Design Elements: Colour

Design Elements are the building blocks for everything that surrounds us. Not to be confused with Design Principles (which are rules) Design Elements give the user, creative, student, practitioner the means to understand how their component choices will impact the direction of their idea which will also be governed by the rules that are applied after this initial decision making process. 

Design Element: Colour

Colour (hue) is the result of light being transferred onto a surface followed by two further actions, 1: Light is absorbed and/or 2: Light bounces off. A combination of these two factors will determine what colour we see within any given surface. Colour therefore forms meaning to most consumers of design via it's consistency. Designers use this familiarity to persuade and communicate the problems they are trying to solve effectively.

Two forms of colour spectrums used within design are additive and subtractive colour systems. Each of these systems yield opposite outcomes in the form of black and white. When the primary colours of Red, Green and Blue are mixed together they form white; this colour model is used within screen devices such as smart phones, computers and televisions. They also make three other colours when mixed in groups of two; Red + Green = Yellow; Red + Blue = Magenta; Blue + Green = Cyan

Additive Colour Model

Primary Colour Primary Colour New Subtractive Colour
Red Green Yellow
Green Blue Cyan
Blue Red Magenta

Subtractive Colour Model

Primary Colour Primary Colour New Additive Colour
Yellow Magenta red
Magenta Cyan blue
Cyan Yellow Green