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A Complete Guide to Colour Theory in Sign Design

Effective signage remains to be an essential tool for businesses to promote their products and services. Colour is among the first things that people notice when looking at a signage. A good colour combination makes a signage more visually appealing. Along with a well thought out colour scheme, it can grab the attention of the audience and make your brand appear more credible.

To ensure that your sign engages your customers, you need to think about how you use colour and an understanding of what colour theory is will help you develop an effective design..

Colour Basics

Before going to the nitty gritty of applying colour psychology in sign design, you need to know the basics of colour. This all starts with the colour wheel, which is used for bringing colours together. Its most basic version comprises of 12 colours that can be broken down into primary, secondary, and tertiary.

Here are the other terms that you should know so you won’t get lost in the sea of colour-related jargons:

Basic Glossary of Colour Terms

Colours and Human Emotions

Colour draws out certain emotions in people. “Knowing that humans might be hardwired for certain hues could be a gateway into understanding the neural properties of emotion,” according to colour neuroscience expert Bevil Conway.Food for thought certainly.

Here are some ways colour inspires feelings in people:

Colour Combinations to Try

As with all elements of design, it’s important to consider proper proportion when combining colours. This can make or break the message you are trying to convey, so be careful.

Pro tip: Use orange and blue to amplify contrast in a certain design, as these colours have the most contrast between their values.

Deciding on a Colour Scheme for Your Sign Design

Now that you know the basics of colour theory. It’s time to decide on the colour scheme. There are seven palettes you can choose from: monochromatic, analogous, complementary, split complementary, triadic, tetradic and flat.

Now that you know the possible colour schemes you can draw inspiration from, you may now choose one that is most appropriate for the project you are working on. Just remember to keep your audience in mind when doing so, as this can greatly affect which colours you can choose and how they will be perceived. Cultural differences may also come into play, so if it does, don’t forget to consider that as well.

After choosing all the necessary elements to make up your design, all that is left for you to do is execute, and test to see which study will work best towards your target market. This will also allow you to make necessary changes while you still can before the signage goes live for all of the world to see.

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