Coloring 101: A Must Know For Fashion Designer

Color theory is crucial in every form of design. Color can either enhance or detract from your ideas, leaving you with unsold merchandise. Because you’ll be working with colour a lot when creating fashion, it’s crucial to understand which colours go well together, how to generate those colours, and the right colour language to communicate with others in the business.

Differences in Primary Colors in Fashion Color Theory

We’ll start with the fundamentals of colour theory and terminology. The colour wheel is an essential tool for fashion designers, and you’ll use it frequently while selecting and deciding on a colour palette for your designs. The colour wheel, which can be a circle or a wheel, depicts the spectrum of colours and their relationships. The normal number of colours on a colour wheel is 12, but some utilise as many as 24.

Primary colours are something you may or may not be aware of. Red, Yellow, and Blue are the typical primary colours taught. There is substantial debate as to why red, blue, and yellow are not primary colours. Some people prefer the primary colours CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black, often known as Key), or CMY. Your printer test prints and uses CMYK ink cartridges, as you may have observed. Others continue to support RGB (Red, Green, and Blue) as the predominant colour scheme.

The debate and debate over which colours are the genuine primary colours is not new. While there is no definitive answer as to which main colour palette is accurate, as a designer, you should be aware that diverse opinions on colour exist and that you understand what the terms signify. You may work with or for someone who favours one primary set over the other. When working with light, such as projections and websites/screens, RGB is a good primary. For tangible goods like prints and images, CMYK is a good primary.

What Constitutes the Color Wheel?

Secondary and tertiary colours occur on the colour wheel in addition to the main colours RYB (red, yellow, and blue). Violet (or purple), green, and orange are secondary colours that are created by combining the main colours together. Blue-green, yellow-green, yellow-orange, red-orange, red-violet, and blue-violet are the tertiary colours created by combining the primary and secondary hues. The colour wheel is made up of these 12 hues.

Value, Saturation, and Temperature in Color VST

Do you know what cool and warm hues are? Cool and warm hues are created by dividing the colour wheel in half. Cool colours are greens, blues, and purples, whereas warm colours are yellows, reds, and oranges. If someone asked what temperature a colour is, you would respond with either cool or warm. In the circle, blue is the coolest colour while orange is the warmest.

A color’s value is its lightness or darkness. When someone says a colour has a high value, they are referring to its lightness, but when they say a colour has a low value, they are referring to its darkness.

A color’s saturation refers to how vivid or pure it is. A pure blue is one that has no other colours added to it.

Shades, Tones, and Mutes of Color

Designers can use tints, shades, tones, and mutes to desaturate and create new colours. These can soften, lighten, darken, dull, or muffle a colour.

Color + white = tints

Color Plus black = shades

Color + grey equals tones.

Color + its counterpart colour = mutes

The coolness or warmth of the white, black, grey, and complimentary colour can affect the undertone of the tints, shades, tones, and mutes. If you’re going for a warm orange, a warm undertone will appear better.

An Overview of Color Schemes

The following are six popular colour schemes:


On the colour wheel, a complimentary is the opposite colour of a colour. The complementary colour of green, for example, is red.

Complementary Split

Instead of employing the complementary colour, the colours close to it are used in this scheme. Because red is the complement of green, a split complementary scheme would consist of green, red-orange, and red-violet.


Three colours are evenly spaced apart on the wheel in a triadic colour scheme. A triadic colour scheme consists of blue, red, and yellow.


This colour scheme, often known as Square, uses four hues that are evenly placed on the colour wheel.


This scheme consists of three colours that are similar in colour, although there can be more. An similar colour scheme is green, blue/green, and blue.


This scheme incorporates a single hue with a variety of tints, tones, shades, and mutes.

These schemes are useful to know when picking colours for your projects and communicating your intentions to others.

You’ll be able to better assess your work and determine whether or why something is off if you know a little about colour theory. The information above is a fantastic place to start with colour theory in your designs, especially if you’re using fashion illustration software. Practice mixing colours, explore, and have fun generating colours is one of the finest methods to learn more about colour theory.

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