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By Nancy Stoltz, Creative Coverings

Recently, we wrote about the history of the color wheel…moving along in our “color” series we now want to discuss how the color wheel can be a useful tool for event planners when choosing the colors to be used for an upcoming event or wedding.  The color wheel can help you choose color harmonies that are aesthetically pleasing and feel well balanced.

In an effort to not “clash colors” here are a few ways to use the color wheel to figure out harmonious color combinations:

Monochromatic: pairing various tints, tones, and shades within the same color family. Monochromatic hues are good to use if you are trying to create an Ombre look and provides a sense of cohesion visually.

Complementary: colors that are exactly opposite each other on the wheel. Complementary colors reinforce one another and create contrast.  They work well together if you are trying to make a bold statement, ie. red-green or blue-orange.

Analogous: three colors that sit side-by-side each other on the wheel. These colors match up well with one usually being the dominant color, one that supports and one that is more of an accent color.  Use analogous colors if you do not want a lot of contrast in a room as they tend to be less vibrant than complementary colors.

Triad: three colors that are equally spaced on the color wheel and create an equilateral triangle. Triad colors can be vibrant so in order to balance these types of colors use one color as the dominate color and the other two as accents.

Split-complementary: one base color combined with the two colors adjacent to the base color’s complementary color. These color schemes are similar to the vibrancy that complementary colors create but have less tension. So, instead of using green’s complementary color red, use the two colors on either side of green: red-violet & orange to coordinate with green.

Tetrad: four colors that are equally spaced on the color wheel and create a square or rectangle. These colors work well if you have one that is dominating…also, since there are both warm and cool colors used in this scheme pay attention to balancing them in the overall design.

You can purchase a color wheel at your local art store or online we found a pocket size at Utrecht Art Supplies.

Stay tuned for the next article in our color series where we discuss the psychology of colors and how they can dramatically affect moods and emotions, as well as influence certain physiological reactions that will ultimately impact the success of any event.