An awareness of the limits of different colour systems allows the designer to produce work safe in the knowledge that it will be reproduced accurately and as intended. 

Additionally, the six-colour Hexachrome colour system has two more colours: orange and green. This produces a larger gamut of colours than the basic four-colour CMYK printing process. 

Special process colours can also be used to provide precise colour control and intense graphic effects, for example, through the use of fluorescent and metallic colours. Special colours may be applied via a separate printing plate or by replacing one of the standard process colours. While ensuring accuracy of a given colour, the incorporation of special colour changes the overall gamut of colours that can be produced. 

(Taken from p29 Ambrose / Harris: Design Basics Colour)


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