How to Choose Your Color Palette Using Color Wheel

codography creative agency
March 29, 2023

Color is a potent weapon that can stir emotions, convey stories, and even shape behaviours. Unsurprisingly, selecting a suitable color scheme is paramount in design projects. Whether you’re curating a website or developing marketing collateral, choosing an appropriate palette can make all the difference between success and failure.

The color wheel showcases hues observed in prisms, arranged circularly with primary colors (yellow, red & blue) placed equidistant from each other. By mastering this tool and comprehending how different shades interact with one another, you have at your disposal the ability to create stunning yet effective harmonies of colors.

When selecting a color palette, there are many approaches to using the color wheel to select suitable palettes. Back to the point of selecting a color palette, there are many approaches exist for picking suitable palettes using the color wheel; these include primary coloring schemes such as square setups or split complementary styles like Tetradic arrangements, along with options like double-complementary patterns, which offer different methods of selecting coherent combinations. However, it’s important to note that while the color wheel provides essential guidelines for choosing a palette, other factors must be considered.

The primary color strategy presents an ingenious way of utilizing the three primary colors – yellow, red and blue – to generate many secondary and tertiary colors. By varying their proportions, one can create distinctive hues suitable for designing minimalist themes or working within limited color options.

When aiming for symmetry in your palette, look at the square strategy. This method involves selecting four equally-spaced colors on the wheel to produce a balanced yet visually-appealing range of tones. Consider using a split complementary strategy for something slightly more intricate but still orderly. With this technique involving three shades – two adjacent hues from either side of its opposite shade with which you pair up as base color- it’s possible to develop complex palettes that retain balance and harmony throughout them all.

The Tetradic strategy involves choosing four evenly spaced colours around the color wheel. Still, instead of selecting colors next to each other, designers choose colors opposite each other. This creates a high-contrast color palette that can be very effective in specific design projects.

The complementary strategy involves choosing two colors opposite each other on the color wheel, creating a bold and dynamic color palette that is visually striking. The double complementary method is similar to the complementary strategy but uses four colors instead of two. The four colors are the two complementary colors and the two colors on either side of them. This strategy creates a more complex color palette but still maintains a sense of balance and harmony.

Analogous strategy uses colors next to each other on the color wheel, creating a cohesive color palette that is easy on the eyes and visually pleasing. The monochromatic method involves choosing one color and using different shades and tints of that color to create a cohesive color palette. This strategy is proper when working with a single color and trying to create depth and variation within that color.

The color wheel is a great starting point for getting inspiration for color combinations and hues. With the color wheel, choosing colors would be easier, even if we know the meaning of the color! How about the harmony among each of them? Can you achieve consistency across media? What are the color equivalents on the web? The process is enjoyable and needs to focus on the client rather than what we like or don’t like. In addition, when you choose colors, it’s necessary to consider the meaning and symbolism behind each color (In the culture in which you aim to implement the color). For example, red is often associated with passion, love, and energy. But as mentioned above, each culture have different meanings for colors. In contrast, blue is associated with calmness, trust, and stability, as we can say in general, but one more time, each culture has different meanings for the color. By understanding the meanings behind colors, you can use color to communicate a message or evoke a particular emotion effectively.

Color choice can make or break a design!

Al Awad Mustafa

In conclusion, choosing the right color palette requires knowing color theory and considering how colours appear on different media channels. It’s essential to approach color selection with a client-centred mindset, considering their preferences and needs while also keeping in mind the intended audience and message of the design. Additionally, remaining flexible and open to feedback as the design process progresses is essential. By approaching color selection with a client-centred mindset and remaining open to feedback, designers can create successful and impactful designs.

codography creative agency

codography creative agency

Wir sind ein Team von UX/Produktdesignern und Entwicklern mit Sitz in Bern, Schweiz. Unsere Leidenschaft ist es, Produkte zu entwickeln, die Menschen gerne benutzen. Mit über fünf Jahren Erfahrung haben wir ein tiefes Verständnis dafür entwickelt, was es braucht, um erfolgreiche Produkte zu entwickeln. Unser Engagement für nutzerzentriertes Design und die Entwicklung von Qualitätsprodukten hebt uns von anderen Anbietern ab.


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Mustafa Al Awad

Mustafa Al Awad

UX/Product Designer

I’m Mustafa, UX/Product Designer currently based in Bern, Switzerland. I treasure building stuff that people want to use! Over the past five years, I’ve worked hard to understand what that means and how to build successful products.

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