LA 07 – Colour Theory

This week we have learned about Colour Theory. The Learning Activity forced me to use the theory I’ve learned into practice use. First describing the two colour systems, creating colour schemes using Kuler, adding specific effects to a photo using Photoshop and finally designing a book cover using colours to express the desired effect.

Question 1.1 – CMYK & RGB

A colour is described in three ways:

Hue – the colours name
Saturation – how pure or saturated it is
Value – it’s lightness (intensity)

To describe a colour, we also use «Shade» – a hue produced by adding black and «Tint» – a hue produced by adding white.

We have two colour systems; subtractive and additive.

CMYK colour mode; Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black

SUBTRACTIVE colour system is based on the colours we learn about as a child, that artist use when they are painting and the colours used for printing (ink/ pigment). The colours begins with white (as a painter’s canvas) and ends with black as you add more colour. The colours are created by the effect of light reflecting from a surface. The system is based upon the secondary colours in the RGB system, the CMYK colours; C=Cyan, M=Magenta, Y=Yellow, K=Black (Key). It’s the black channel or key channel that provides contrast in CMYK images. The CMYK colours are measured by ink percentages (0-100).

RGB colour mode; Red, Green, Blue

ADDITIVE colour system are the colours used for monitors, digital cameras and scanners. The colour begins with black and ends with white, as you add light. Colour is created by the effect of light moving directly into the eye. The system is based upon the primary colours RGB; R=Red, G=Green and B=Blue. The RGB colours are measured by the level of light, brightness levels 0-255 (0 being black and 255 being white). The RGB system gives us a range of millions of colour variations.

The CMYK file sizes are bigger than RGB file sizes because it has four colour channels compared to RGBs three colour channels.


Question 1.2 – Colour schemes using Kuler

With Adobes tool for colours based on the colour wheel, Kuler, I’ve created four different colour schemes using four colour theories.

a) Monochromatic (colours that are shade or tint variations of the same hue)1.2.a)_Monochromatic_11.2.a)_Monochromatic_2

b) Complementary (colours across from each other on a colour wheel)1.2.b)_Complementary_11.2.b)_Complementary_2

c) Triadic (three hues equally positioned on a colour wheel)1.2.c)_Triadic_11.2.c)_Triadic_2

d) Analogous (colours located next to each other on a colour wheel)1.2.d)_Analogous_11.2.d)_Analogous_2

Question 2.0 – Photo colour effects

I’ve chosen a picture I took of my husband last summer to create four colour effects using different methods learned in a mandatory video lecture.

The original picture:1.0_Kristian_Original

a) «Andy Warhol»1.1_Kristian_Andy_Warhol

b) Sepia1.2_Kristian_Sepia

c) Split toning1.3_Kristian_Split_tone

d) Freestyle: Building density in a sky1.4_Kristian_Build_density_in_a_sky


Question 3.0 – Designing a book cover

For the practical assignment this week, I’ve designed a book cover for the book «The Little Prince» by Antione de Saint-Exupery. To express naivety, honesty and harmony, I have used secondary colours (orange, green and purple). The design is kept clean and simple and the target group is children. The main elements stars and planets from the story is kept obvious and the dots over the two i’s are made into stars. I have added a dark purple «drop shadow» to the books title to make an impression of depth as in the picture below. The picture is borrowed from the Netflix series and roughly edited (cropped) in Photoshop. The background is a picture of the Milk Way from Adobe Stock. Everything is designed in Adobe Illustrator.




Google Translate

Lynda Tutorials

Graphic Design School: A Foundation Course for Graphic Designers Working in Print, Moving Image and Digital Media by David Dabner, Sheena Calvert and Anoki Casey.
Unit 4. The fundamentals of Colours


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