Color Theory


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This is an intensive study of color that utilized a software program developed by Professor Petronio Bendito called SoftCanvas

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Color Theory

  2. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION TO COLOR 1 2 COLOR PROPERTIES INTRODUCTION Neutral Color Properties 3 Hue Distribution of Color 4 Chroma Distribution of Color 5 Value Distribution of Color 6 KOBAYASHI’S INTRODUCTION 7 Natural Expression 8 Light Expression 8 Corporate Expression 9 Energetic Expression 9 BIRREN’S PRINCIPLES INTRODUCTION 10 Right Sequence 11 Color / Tint / White 11 Color / Shade / Black 12 Tint / Tone / Shade 12 Tint / Tone / Black 13 Shade / Tone / Black 13 Color / White / Black 14 Tint / Tone / Shade / Gray 14 CHEVREULS PRINCIPLES 15 Harmony of Adjacents 16 Harmony of Opposites 16 Harmony of Split-Complements 17 Harmony of Triads 17 Harmony of Dominant Tint 17 VISUAL MIX AND VIBRATION INTRODUCTION 18 Mix and Vibration 19 ALBERS COLOR REACTIONS 20 IMAGE CREDITS 21
  3. 3. INTRODUCTION TO COLOR This semester was an introduction to color from Petronio Bendito. Professor Bendito’s major study is in color aesthetics, interactive systems, motion design, and visual literacy. He publishes his work nationally and internationally. This course is the foundations of interative multi-media design. It is a computer-based communications course that helps students become better visual communicators. This particular project aimed to recreate color studies with personal color compositions to demonstrate that study. The end result is a portfolio, which is a multi-page, layout-sensitive, composition that is comprised of personal studies and examples from the design world. Also included in this portfolio are mini color compositions created with a software called SoftCanvas, which was developed by Petronio Bendito himself. This portfolio demonstrates my new understanding of color design theory and concepts. After completing this project, I have found a new appreciation for color theory and design. I have a new sensitivity to color in the design world as well as the natural world. This project has allowed me to search the archives or the design world to find appropriate examples. I have benefited from this because I know how to find other designers in the design world and communicate with them if I need to. 1 I understand that our time was limited for this project, but I wish to learn more about color design in relation to the fashion industry. I am also interested in learning more about color in relation to interior spaces and architecture.
  4. 4. The color properties are hue, value, chroma. Each color property makes up a color. Hue is the aspect of color that is given a name such as “red”, “blue”, “yellow”, etc. Value is the measure of where a color lies on the lightness and darkness color scale. Chroma is the intensity or brightness of a color. For this thory, I studied the Munsell Color System. I created the following studies using hue, value, chroma, and the Munsell Color System for guidence. After exploring the color property theory, I was shocked I much COLOR PROPERTIES more sensitive I became with color. I was able to look at a piece of artwork or something in the real world and know where that color scheme fell on the Munsell Color System. I now know how using contrasts and similarities in the color properties can enhance the overall design. EXAMPLES OF HIGH HUE CONTRAST AND A LOW VALUE BASE COMPOSITION WITH A MAJOR CONTRAST. 2
  5. 5. This study produced two studies. One of the studies was a gray-scale study which included a composition using the full range in the RGB cube, from black (N0) to white (N10). This compositions was then transformed into a multi-hue compostiton. The opposite happens when you start with a multi-hue composition and end with a gray-scale composition. I chose to use print advertising to show this theory. 1 GRAY SCALE & MULTI-HUE COMPOSITIONS NEUTRALS 3 1_MARC JACOBS PRINT 2_ ADEURO ART AD 2 1_ THIS IS A MULTI-HUE COMPOSITION. I REACREATED THIS HUE COMPOSITON WITH THE GRAY-SCALE SOFT CANVAS SOFTWARE. 2_ THIS IS A GRAY-SCALE COMPOSITION. I RECREATE THIS HUE COMPOSITION WITH THE MULTI-HUE SOFT CANVAS
  6. 6. This activity produces studies that reflect levels of similarities and contrasts in hue. These compositions used a solid or gradual hue base and its supporting colors to demonstrate a low or high contrast of hue. I used colors that were near eacher on the color wheel to demonstrate a low hue contrast and color that were far from eachother on the color wheel to demonstrate a high hue contrast. I chose images from editorial print advertising show 2_ THIS SOFT CANVAS COMPOSITION USES SIMILAR HUES AS IN THE PRINT EXAMPLE TO SHOW A LOW HUE CONTRAST. 2_ MUI MUI PRINT AD 2 HIGH AND LOW HUE CONTRAST HUE DISTRIBUTION 1_DIGITAL IMAGING 1_ THIS SOFT CANVAS 1 COMPOSITION USES SIMILAR HUES AS IN THE PRINT EXAMPLE TO SHOW A HIGH HUE CONTRAST 4
  7. 7. This activity produces studies that reflect levels of similarities and contrasts in chroma. The low chroma low contrast composition uses less chromatic hues with minor chroma contrast. I used print advertising to show this concept. The high chroma compositions uses highly chromatic hues with minor chroma contrast. Both create a feeling of blending. Print advertising was also used to demonstrate this concept. 1_ AXL BOX ARTWORKS 2_ AXL BOX ARTWORKS 1 HIGH AND LOW CHROMA CONTRASTS CHROMA DISTRIBUTION 2 5 1_ THIS SOFT CANVAS COMPOSITION USES LOW CHROMATIC COLORS WITH A LOW CONTRAST IN CHROMA 2_ THIS SOFT CANVAS COMPOSITION USES HIGH CHROMATIC COLORS WITH A LOW CHROMA CONTRAST
  8. 8. LOW VALUE BASE-MAJOR CONTRAST/ HIGH VALUE BASE- MAJOR CONTRAST This activity produces studies that reflect levels of similarities and contrasts in value. The 1st print example uses a composition with a high value base with a high contrast in value. The 2nd print examples uses a composition with a low value base and a high contrast in value. Both examples create dynamic compositions with features that stand out from one another because of the high contrast. 1_ DP PORTFOLIO 2_ BRAND NU PORTFOLIOSHOWCASE PUBLICATION 1 VALUE DISTRIBUTION 1_ THIS SOFT CANVAS COMPOSITION USES A HIGH VALUE BASE WITH A MAJOR CONTRAST IN VALUE. 2_ THIS SOFT CANVAS COMPOSITION USES A LOW VALUE BASE WITH A MAJOR CONTRAST IN VALUE. 6 2
  9. 9. NATURAL AND LIGHT COLOR EXPRESSION KOBAYASHI’S COLOR EXPRESSION Shigenobu Kobayashi a Japonese color theoriest and a leader in research in color physchology. He explores color in architecture, design, an the environment. He has developed many image and color scales and models to help communicate his theories. In Pentranio Benditos class we used his model, which was adapted from the Kobayashi Color Model. This model helps enhance my understanding of color expression and allows me to visualize color relationships. After starting my own color studies of color expression, I found that I have a tendancy to the “natural” color palette. Each color expression has a different feeling attached to them and each evoke a differnt memory. I believe using color expression in design is a very successful was to communicate a mood to the viewer. 7 WINE BOTTLE IS AN EXAMPLE OF A CORPORATE EXPRESSION AND THE COLOR STUDY IS AN EXPRESSION OF AN ENERGETIC COLOR EXPRESSION
  10. 10. NATURAL & LIGHT COLOR EXPRESSIONS In Kobayashi’s Color Expression Model, the natural and light color expressions are situated next to one another. The natural color expression is situated in the central area of the model. The light color expression is situated in the upper portion of the model. Both expressions show a wide range in value, hue, and chroma. These compositions are supposed to envoke emotion or expression into its viewer. Natural color schemes are usually found in nature and “light” color expressions are found in compositions that want to have a casual attitude. 1_ DP PORTFOLIO 2_ AMANDA GRADDYPACKAGING DESIGN 2. THIS PACKAGING DESIGN SHOW A RELAXED AND LIGHT 1_ THIS PHOTOGRAPH COLOR EXPRESSION. THE SOFT DEMONSTRATES THE NATURAL CANVAS COMPOSITION USES COLOR EXPRESSION IN TRUE A SIMILAR, BUT SLIGHTLY NATURAL FORM. THE SOFT DIFFERENT COLOR SCHEME CANVAS COMPOSITION USES THAT ALSO SHOWS A LIGHT SIMILAR COLOR EXPRESSION. COLOR EXPRESSION 8 1 2
  11. 11. CORPORATE & ENERGETIC EXPRESSIONS In Kobayashi’s Color Expression Model, the corporate and energetic color expressions are situated in different areas of the color model and evoke completely different expressions. The corporate color scheme has a very professional and formal feeling to it. Corporate color schemes tend to have colors of low to mid value with little chroma. Energetic color expressions on the other hand usually have colors with a wide range of value with a mid to high chroma. The energetic color expression evokes a sense of activity and flamoyancy. 1_ VECTOR FUNK SERIES 2_ GRAMA INDIE MUSIC ALBUM DESIGN 1 1_ THIS PRINT SERIES HAS AN ENERGETIC COLOR SCHEME. 2 THIS EXAMPLE HAS A LOT OF “SPUNK” TO IT AND MAKES A 9 STATEMENT 2_ THIS CD DESIGN HAS A VERY FORMAL AND PROFESSIONAL FEEL TO IT. IT UTILIES THE CORPORATE COLOR SCHEME.
  12. 12. WHITE TINT GRAY TONE COLOR BIRREN’S PRINCIPLES OF COLOR SHADE BLACK Faber Birren was someone I was not familiar with before I was introduced to him and his studies in Pentronio Bendito’s class. I found these color sequences to be the most complicated to understand. I also had a hard time finding examples in the real world to demostrate the color sequence I was talking about. Each color sequence is unique and creates a different feel. Some sequences create a more dynamic feeling, while others create a light and natural feeling. I found the color, black, and white sequence to be the sequence I was most interested in. I now understand how a pure color can be enhanced against black and white. This sequence will be good to 10 use if my client has a restrictive budget, but still wants to create a dynamic piece. 1_IMAGE EXAMPLE OF TINT / TONE / SHADE COLOR SEQUENCE 2_ DIAGRAM OF BIRREN’S PRINCIPLES OF COLOR
  13. 13. 2 1_ THIS WORK SHOWS THE RIGHT SEQUENCE 2_ THIS DIGITAL IMAGING EXAMPLE SHOWS THE PRINCIPLE OF COLOR / TINT / RIGHT SEQUENCE WHITE 1 COLOR / TINT/ WHITE 1_ TANUSHREE COROFLOT PORTFOLIO 2_ AXL BOX IMAGES RIGHT SEQUENCE Birren’s believes “there is a harmony in white, gray, black”. 11 He believes these three colors have a natural relationship to eachother. The beauty is in the natural product of good order. This sequence creates stability within the design. The sequence is either black-gray-white or white-gray-black. WHITE PURE COLOR / TINT / WHITE Birren’s believes ther is also a harmony in color, tint, and white. TINT He believes this is the simplest and perhaps most charming sequences on the color triangle. This arrangement is found more often than any other in man-made designs and patterns. This sequence is also commonly found in natural flowers. The painting schools of Impressionism and Neo-Impressionism were devoted to this sequence. TONE COLOR
  14. 14. COLOR / SHADE / BLACK Birren’s believes “there is a harmony in color, shade, and black”. He believes there is a depth and richness when no white or pastels is used. Rembrandt commonly used this color sequence. TINT / TONE / SHADE Birren’s believes ther is also a harmony in tint, tone and shade. Birren’s said, “thereis little doubt that this is the most refined, subtle, and eloquent sequence on the color triangle. This is the famous chiaroscuro style of painting color technique. COLOR / SHADE / BLACK 1 1_ PHOTOGRAPHY AND DIGITAL IMAGING 2_ INTERIOR OF THE NEW CHANEL CLOTHING STORE & HEAD TO TAIL BAR B Q PACKING DESIGN 1_ THIS WORK SHOWS THE TINT / TONE / SHADE WITH THE A RANGE OF HUES. THE SOFT CANVAS EXAMPLE SHOWS THE SAME PRINCIPLE, BUT WITH THE BLUE-GREEN HUE. TINT / TONE / SHADE 2_ THIS PHOTOGRAPHY SHOWS HOW COLOR, SHADE, AND BLACK CAN BE FOUND EASILY IN THE REAL- WORLD. THE SOFT CANVAS EXAMPLES USES 2 COLORS AND THEIR SHADE ALONG 2 WITH BLACK. 12 COLOR SHADE TINT TONE BLACK
  15. 15. 2 1_ ARTIST SHOWCASE EVENT POSTER 2_ VO5 HAIRCARE ADVERTISING TINT / TONE / BLACK 1_ THIS SHOWS HOW 2_ THIS ADVERTISING TINT, TONE, AND BLACK CREATES A MAJOR CONTRAST 1 CAN CREATE A BOLD WITHIN THE COMPOSITION SHADE / TONE / BLACK DESIGN BY CREATING A AND BRINGS YOUR CONTRAST ATTENTION TO THE PRODUCT. TINT / TONE /BLACK WHITE This sequence creates a luminous effect. This color combination is easily mixed and creates a TINT dynamic compositon . SHADE / TONE / BLACK 13 This sequence creates a composition that has a lower hue value overall which gives the composition a rich feeling. A tone with a high chroma TONE COLOR could be used, like in the VO5 example to create a contrast. SHADE
  16. 16. WHITE TINT 1_THIS PRINT DESIGN SHOWS HOW COLOR BLACK AND WHITE CAN CREATE A COMPOSITION WITH AN GRAY ACCENT COLOR. TONE COLOR 2_ THIS PHOTOGRAPHY OF A COAT SHOWS A TINT, TONE, SHADE, AND GRAY. THE SOFT CANVAS EXAMPLES USES THE SAME COLOR TO SHOW THE THEORY COLOR / WHITE / BLACK SHADE COLOR / WHITE / BLACK This sequence makes a bold statement. The black and white create a BLACK base for the color to stand out. I have found this sequence in 2 color prints, where the designer uses the pure color as an accent in the design. TINT / SHADE / TONE / GRAY This sequence is commonly found in nature and suggests a soft, mellow atmosphere. This color sequence creates a sense of harmony. TINT / SHADE / TONE / GRAY 1_ PRINT DESIGN 2_ LAROK FASHION 1 14 2
  17. 17. 1 3 4 1_ DOMINANT TINT 2_ ADJACENTS 3_ OPPOSITES 4_ TRIAD Chevreul founded the art of color harmony. His studies seemed elementary at first glance, but as I looked into the principles I found more dynamic solutions. As a child, I was taught using a basic color wheel and learned my complimentary, analogous, etc color sequences, but that was a far as it went. Before this class, I found these color sequences to be somewhat basic and boring. Since the start of this class, I now understand that you can still have a triad color sequence, but by using a color’s tint or shade. 2 Now I find these color combinations to be simple, but elegant in nature. 15 CHEVREUL’S PRINCIPLES OF COLOR
  18. 18. HARMONY OF ADJACENTS Adjacent or analogous colors have an emotional quality. They either favor the warm or the cool side of the color wheel. These colors are next to eachother on the color wheel. This print example shows an analogous color scheme using orange, red-orange, and yellow-orange. HARMONY OF OPPOSITES This combination creates a very lively optical effect. These colors tend to highten the intensity of the other. This magazine cover example shows a red and green combination. 1_ THIS PACKAGING DESIGN EXAMPLE DISPLAYS HOW OPPOSITES CAN CREATE 2 A DYNAMIC CONTRASTING PIECE. 2_ THIS MAGAZINE COVER PRESENTS FISH IN ADJACENTS COLORS. + BOTH EXAMPLES ARE SHOWN WITH THEIR SOFT CANVAS ABSTRACTIONS. 1 1_STATIONARY DESIGN 2_ SEE MAGAZINE COVER 16 HARMONY OF ADJACENTS & OPPOSITES
  19. 19. 1_ THIS BAG DEMONSTATES THE USE OF A TRIAD SEQUENCE. 2_ THIS PRINT AD SHOWS A SPLIT-COMPLEMENT SEQUENCE 3_ THIS PHOTOGRAPHY EX- AMPLE SHOWS A DOMINANT TINT SEQUENCE. 1 + ALL EXAMPLES ARE PAIRED WITH THEIR ABSTRACTION COMPOSITION. HARMONY OF SPLIT COMPLEMENTS This type of color combination creates an advanced type of contrast. A key color is combined with the two hues that lie next to its exaxt opposite. This example shows a blue-green, red and orange. 2 HARMONY OF TRIADS This combination has a universal distinct impression. It also uses a wide spectrum of colors from the color wheel. This example uses red, 3 yellow, and blue. HARMONY OF DOMINANT TINT This is a combination of color that shows how many color in nature are seen under tinted lighting. All the colors in a dominant tint grouping will have an overall mellow tone. You can create this effect by choosing a normal color combination and washing a tint over the whole thing. 1_ PACKAGING FOR EXTREMITY SPECIALTY SHOPS 2_ PRINT AD 3_ FOCUS POCUS CHILD PHOTOGRAPHY 17 HARMONY OF SPLIT COMPLEMENTS, TRIADS, & DOMINANT TINT
  20. 20. VISUAL MIX VISUAL VIBRATION VISUAL MIX & VISUAL VIBRATION Visual mix and vibration are both combinations that create unique and dynamic compositions. Both create interesting effects if put together properly. I found it hard to achieve these color combinations without a lot of experimentation. Once achieved these combination could be used to create a piece that stand out or blends in. Visual vibration creates a feeling of energy and high spirit. Visual mix creates a feeling of calming and subdued atmosphere. 18
  21. 21. 1_ COLLABORATIVE IMAGERY 2_ EYE CANDY PHOTOGRAPHY MIX AND VIBRATION 1 1_ THIS PHOTOGRAPHY EXAMPLE SHOWS A VISUAL MIX OR BLEND OF COLORS. TO THE RIGHT OF IT IS A SOFT CANVAS EXAMPLE 2_ THIS PHOTOGRAPHY 2 EXAMPLES SHOWS A SIMILIAR VISUAL VIBRATION COLOR SCHEME THAT IS BEING USED IN THE SOFT CANVAS EXAMPLE ON THE RIGHT VISUAL MIX This activity created compositions and examples that use colors of similar value and chroma. The color tend to blend and when you squent your eyes, it may appear to be one color. 19 VISUAL VIBRATION This activity created compostions and examples that are high in chroma or high hue contrast against eachother. Proportions are important to create this effect. This sequence may be hard to look at for a long period of time.
  22. 22. CHROMA CHANGE This activity shows a change in chroma. The chroma is the intensity or the brightness of the color. In this example the red on the left side of the study appears to have a lower chroma than the red on the right side of the study. I achieved this effect by placing the reds on their complements and then darking that compliment to increase the chroma on the right side of the study. HUE CHANGE This activity shows how a color can change a color family depending on its background color. In this example the purple on the left side of the study appears to be a part of the blue-violet family and the purple on the right side of the study has jumped to the red-violet family. This can create an interesting effect within a composition. It may look as if though you are using more colors than you actually are. VALUE CHANGE This activity shows how a color can go up or down on the value scale depending on which color it is placed on. This change is created by placing a color on either a lighter or darker background. The orange on the left side of the study appears to have a lower value than the orange on the right side of the study. 20 ALBERS COLOR REACTIONS