The Colour Wheel
1. Primary (inner circle)
They are the base
for every other colour in
The Colour Wheel
1. Secondary (middle circle)
Each is a combination of two
The Colour Wheel
1. Tertiary (outer circle)
The base colours:
Each is a combination of
primary and secondary
colours depending on the mix
Meaning and associations
Every colour has a particular effect on the
body. As you know, the mind and sensory
organs can affect the physical condition in a
variety of ways. The eye’s make no exception.
And, as what we see are colours, neither do
Symbolises: Power, Strength, Live, Vitality, Warm Heart, Love, Fire,
Excitement, Action, War, Anger, Wrath.
In Heraldry: War, Military Strength
Effects on the body: Raises the pulse and blood pressure. Red is the
colour, which gets our attention first (although the the most visible) This has to
do with the perception of warning or danger in our brain (linked to blood, fire).
Symbolises: Sunshine, Friendship, Cheerfulness, Happiness, Optimism,
Deceit, Illness, Jealousy, Hazard
In Heraldry: Generosity
Effects on the body: Stimulate the appetite. Increases mental and
creative potential. It’s the most visible colour and easy to grab attention. The
colour blind can often see yellow, while they cannot recognise any other colour.
Symbolises: Intellect, Calmness, Serenity, Efficiency, Logic, Harmony,
Stability, Trust, Coldness
In Heraldry: Strength, Loyalty
Effects on the body: Soothes the body and mind. Slows down the
metabolism. Improves concentration and thought processes. Creates a feeling
of peacefulness and openness.
Symbolises: Warmth, Security, Relaxation, Joy, Happiness, Leisure, Deceit,
In Heraldry: Ambition
Effects on the body: Increases the flow of oxygen towards the head and
therefore has a stimulating effect on the physical and mental activities (red and
yellow). It’s perceived as recreational and fun. Orange links ot healthy food and
appetite (tropics, citruses).
Symbolises: Nature, Life, Growth, Peace, Serenity, Safety, Spirituality,
Healing, Envy, Jealousy, Decomposition, Unnatural Objects.
In Heraldry: Hope
Effects on the body: Green has a particularly soothing effect on the body
and mind. Science has proved the colour reduces stress on the eyes and even
Symbolises: Mystery, Spirituality, Peace of Mind, Extravagance, Luxury,
Quality, Depression, Gloominess, Inferiority, Introversion
In Heraldry: Royalty
Effects on the body: Purple is most preferred by infants and artists. The
first because of it’s calming effect on the mind, allowing for easier digestion of
information. The latter because purple is linked to introversion and depression
- both states common for an artist of any kind.
Symbolises: Purity, Cleanliness, Peace, Winter, Innocence, Sterility,
In Heraldry: Sincerity, Peace
Effects on the body: White is a perfect reflection - all
colours in the spectrum combined. It strains the eyes.
White signifies sterility so we subconsciously stay away
from white objects as to not ruin them.
Symbolises: Death, Emptiness, Grief, Mystery, Evil, Depth, , Efficiency,
Glamour, Sophistication, Elegance
In Heraldry: Grief
Effects on the body: Black can be seen as perfection. As it
reflects no light wavelengths, it is the absolute absence of
colour. Therefore, it’s not stained with imputiries.
The hue wheel is a the
true, non simplified wheel of
the colour spectrum.
It starts with red (longest
wavelength) and ends with violet
(shortest wavelength). It represents
all possible colours not taking into
account saturation and value.
Saturation and Value
intensity is the level
of dilution of a
From left to right is
the scale of
saturation, left being
0% colour and right 100%
Value is scale on the vertical
axis. It corresponds to the
lightness of a colour. Top
being 0 or the lightest and
bottom - 10 or pure black.
Together, value and
saturation represent the full
shade spectrum of a
If you were to sample both yellow
squares in any graphics editing tool, the
results will be the same. However,
because of the surrounding colours, we
perceive their value differently - the left
being darker than the right.
It’s important to not only pick the right
shade but the surrounding colours as
well to convey the proper visual