Design Your Decal: Color Theory, Part 1: The color wheel

Design Your Decal: Color Theory, Part 1: The color wheel

Design Your Decal: Color Theory, Part 1: The color wheel

What makes a good sticker or decal? The size might be dictated by the intended use – are you looking for a small, one-time use sticker tied to an event or are you creating a life-size decal for a window display? The design of your decal is where your creativity can shine through.  

Color is an important part of the design of your sticker. Understanding some basic color theory can help you create a decal that will have more impact. There are three basic elements of color theory:

    1. The Color Wheel
    2. Color Harmony
    3. Context (how colors are used)


The Color Wheel

You may have heard of the color wheel. It’s been around a long time (seriously, Sir Isaac Newton came up with the first one in 1666).  

There are many different versions of the color wheel. The most basic version features the three primary colors: yellow, red and blue. What makes these three colors so special? You can make all the other colors by mixing these three colors in various combinations. You know, yellow plus blue makes green, red and yellow makes orange, and blue and red makes purple. 

That leads us to the second version of the color wheel. This one features secondary colors, or the primary colors plus the three colors you can make by mixing them (green, orange and purple). That means you’ll find a total of six colors on a secondary color wheel. 

Tertiary color wheels start to get a little more interesting. Now, you’re talking about primary colors, secondary colors and the colors you can make by combining primary and secondary colors. All of these colors have two-word names, at least for the color wheel. If you were naming paint, who knows what kind of names you could come up with. Tertiary colors are things like blue-green, red-orange and blue-purple, for examples. 

We’ll talk more about the color wheel and how to effectively use color when you create a decal in our next blog post, so stay tuned!

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