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How To Use Colour Successfully Within Your Designs

May 13, 2020Colour, Pattern Repeats8 comments

One of the elements that are really important to get right when creating pattern designs is colour. It can make or break a design and be the reason someone buys or doesn’t buy your design. So, how do you use colour within your designs successfully?

If you struggle with using colour you want to make sure that you spend the time to develop these skills and think about how you can use colour successfully within your designs.

When you’re creating designs there are some general rules (which of course can be broken) and in this blog post, we’re going to look at some basic elements that you want to think about when you’re creating your colour palettes.

Tone

Firstly you want to include a range of colors that work together harmoniously, but you also want to have depth within your palette. The simplest way to do this is by having some lighter and darker colours. When I talk about lighter and darker colours, I’m talking about having some colours that are tonally lighter and tonally darker. If you choose colours that are all the same tone of value, then when you use them your design can end up looking really flat and not having a lot of depth to it. Using colours with different tonal values is a great way to achieve depth.

Colour combinations

When you create your palette, you may have created a palette that looks beautiful yet when you go to use the colours, some of the colours just don’t work well together within your design. You may find that some colours just don’t work when they’re placed next to each other. So you also need to think about how the colours within your palette work when being placed side by side. If some colours within your palette clash (in a bad way) then you need to be careful with how you use those within your design.

Base colours and highlight colours

You also want to think about how you’re going to use the colours within your palette e.g.some of the colours with be base or main colours and will be used in high quantities within your design and others will be highlight colours, which you’ll use sparingly as pops of colour. And if you were to use one of these highlight colours as a main colour you’d find that the colour wouldn’t work even though it works and looks beautiful as a highlight colour.

So you really want to think about how all of the colours within your palette work together and how they’re going to work next to each other within your designs. If you think about how are they going to work in different combinations before you start designing, it will help you use your colour palette successfully.

 

8 Comments

  1. Flavia

    Thanks for this article and video, I quite struggle with colors myself. Do you have any tools that you use to pick color palettes? Or do you have a specific process that you go through when you’re picking them?

    Thanks!

    Reply
  2. Heather Davis

    Thank you for this valuable tip

    Reply
    • Pattern and Design

      You’re welcome

      Reply
  3. Sheila

    Thank you this page puts together some great advice. I’m an Art teacher and I’m recommending it to my A Level students.

    Reply
    • Pattern and Design

      You’re welcome! I’m glad you found it helpful

      Reply
  4. China Goodhue

    Good morning I just watched your video about colour pallets and about using colour in your designs and using tones when you’re making the designs
    I am not afraid of using colour at all I love colour I’ve been an artist for Over 20 years and I love designing Fabrics
    right now I am going to university at Concordia in the fibre arts program I am learning so much knowledge and techniques
    at Concordia University And I want to takeW
    what I’ve learnedFrom Concordia into my homework and designing fabrics and build up my career in pattern design thank you ever so much for doing these videos so I can learn more and I would also like to take the time to Have a chat with you through email
    Thanks very much China Goodhue

    Reply
  5. China Goodhue

    There’s a few spelling mistakes but what I meant to say is I would like to take what I’ve learned from Concordia into my own work of Pattern designing

    Reply

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How To Use Colour Successfully Within Your Designs
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