Beginning Graphic Design: Color

Color. It plays a vital role in design and everyday
life. It can draw your eye to an image… evoke
a certain mood or emotion… even communicate something important without using words at
all. So how do we know which colors look good together,
and which ones don’t? The answer is simple: Color theory. Artists and designers have followed color
theory for centuries, but anyone can learn more about it. It can help you feel confident in many different
situations, whether it’s choosing colors for a design, or putting together the perfect
outfit. All it takes is a little insight, and you’ll
be looking at color in a whole new way. Let’s start at the beginning—the very beginning—with
a refresher on the basics. Remember learning about primary and secondary
colors in school? Then you already have some knowledge of color
theory. Red and yellow make orange; yellow and blue
make green; and blue and red make purple. If we mix these colors together, we get even
more in-between shades, like red-orange and yellow-green. All together, they form what’s called a color
wheel. (You can probably see where it gets its name.) Now, let’s take it one step further with hue,
saturation, and value. These are terms you might not encounter in
daily life, but they’re the key to understanding more nuanced colors—like all those little
paint chips at the home improvement store. Hue is the easiest one; it’s basically just
another word for “color.” Saturation refers to intensity—in other
words, whether the color appears more subtle or more vibrant. Value has to do with how dark or light the
color is, ranging from black to white. As you can see, this gives us many different
shades, from a deep reddish brown… to light pastel pink. So how do we put this all together to create
professional-looking color schemes? There are actually tried and true formulas
based on something called color harmony that can help. All you need is the color wheel. The easiest formula for harmony is monochromatic
because it only uses one color or hue. Just pick a spot on the color wheel, and use
your knowledge of saturation and value to create variations. The best thing about monochromatic color schemes
is that they’re guaranteed to match. An analogous color scheme uses colors that
are next to each other on the wheel, like reds and oranges… or cooler colors, like
blues and greens. Don’t be afraid to play with the palette and
create your own unique interpretation. That’s what these formulas really are: starting
points to help guide and inspire you. Complementary colors are opposite each other
on the wheel; for instance, blue and orange… or the classic red and green. To avoid complementary color schemes that
are too simplistic, add some variety by introducing lighter, darker, or desaturated tones. A split-complementary color scheme uses the
colors on either side of the complement. This gives you the same level of contrast,
but more colors to work with (and potentially more interesting results). A triadic color scheme uses three colors that
are evenly spaced, forming a perfect triangle on the wheel. These combinations tend to be pretty striking—especially
with primary or secondary colors—so be mindful when using them in your work. Tetradic color schemes form a rectangle on
the wheel, using not one but two complementary color pairs. This formula works best if you let one color
dominate while the others serve as an accent. There are a few classic do’s and don’ts when
it comes to color. For instance, have you ever seen colors that
seem to vibrate when they’re placed next to each other? The solution is to tone it down—literally—and
there’s a simple way do it. Start with one color, and try adjusting its
lightness, darkness, or saturation. Sometimes, a little contrast is all your color
palette needs. Readability is an important factor in any
design. Your colors should be legible and easy on
the eyes. Sometimes that means not using color—at
least not in every little detail. Neutral colors like black, white, and gray
can help you balance your design, so when you do use color, it really stands out. Every color sends a message. It’s important to consider the tone of your
project, and choose a color palette that fits. For example, bright colors tend to have a
fun or modern vibe. Desaturated colors often appear more business-like. Sometimes it just depends on the context—you’d
be surprised how flexible color can be. You can find ideas for color schemes in all
kinds of interesting places, from advertising and branding to famous works of art. You can even use a web resource to browse
color palettes or generate your own. Even experienced designers take inspiration
from the world around them. There’s nothing wrong with finding something
you like, and making it your own. Everywhere you look, there’s color, color,
and more color. It can be intimidating to use it in your work,
but it doesn’t have to be. Just keep experimenting and remember what
you’ve learned about color theory. Soon, choosing great-looking colors will feel
like second nature. We hope you enjoyed learning the basics of
color. Check out the rest of our design topics, including
typography, images, composition.


  • Victoria Rückert

    Thank you!! it is so difficult to find videos in good quality concerning these topics you cover!

  • Loi Nguyen

    Thank you 👍👍

  • Shahid Khan

    This has got to be one the best designed and produced videos I've ever seen. Perfect combination of design and beautiful voice, Its so pleasant to watch, almost hypnotic. Congratulations team, and Thank you!
    p.s. It kinda makes me want to meet you guys 😉

  • Lim

    Awesome ! Thanks !

  • Yuanbiao Mou

    I loved the subtle Crayola sketch! 1:02

  • Jodie

    Love love all your videos about design. Is there a thing called binge-watching these???

  • Cx Yu

    simple words with awesome animation, open the door for me, thx

  • Jiten Chaturvedi

    Loved your presentation. I want to learn your After Effects Skill.

  • Ajay Kotiyal

    I appreciate your work. Thanks For Teaching (specially in graphics way).

  • depression berry

    color is my fav part of making arts😭

  • John JEB

    great content!

  • Jéssica Costa

    thank you so much

  • Robson Almeida

    I really need to watch this video again. There's so many great tips at it.

  • Yumna Ahmed

    Any app for Android to learn graphics for free?

  • Jacob Carroll

    That was fantastic. Like wow! Made everything so much simpler.

  • Pragati

    thank you for such an amazing content

  • Anki Khandekar


  • ragadaDeath

    So goddam nice to watch wow

  • Tsumugi

    When youtube algorithm finally gives you something good

  • Jirayu Nakplien

    This video makes it very easy to uderstand.


    Thanks so much for Great presentation and professional translations. ❤
    شكرا جزيلا من القلب ❤ للمقدمين.. وللمترجم.

  • Abot Tame

    Something in colleges i didn't understand, explained easily in this video.

  • Maddy V

    Every time you say "hue", my mind subconsciously fills in the blank with a "Jackman"

  • ImStian

    No clue why this is recommended to be, but it was a very good video.

  • JayraldDraw

    This is Informative thank you for sharing

  • Andrea Hutagalung


  • Angelos A.

    Love how i studied graphic design , and this 6 minute video explains a whole semester easily in a snap 😀 . Great video, thanks!

  • Nazeef Writes


  • Claudio Cammarota

    agree with all comments below..amazing video. congrats.

  • Angelica Square

    Best video

  • Memo Yaya

    Thank you!!

  • Has Hazer

    This helped me a lot ty

  • ANANTHARAMAN omkarabindu samyuktam siva

    Very usefull

  • Designer Azevedo

    I have almost 20 years working as a Designer, but i still learning from the basics. Thanks. Amazing production on this video.

  • drunkenkurwyjew666

    This video is brilliant. I've been doing this for ages intuitively, but with this information, I shall do a better job next time I make something colourful.

  • Sui Generis

    Can you do a video like this but when to use colors like white,black, grey, and brown? (Sorry if you already have lol I just can’t find it)

  • FazliReza

    Hi thank you, I'm about to get a basic graphic design test about color and I'm learning a lot in this video

  • hadi reg

    Great tutorial.

  • D.J. Perez

    could you please make a tutorial on how you made this video? I love it!

  • Padma H

    I am in class 12 I have taken science now I want to become a graphic designer can anyone help me how to do ?😄

  • Ngọc Sang Trần

    So good for me, thanks a lot !

  • John Ray Remonde

    What's that music called?

  • Strange design

    Follow me

  • Singopedia

    Someone said true, music makes the background great. And the music you are using is great. Lovely. I was dancing.
    And the vide is also OP

  • nima majmaa

    ممنون thanks

  • Raj Jeker

    I love your voice bye the way 😍

  • Spyros Hormovitis Kirbmain

    I should show this video to my teacher that uses red text on yellow backround for school presentations

  • Andres Valdevit

    Man these guides are great, super focused, I'd hope school would have been like this, I would have learnt a whole lot more. Thanks a bunch!

  • P3arl

    This has been really helpful as a design student

  • culota

    I'm starting my education in graphic design. What is a good online resource for palletes and color schemes?

  • Budiyono Budi

    This is so satisfying to watch. thank you!

  • MrXHmood

    0:38 Harry Potter anyone?

  • The Pizza Box

    This is such a satisfying and informative video, i love it!

  • Aitana


  • Chicken_Nuggets_Are_Pretty_Good

    If you read these comments, you will tell that you did a great job. Keep it up!

  • Alphonse Bartholomeus

    Very good. Thanks.

  • Dalia Saeed

    I love you

  • mahima bhoria

    Wow!!!! Your videos are just so so good . Its treat to the eyes…loved watching these videos…as all of them are highly informative & helpful …thankyou for serving your subscribers…. 🙂 Have a great time and great future…:)

  • Amelia Gardner

    This is very useful, of course colors have a huge influence whenever someone is going to like what they see or not!

  • Jel Rusiana

    Hi! I have started to develop my skills in graphic design (not an expert – beginner level). I would like to ask which software is best for me to use at my level. Also, I am curious about the duration when making videos. So, I would like to ask if how long does an editor usually finish a 6-minute video like this? I am looking forward to your response. Thank you!

  • S L E E PY Y 0 0 N G I

    I love the video but I’m still Grade 6 well
    I watched the Video because I want to always wear something Aesthetic
    Always because if I would wear Red Shirt and some skinny Jeans
    It would look weird
    So I was finding some shades of every color to wear something good

  • Truth Destroy Falsehood- TDF

    Can I know the softwares name you have used for this video?

  • Hima Martin

    the lady's voice is so soothing…

  • odinary man

    Just what i was looking for, thank you for sharing your riches. Subscribed…

  • Jimmy De'Souza

    Why does the first "be mine" card "look good" and the second one doesn't?

  • Skygazer

    Great! Now i can fashion frame even more!

  • Hariz Taufiq

    How to make this kind of video? 😯

  • Matthew Brisset

    I've gotten into game design in the past few years and have struggled to make good graphics for my games. This helps so much you have no idea. :')

  • Borjan Barbic

    Deutsche überschrift, englisches video. Bravo!

  • PokeObsession

    “There is nothing wrong with finding something that you like and making it your own”
    @DietPrada – hold by IG

  • Sev Sev

    That moment when you realize this channel summarized two years of arts-class in school with only a few videos … if that doesn't say something about the school system … damn isn't that sad? xD

  • Andi Horanlliu

    Hey i want to start studing Graphic Design but i dont have drawing skills,im really bad ,can i be a good graphic designer just using programs or should i choose something else ?

  • Yada B.

    This really helps me. THANK YOU

  • Carinho Suave ASMR

    Wow I loved this video ❤️☝️

  • Rebecca Graham

    Excellent – very well put together – thank you! I

  • MK Rex

    What am I doing here, I'm color blind

    jk Color theory is interesting to me, I even use it to aid in my color blindness

  • Sumenthri Sumi

    Colours are also healing, best colours are natural surroundings of the environment.

  • Andrian Sogocio

    So West Anderson-y.

  • Emoticon

    To find nice-looking colour schemes, I like to take all my Crayola markers and spill them out on the floor, then find a group of markers that looks good.

  • Jaston Kong

    Wow! This is sooo fun to watch! I've been learned! haha

  • Chelsea Ajanel

    I am literally a new person after watching this

  • Fateme Vaezi

    It was amazing thank you 💜

  • Jonnaphril Lastima

    Wow! All on those color wheel are in our lesson in elementary art class!

  • Flat Illustrator Tutorial

    Great tutorial . thank you very much

  • Geoz R21

    Porque el titulo esta en español ?? XD

  • Scratch¥


  • Elliot

    this video was unliked by 461 people, how?

  • julia z

    When you see your environment in color schemes after watching that video. 😁
    Thank you for sharing fundaments of design

  • случайный парень


  • Steven De Anda

    Very informative, TY

  • Mipha BOTW

    I know this is a really old video but does anyone know what the song in the background is? Is it just an original one for their channel? My web design teacher plays these and I just have to know what that background beat is 😂

  • trunchqin

    an actually high tier yt vid

  • zgrah Yah

    Love it! Thank you so much!

  • Đăng Khoa Nguyễn Văn

    Thank you so much.

  • michael harvey

    Is this the nintendo wii music ?

  • Trent Boatner


  • Shoude Huang

    We learnt this in year 4

  • Blue Candle

    Brilliantly made video!

  • Isabel Kloberdanz

    Noooo this huuurrrrts me. The primary colors are yellow, cyan, and magenta. That’s why printers use CMYK— because unlike this video, it’s actually correct. That color wheel is wrong and it gives you duller colors.

  • Shannon Sofield

    The production value of this video is amazing!


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