Raise your hand if you remember the color wheel. We learn about it in grade school and then just as quickly as we study it we forget about it. The color wheel theory is simple, complementary colors are colors that sit opposite of each other. Sounds easy enough yet we all tend to struggle when it comes to color when looking for color combinations.
The color wheel is a very important tool when it comes to design, color reading, and fashion. Interior and clothing desginers use this tool/method regularly to make products and spaces that you’ll want to buy. According to the color wheel, complementary colors are colors that sit opposite of each other on the Itten color circle. You might find your self drawn to combining blue and yellow tones while designing your all white bathroom or asking yourself what makes green and orange a perfect pair? The secret to why some color combos work and others don’t, all comes down to the color wheel.
Designers and artists use the wheel theory quite often. The color wheel makes color relationships easy to see by dividing the spectrum into 12 basic hues: three primary colors, three secondaries, and six tertiaries. Let me explain in plain English. Primary colors are red, blue, and yellow. These colors are pure, thus one can’t create them from other colors. Secondary colors are orange, green, and violet. Those colors are created when equal parts of two primary colors are combined. Finally, tertiary colors are formed by mixing a primary color with a secondary color next to it on the color wheel.
So keep the old school color wheel in mind for your next project or shopping trip. If color combination is still too difficult for you, we’ve put together our favorite color wheel combinations.
Favorite Color Wheel Combinations
Turquoise & Fuchsia
Orange & Blue
Red & Yellow