The Art of Color: Using Color in Your Design Work | Faye Brown | Skillshare

The Art of Color: Using Color in Your Design Work

Faye Brown, Faye Brown Designs

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10 Lessons (40m)
    • 1. Introduction to class

      1:39
    • 2. The Project

      1:10
    • 3. Color Theory

      7:19
    • 4. RGB or CMYK?

      4:14
    • 5. Color Psychology

      9:02
    • 6. Color and You

      1:45
    • 7. Color Trends

      1:49
    • 8. Color Palettes

      5:03
    • 9. Illustrator swatches tutorial

      6:56
    • 10. To Finish

      0:35

About This Class

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This 40 minute class will look at color and how to effectively use color palettes in your work. Whether you are a designer, illustrator, artist or stylist you’ll have a new appreciation for color at the end of this class. 

We will look at color theory and color psychology before moving on to creative ways of finding color palettes to work for you. There will also be an Adobe Illustrator tutorial on working with color swatches. 

Transcripts

1. Introduction to class: Hi, everyone. Welcome to this class all about color. We are going to look at quite a few aspects of using color within your work and just in your general lives as well. We're going to look at color three units. We're going to go through color theory and get the know about science behind all color. We're then going to look at color psychology and kind of association. Then, we're going to move on to how to create brilliant color palettes to use in your work. Hopefully, some of you taking some my previous classes, I've got quite a few on here now with branding and typography, and for those who are new to my classes, I am Faye Brown and I'm a designer, and animator based in the UK. Color has always played a massive element in my work. Not that it's always come easy. I'm hoping to share with you in this class some of the tricks and knowledge that I've learned over the years. This class starts off with the science bet. We look at colorway when a lot of depth. We then move on to talking about color psychology and the effect colors have on us. Then we talk about loads of ways to get creative with color palettes and using them in Adobe Illustrator. There will be a few fun projects steps along the way before we use similar color palettes that you've created on either an existing piece of your artwork, or maybe you're going to create a brand new one. We will look at how different color palettes can affect the whole artwork as a whole. Hope you have fun and enjoy this class. 2. The Project: As this class is all about color and the effect of color, we're going to do a little color experiment. For the project, I want you to either take an existing artwork or create a new one, you'll then take this artwork and apply it to four different color waves to it, and this will help us see the effect color has on design or an artwork. Ideally, the artwork would be created in Adobe Illustrator. Mostly because I'll be showing you the tutorial to help you create color palettes within illustrator and a very easy way to change colors. In your choice of color palettes, try to evoke for different feelings for the design, we will be talking a lot about color and color palettes, color association, so take all these thoughts to apply them to your color experiment project. There's also some fun, other little project steps along the way that hopefully you will take part in. As any of you know, who have taken my previous classes, I do try my best to check in with everyone's project and comments, so please do use the project gallery, also I encourage all of you to comment and feedback on other people's projects, so have fun. 3. Color Theory: In this video, we will look at color theory and an element of science behind colors and how colors work well together. Now if your sound's I can send you back to school, don't worry. As always, we'll try to make it fun. But I think an understanding of color theory is important to working well with color. Some people just know instinctively what colors seem to work well together. Almost like people who can pick up a paintbrush and create a work of art without any formal training. To others, using color isn't so natural. I'm not sure I've ever really been that good at just knowing what colors work well together. Color theory can help us out a little and guide just in the right direction. Wikipedia pretty much sums it up as individual arts, color theory is a body of practical guidance to color mixing and the visual effects of a specific color combination. Let's start with the color wheel. Can you believe the color wheel was first conceived by Sir Isaac Newton? He was the first to look at the relationships of color in this way. His original color wheel has seven principal colors. Red, orange, yellow, green, cyan blue, ultramarine blue, and violet blue. This was based on the colors that came out of a dispersive prison when white light was shone for it. The light is broken down into its spectral colors, the colors of a rainbow. In these early experiments with color, we can start to see the positioning of what we now call complimentary colors. They are opposite each other on the circle. The color wheel developed through the centuries and is even used regularly in various computer programs. Let's look at the color wheel we're most familiar with today. Now, I say most familiar because there was a lot of debate in this area on how true reflection of color this really is. The debate is whether a true reflection of color is whether yellow along with magenta and cyan, should be the primary colors as opposed to the traditional red, yellow, and blue. Think about most of our home printers, the inks, the cyan, yellow, magenta and black, not red, blue and yellow. When we print these colors and combine them in various ways to create all the colors we can print at home. It's a hot topic and I don't want to confuse the issue, but I will post up a good link to a video explained in this theory. In the next video, we will look at RGB and CMYK colors. But we were focused on the most commonly used color wheel, which is the 12 color wheel based on the YB, that's red, yellow, blue. Primary colors also known as the artistic color model. So let's keep this simple. On the left, we see what we might usually call cool colors and on the right, warm colors. I'll talk more about using cool and warm colors in a later video in this class. The primary colors are yellow, red and blue. These are called primary colors because they cannot be made by mixing other colors together. Our secondary colors are made from mixing the primary colors. Yellow and blue make green, yellow and red make orange and red and blue make purple. Then our tertiary color s are made by mixing equal parts of primary with secondary. So yellow and green make light green. So these first level of color s are called Hues. These are our pure colors. A tint, is a hue plus white. Also see you have various levels of a tint depending on how much white you add. A tone is when you add gray to the hue color and a shade is where you add black to the original hue. Tint, tones and shades are really useful and important when creating color palettes that compliment each other. I'm going to talk more about creating color palettes in a later video, but the following break downs of some of the color schemes might come in useful for that. So this is also known as color harmony. If something is monochromatic, it uses one color. Within that, you might use tints, tones and shades but it's essentially one main color. Complimentary colors are those opposite each other on the color wheel, blue and orange for instance and the darker blue would work better with a light orange. Here we see red and green working in nature well as complimentary colors. Split complimentary colors are a group of three colors. So that's to either side of the main complimentary color as illustrated here. Color triads are those spaced equally away from each other. Together they can look quite full on so you might want to choose one main color and use the other two as supporting colors. Analogous colors are those that are neighboring on the color wheel. The term relate to having an analogy with something, a similarity. Some people say these type of color schemes like contrast but you can add interest with this type of color palette by using tints, tones and shades and also adding a neutral color like gray into the mix. You can also look at a rectangular color scheme that uses the colors either side of the complementary colors and also a square arrangement, also known as a tetrad. Again, you would probably want to look at allowing one color to be the main focus with these type of combinations. Another useful aspect of working with color is the use of neutral colors. These colors are your blacks, whites, grays, beige, ivory. Including neutral colors in your color palettes can really help complement your scheme and tone it down or maybe an interior design, the neutral colors will be used mostly in the room with some key accents on bold colors around the ring. When you're thinking about weddings, a neutral color scheme with pops of color can work really well. In technical terms, we can look at color context and how a color appears against other colors. Let's look at the red against some of the neutral colors. It appears more vibrant against the black, maybe more harmonious against the gray. Against an orange it loses some of its vibrance and doesn't stand out as the colors to similar. Against the greeny blue, it stands out again. This is just a quick look at how color against other colors can affect its properties. But important when thinking about color palettes. Well, let's start thinking about the colors you're naturally drawn to. Maybe you have a favorite room in your home or favorite outfit. What is it about those colors that you like? Why do they work well together? Again, in the next video, we are going to look at the difference between RGB and CMYK. 4. RGB or CMYK?: The difference between RGB and CMYK, often quite difficult subject to understand. In general, as designers, we use RGB colors for anything that's screen-based. So TVs and computers, smart phones, etc. RGB stands for red, green, and blue. We use CMYK colors for anything print based business cards, brochures, posters. CMYK stands for cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. The k, which is represented in black, stands for Key plate, which was black plate in the printing process. Why do we have these two color spaces for screen and print? Why does CMYK colors look so different onscreen compared to when they are printed? Let's try to answer a few of these questions in this video. RGB is an additive color space, which is achieved mixing different light colors together. By adding the colored light, we get the colors we see. Let's take a look at the color picker in photo-shop. When we take all the RGB values, which range from zero to two, five, five take them all down to zero, we get black. We've taken the source of light away. To achieve white, we set each to two, five, five the maximum value. Although everyone screens will differ slightly from each other, the RGB values will stay the same, and the results should appear similar on various screens. There are over 60 million possible colors using RGB. CMYK it's what's called a subtractive color model based on Inc. We subtract white from say, a piece of paper by adding the ink, the more ink you add the blacker of the white surface will become. If we knit back into photo-shop, we can see this is the opposite of RGB. If each value for CMYK is zero percent the color is white. You could just put in 100 percent in the k value for black. But to get a richer black, it's useful to add in some of the other colors into the mix. But you have to be careful here to not overdo it. The amount of ink to be printed. If all values were set to a 100 percent that's a lot of ink. It's good to keep the ink coverage to below 250 percent. So you could try 50 percent for cyan, magenta and yellow and a 100 percent for the black. If you want a cool black with more blue, you can adjust those percentages more in science favor or a warm black adds a little more magenta and yellow. Most home printers you CMYK inks, although some use RGB. If you're working on a CMYK design on screen, the colors can look a lot different ones printed, so make sure you do a few home tests. Alternatively, if you need colors to be spot on use spot colors. In Illustrator, we can open up a pantone library and you are confronted with many colors. Each of these can be printed by a professional printer using ink. So you know the color will be exactly what you expect. You can buy pantone books for reference, although they are very pricey. They also come in metallics and coated and uncoated versions. If you've designed a logo using a pantone color, that should then be converted to an RGB color value for anything on screen. I hope that's cleared up that issue a little bit and there are other color options when it comes to web design. Also like the hex triplet. This little box you see here in photo shop, breaks down the RGB values into a code. Not going to go into that as it's quite specific for web design. But photo-shop also has this handy button you can press to see web safe colors that you can use. Now we know all about the technical side of colors. We can move on to the fun stuff. In the next unit, we will look at the psychology of color. 5. Color Psychology: There been a lot studies into color association and how certain colors make us feel. There is a field of psychology called chromology, which is used in design, studying what effect color will have on customer or maybe a guest in a hotel for instance. There is also a field of alternative medicine called chromatherapy. We will all have a favorite color night out. Before we go any further with this video, I'd like you to pause it and think about your favorite color or maybe you have to and just either make a mental note or write down what you love about that color. Does it make you feel something? Maybe you have memories associated to that color. Just pause it for a while and have a little think about that. I'm going to move on to quite a general view of words and feelings associated with various colors. I touched upon this and another class of mine, and need designing your logo class, which is part of the branding your creative business series. I did a small section on color. Let's take a look at that, and then we will delve a little deeper into color association. This starts off with us looking at tints and shades of colors. As to say, all blues are relaxing or calming, isn't entirely true. There are so many variants of what we might typically call blue, but this should give you a good starting point. Personally colors, those are of tense of your main hues which got white in them. They can be seen as calming and relaxing, but they might also be looked upon as weak, and a little bit unconfident, I guess. The brighter colors like your pure hughes normally come across as quite fun, and project a lot of happiness, sometimes use badly, like they can come across, look a bit cheap thing. You're darker colors, your shades which we the black in, or something, your tones with gray. They can add a little bit of gravitas to something. They can look a little bit serious, but they can also come across as somber and dull. Again, you've got to be careful about how you use them. Yellow is normally associate it with summer, being happy, a lot of energy, to very bright color, got to be careful not to use too much of it, because it can be a little bit for long that you associate yellow with summer. Likewise with orange, it's another summery color. It's a little bit less intense in yellow. It also gives off a youthful tone. It's fun, friendly, and it can also be quite confident color. Red, there's so many associations with red. It can have an attention grabber, passionate. It can also be associated with anger. It can increase appetite, which we will talk about a little bit later. It's a hot color, vibrant, intense, and then it's also associated with warnings and signs of danger. Pink is tense, and tones, shades of pink, but in general, it's a feminine color, it's quite playful, it can also be quite calming, if it's used as a tint. It's the color of love and romance, warm color, but it can also be seen as immature. Purple, again you get lots of different shapes and tones and tense, but it's associated with royalty. There's a bit of a luxury feeling about it and quality. It's an ambitious color, but it can also be seen as bit moody and mysterious, another creative color. Now, blue, that we spoke about many different kinds of blues, but in general, some blues is seen as peaceful, and it can also be quite cold and technical. Blue is quite often associate with sport and masculine color. Dependable of banks use color blue, it's a trusting color, honest, loyal, intelligent. Knees a query colors, often associated with healing and serenity is a clean color. Think about escaping like travel. Green's again is a mixture of connotations with green colors. It's healthy, associated with healing, it's a natural color, can be fresh, also the color of jealousy, and it's clean, and can be quite secure color as well. Brown's again, natural color, earthy, but be careful because it can also come across a little bit dirty. Gray, gray is an intelligent color. It's quite conservative, can also be seen as quite dull, but mixing gray with other colors can work brilliantly. Often associate with security, and yet it's a neutral color. Black is quite formal colors sophisticated, associated with elegance and style, which is used a lot of seen in the fashion world. Mix in black with other colors works really well. It's a powerful color, even though it's not really a color, and is also associated with death and evil. White, of see clean, simplicity, and clarity. It's pure, can be seen as winter and cold color, depending what's used with, and also the color of innocence. We should also take into account our cultural response to colors. The Internet, TV channels, and worldwide travel have really opened our minds to other cultures, and the boundaries have become less apparent. Were in the East, a bride might wear a red wedding dress. More and more people adopt a break with tradition, and a red wedding dress could be seen in Europe quite regularly now. In South Africa, red is the color of mourning. In Egypt, this is yellow. Thailand, purple, and then along blue, is associated with the color of death. In China, if you give a man a green heart, indicates his wife is cheating on him. Green is seen as a forbidden color in Indonesia. As a little tip, when designing, think about who you are designing for. If you're designing a hotel interior for an Indonesian hotel, probably avoid green. If you're designing apartment for a client in Thailand, maybe go easy on the purple. Little research first off, and you should be okay. Let's take a look at how color is used in design. Let's start with logo design. This has to be one of my favorite all time Infographics, is formed the logo company who put together this graphic to show us a link between, what types of companies use similar colors in their visual branding and logo. I'll post a link in the discussions to the full article for you to read. I think we can see, like definitely see some similarities with a lot of the blue companies, technical, banking, trustworthy. The orange brands look a lot more fun perhaps. They've also included a few brands that use multiple colors like Google and eBay. These brands are pretty open to everyone and all encompassing. Using the multi colors really helped strengthen that side of their brand offering. Let's think about how color affects our appetite. There have been numerous studies into color and eating, and in general, the warmer colors come out on top, when it comes to food we like. The foods we think looks appetizing and even the deck or of a restaurant. Reds and oranges are supposed to make us eat faster, which explains why most fast food chains use them. Let's take a look at this fictional fast food restaurant logo I've created using red and orange. Now let's take a look at it using blue and green. Where would you want to eat? Blue is the least appetizing color, apparently, and it might make us actually slow down on eating, or lose our appetite, great for people that are maybe on diets. Painting your kitchen blue might not be advised for creating a nice cozy, warm place to eat. Having set that a nice dark and blue alongside its complimentary color, orange could work well. Don't discount a color purely because of its connotations, as when colors are placed together, they can take on a whole new meaning. In the next video, I'm going to set you a little fun task, for the next seven days. 6. Color and You: Over the next few days, I just want you to start noticing all the color around you and how different places make you feel. Maybe it's your favorite coffee shop or bar or favorite shop, or your favorite room in your house or flat. Maybe you have a favorite outdoor space. I also want you to think about places you don't like and then start to think about the colors that surrounds you there. Could color have an effect on why you don't like that place? Start by taking some photos and write down some notes, share your thought in the project gallery. I also want you to have some fun with your wardrobe this week. So try wearing a different color each day, maybe it's simply a different colored shirt or tie or maybe it's a different dress or necklace or lipstick. Did you feel significantly different on either of those days by wearing a different color? Try to be daring for a couple of days and wear something you wouldn't normally. How did it make you feel? If you're feeling really open, share your outfits in the project gallery too. If this all sounds a little frivolous and silly, don't discount it. There have been studies to show that foxes wearing red were more likely to win than those wearing blue. Waitresses wearing red got bigger tips for male customers. So wherever that means, red is seen as a more attractive color or maybe it makes the person wearing it more confident, maybe it's a mixture of both. Draw your own little experiment with various colors and please do let us know how you get on. In the next unit, we will take all that we've learned so far and start thinking about color combinations and creating color palettes. 7. Color Trends: Color trends. Before we talk more about palettes, I wanted to talk a little bit about color trends as it might be important in your line of work to keep up with trends. You will find that fashionable colors come and go. Think back to the wallpaper of the 1970, for instance. Color trends affect all areas of design. Although there probably most obvious in fashion, home decorating, and homeless. If you're an interior designer or patents designer, it's very important to keep up with color trends. Pantone is a great place to stop. They have color of the year and this influences the color world hugely. This year in 2016, the color of the year it's actually two colors called Rose Quartz and Serenity. They also give examples of good color pairings using these colors. The tricky thing is forecasting what might be the next color trends as some designs can take a year also to come into production. Pantone has more details on this and you can actually even buy color planners for the future but they certainly aren't cheap. There are other forecasting companies like trendspot.com. You can always do your own research on sites like Pinterest where there's always a lot of information and inspiration to get your hands on. If you're working on projects that are more media, you can get really good idea of color trends just by browsing around some your favorite shops, whether that's a closed shop, have a dashed rays or furniture. Also take note of how they use color. For example, here the palette is mostly neutral with a nice tin of pink. Neutral colors are really important in creating palettes that are harmonious. Let's talk more about color palettes now in the next video. 8. Color Palettes: When you're designing, sometimes you have an awesome design but color just doesn't seem to be working. This is why creating a color palette can really help and also make sure your work looks consistent across say a pattern range or branding. I'm going to talk you through a few ideas on how to create color palettes. Number 1, using photos. One of my favorite ways to create color palettes is to use photographs as inspiration. I get a lot of inspiration from the sea. I live about an hour from the sea so it's not that close but I never feel happier than when I'm by the sea. I found I often get a lot of color inspiration from the sea or the sea side. Here's a photo I took while snorkeling in Australia and then an Illustrator I used the color picker to start picking out some key colors and seeing how they would work together in a palette. I've also done this with other photos. You can create a new swatch in Illustrator by pressing this icon and simply drag your new colors into the folder for ease of use. We will talk a little more about creating palettes in Illustrator in a later video. You can do the same in Photoshop if that's your program of choice. Here you can use the pixelate or crystallize feature to narrow down your color choice to make it a little bit easier and again, create a new swatch so you can use the colors easily. If you prefer a more hands-on approach, try mixing paint to match the colors. Another fun way to start thinking about color palettes is by using objects you have around the house and mixing them up a little. The possibility is endless, so try to have a bit of an idea of what color scheme you'd like up from. This is a good exercise when it comes to interior design. Maybe you're thinking of redecorating a room. What if you already got in that room that you really want to keep? Maybe it's a favorite cushion or favorite ornament for example, then you can start planning your color scheme around that. Using the color wheel, of course you can go back to the color wheel and use the tips we discussed in the earlier video. Think about adding tints and shades to your palette. Let's say we take an analog of stain, adding a neutral color can work well to tone down the bright colors. Also think about the relationships of how much each color is used. Using a palette like this where the focus is on the brighter colors might be a bit much, but by switching the color usage can dramatically change the design. Online inspiration; now, inspiration is never far away on the Internet especially sites like Pinterest, type in warm color palettes and you have yourself hundreds to choose from. But maybe try adding your own twist to any of this. Design seeds is another great site for color inspiration using the same photo technique as above. You can also search by key color on this site. Another great tool is Adobe Color cc. You start with the color wheel and you can use the drop down menu to start off and then just easily adjust the point around the circle or edit individual colors. You can also import a photo and it will pinpoint some colors for you and then you can always move them around to get a palette you are happy with. You can save your palettes and start using them in your programs if you have cc. If we flip over to Photoshop, I can go to Windows library. My color themes will appear and then I can easily start using those colors. You can also go to Explore with Adobe Color and find lots of inspiration that other people have saved off. I want you to pick two or three of the above methods for creating color palettes and share them in the project gallery. Did you have a preferred method or maybe you have your own method that you'd like to share with other students? In the next video, we will go through a little tutorial on how to use color palettes within Adobe Illustrator. 9. Illustrator swatches tutorial: Hello, welcome to the Illustrator tutorial. I'm just going to show you a quick technique of using Swatches in Illustrator that then will help you really easily change colors if you need to. Let's start by importing an image to start off with. Let's grab one of those I showed earlier. Let's try this wool. I'm going to start by just selecting a few colors from this wall of wool. Let me copy and paste a few circles here. This is a little technique I use, I quite enjoy and find it quite easy to pick colors this way. You probably all going to have your own way of doing things, this is just mine. I'm now going to start picking some colors out from the wall of wool that will hopefully start to form a quite interesting color palette. I'm going to go for a bluey tones, that's quite nice. Let's try a little bit of a mint green. Then another blue, a bit brighter. Let's go with this to start. Not totally happy with that last one, but we can tweak that. Now I'm going to make a swatch out of these five little palettes that we've already made. Doing that, I'm just going to go over here to my swatches palette. If you haven't already got that up, you go to windows swatches and this will come up and then press on the new color group folder here, and we can name it, I'm going to name it wool. As you can see, it's already inputted the first color that I had over here into there. Now we're just going to import the others. Just click on it and then drag it over and make sure it's within that swatch zone there. Now we've got a swatch which is great. What I'm going to do now is I'm just going to save that into my library. If you can remember from the Adobe CC, I'd already done a few color palettes before, and this one's just saved off now as wool. So that means it's available in all my programs. If I switch to a design that I've already got, I'm going to give you guys this as a template in the resources so you can use this. If you don't want to create your own artwork, you can just use this to have a little play with color palettes. Now let's import this one into this file. So it just right-click on that and say ''Add to Swatches'', as you can see, we've now got these colors up here, which means we can use them. Now, little tip I'm going to give you now is just to double-click on each of these and turn the ''Global'' option on. This will save you a little bit of time later on. Now let's start adding this color into this design. First of all, let's set the background color. That's quite dark, isn't it? Let's try that. Then I'm going to start changing the droplet color. So I'm just going to select one, then go to ''Select'', ''Same'', ''Fill color'' and that will select all of these. Then I can just stop changing the colors. Again, ''Select'', ''Same'', ''Fill Color''. Then we can start to see if this color palettes is going to work for us. Then one more. looking at that, I'm not overly happy with this color palette, but the great thing about setting it to a global palette thing is now I can click on this, double-click and I can start tweaking the colors a little bit, which is really useful. As you can see it then changes all instances of that color. I think this background could do with a little bit of work. Let's leave that background for now. Just this darker blue. So just gives you these options to tweak these colors. By all means this is not a perfect color palette. Now, why this is useful is, let's just nip over to this one that I made earlier using a previous color palette that I'd made on CC. So let's say you've come up with all this artwork, maybe it's a pattern collection like this and the client comes back and they say, yeah, I like it, but I really hate that yellow. Can you do anything about that yellow? So the beauty about setting your colors to global from the start is you can simply just adjust those colors and it will affect all instances of that color. So you can then start playing around with it and making a few more options available to the client or to yourself, you can look at it yourself and think that doesn't look quite right. I hope that is helpful. I really do encourage you to use Swatches within Illustrator, especially in branding and pattern projects where you want continuity and make sure that you use this global color option as well when you can, just to keep things a lot easier for you. You can obviously go up to the select an image and go select same fill color or fill in stroke. But it can get a little bit fiddly when you're using strokes is not on this as well. This is just a much easier way of doing it. So hopefully, that will help you. I'm looking forward to seeing your color pallets in the project gallery. So do make sure you upload them. 10. To Finish: Make sure you post up your projects in the gallery like I said before, I love to check in and feedback on as many projects as I can. Let us know how you found the exercises for creating color palettes too. I hope this class has been fun and informative, and giving you a good background into color. If you liked this class, please do check out some of my others on Skillshare. I've got them on branding, typography, and ways to stay creative or good tools for designers and artists. Thanks for taking this class and hopefully see you in another one again soon. Bye.