Basic Color Theory Part 3: Color Context

Color Context:

How color behaves in relation to other colors and shapes is a complex area of color theory.

Compare the contrast effects of different color backgrounds for the same red square.


Red appears more brilliant against a black background and somewhat duller against the white background. In contrast with orange, the red appears lifeless; in contrast with blue-green, it exhibits brilliance. Notice that the red square appears larger on black than on other background colors.

Observing the effects colors have on each other is the starting point for understanding the relativity of color. The relationship of values, saturation’s and the warmth or coolness of respective hues can cause noticeable differences in our perception of color.

The relationships between colors is much more technically than you even could imagine.  This is why there are thousands of books on the subject and classes taught to every fashion and design student in the world.  Color is what makes any silhouette pop, and the difference between a successful collection or a flop.  A designer could present a collection with amazing silhouette’s, but if the color combinations are off, no one would even look twice at it.

Now that you are an expert on color let’s explore its functionality in the fashion…See you next time!


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