The power of color harmonies

Color harmonies are essential to design. Creatives don’t tend to focus on one color, but rather a selection  that go well together. Whether for apparel, beauty, tech or interiors, assembling color harmonies can be key to conveying the correct message and mood to your consumer.

Since we rarely see colors in isolation, the perception of color changes according to whatever it is paired with. The colors themselves do not change, only our perception of them. See below how the blue circle appears more vibrant in the red circle than the green.

Color is subjective and elicits such strong emotional responses, so it is essential to consider what you are trying to evoke in the viewer when creating color harmonies. Powerful when combined, harmonies are simple to achieve. Historically created through combinations of complementary colors, color triads, split-complementary colors and analogous colors, these aesthetically pleasing combinations are not solely restricted to this method. Pick any hue and as long as the next color you pick has a similar lightness and chroma (saturation) level, these colors will be in unity.

At Coloro we have made selecting color harmonies easy thanks to our logical and accurate coding system. Every color within our system is specified by a unique seven-digit code that represents the hue (first three digits), lightness (middle two digits) and chroma (last two digits). There are 160 Coloro hues, from red to orange, yellow to green, blue to purple. Lightness values go from 0 (blackest black) to 99 (bright white light), as do chroma values – 0 (grayscale) to 99 (neon). As long as the lightness and chroma levels of the Coloro code are close numerically, you’ve got yourself a color harmony. See above examples of harmonious combinations for our Color of the Year 2021, A.I. Aqua (098-59-30).

Explore and create your own color harmonies using Coloro’s free online workspace here.

Know what’s next. Become a WGSN member today to benefit from our daily trend intelligence, retail analytics, consumer insights and bespoke consultancy services.

WGSN Insider Bulletin

Big data meets consumer insights, Experience WGSN.

Related Stories

New York Fashion Week S/S 22: need-to-know

Meet graduates from WGSN’s Future Makers mentorship programme

Take a virtual tour around New York with Megan Prives