color-complement-xmaswheel-copyYesterday I realized I haven’t talked about color for a while… as I was decorating my tree with my son, spreading green garland and red ribbon about the house I thought of what a great example Christmas provides for complementary color schemes.

A complementary color scheme consists of 2 colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. Because they are so far from each other on the color wheel, they are high contrast.  The way in which you combine the colors in your art, decorations or any other application, will determine how easy it is on the eye.

color-complement-santaA general rule of thumb when working with complementary colors is to choose one color as your main color and then use its compliment for an accent color.  Lots of one, a splash of the compliment.  See how Santa has a lot of red and then a dash of green in his mittens and on the wreath?  It works.  Main color: Red.  Complement: Green.

When used outside of Christmas, complementary color schemes are a great way to draw maximum attention to your message.  I wouldn’t recommend using red and green for a logo, since you will send the message of “Christmas” along with the intended concept, but most others will work.

See how the orange text jumps off the blue? You guessed it!  Blue and orange are complementary colors and will grab your attention.  (Don’t worry, it is just an example, I’m not trying to sell you anything today.)

color-complement-buynowNext time you head out to a store, try to notice who is using complementary color schemes and how they are using them.  It’s an interesting way to do a color study!  Then give it a try in your studio…

~ Tara