How to Choose Colors for Your Design Project

Is choosing the color of your project, giving you a bad case of the blues?

You do not need to worry, as, throughout this article, we will demonstrate and explain the best methods for choosing the best color for your design.

Types of colors

Before knowing how to choose the color that best fits your design, you should know that there are three main types of colors:

  1. Primary Colors
  2. Secondary Colors
  3. Tertiary Colors

Primary Colors

Primary colors are the three main colors; they are red, blue and yellow. When these colors are mixed together, they provide new colors. For example, mixing red with blue will give us purple while mixing red and yellow gives us orange and so on. You should be familiar with the colors that result from mixing these three colors (secondary colors), as knowing them will help you in identifying what colors match and what do not.

Secondary Colors

Secondary colors are the results of mixing two primary colors. They are orange, purple, and green. These color mixtures will happen only if the primary colors are pure. The pure form of a color is known as hue (will be discussed later). 

We mentioned before that combining red with blue gives us purple while combining red and yellow gives us orange, and finally, mixing yellow and blue gives us green. Therefore, you are now familiar with all secondary colors and how to acquire them.

Tertiary Colors

Tertiary colors are the result of combining a primary color with a secondary color. There are fixed mixtures that we can create. They are:

  • Red and purple produce red-purple (magenta)
  • Red and orange produce red-orange (vermillion)
  • Blue and purple create blue-purple (violet)
  • Blue and green give blue-green (teal)
  • Yellow and orange create yellow-orange (amber)
  • Yellow and green create yellow-green (chartreuse)

Tertiary colors are created when a primary color is mixed with the secondary color that is next to it on the color wheel. Therefore, if you mix any colors that are not next to each other, you will be getting a slightly brown color.

The Color Wheel

The color wheel provides you with endless color mixtures. It provides you with the opportunity of mixing hue (pure color) with white, grey, and black. Every blend has a different name. Hue and white are called tine, hue and grey are called tone and finally, hue and black are called shade.


Every color emits a different vibe or tone. Red and yellow always symbolize anger, excitement, joy and warmth, while blue and green are often associated with nature, tranquility and relaxation. You should always take the time to decide the message that your project wants to convey and determine the color accordingly. For example, MacDonald’s has two dominant colors, red and yellow, as they express happiness and joy while Facebook chooses blue to make you feel relaxed and at home.

Final Thoughts

Finally, it is safe to say that choosing the right color for your project is a crucial step. It is a lot like composing a song. You always have to decide the vibes and tone that you want your project to emit. You should also choose colors that match each other and utilize the color wheel at all times, as it is the easiest way of choosing.