Color Harmony Guide

Before we had fancy programs like Photoshop with dozens of color palettes and millions of colors and Pantone charts and magical color wheels and all the miracles of modern technology, we still had color to be selected and applied by more primitive methods. And while we don’t think about it much today, the range of colors we could perceive was just as great, and all of our modern color selection technology descends from more primitive, hands-on technology which was surprisingly similar in some ways. For example, the color wheel which Photoshop and other graphics programs use to select colors existed long before computers did.

As we did recently with resources on bookbinding, we’ve put together a little PDF chapbook on color design and color harmony based on pre-computer graphics lessons by Pedro Lemos, but uniquely adaptable to use with computer design programs because many of the basic principles remain the same.

The focus of this resource is on the idea of color harmony — selecting colors which fit together well to produce a visibly appealing result. It includes sample color wheels and templates for selecting colors which are related to each other, as well as examples of color palettes selected based on compatibility and a section on picking and using colors from nature. It’s all very low-tech by contemporary standards, but still accessible with modern technology. If you open any of the palettes or the color wheels with Photoshop you can use the eyedropper tool to pick colors from the harmonized selections and apply them to the design you’re working on.

Download the PDF booklet and give it a try.

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