There are various technical terms to learn, and perhaps master, when using a Color Picker application. The following are the basic terms and their definition:
1. Colour Harmonies: also known as colour chords are good combinations of two or more colours derived from their relationship on a colour wheel. They are useful when exploring a possible colour palette, or can be used as a standalone colour scheme.
1.1. Complementary Colors: colours that are directly opposite one another on the colour wheel. They have a high contrast and can be very effective as accent colours when paired with a more neutral palette.
1.2. Triadic Colors: consist of three colours equidistant from one another on the colour wheel. Like complementary colours, triadic schemes tend to be very bright with a high contrast and work best when one colour dominates.
1.3. Tetradic Colors: are formed by two sets of complementary colours 60 degrees apart on the colour wheel. Tetradic schemes are an excellent starting point for creating color palettes; fine tune them using colour shades, tints and tones.
1.4. Analogous Colors: are created by selecting the colours directly adjacent to a chosen colour. Frequently found in web design, analogous schemes, when paired with a complementary colour for contrast, can offer great versatility.
1.5 Neutral Colors: like analogous harmonies are formed by taking the colours on either side of a chosen colour but at half the distance. While analogous schemes typically use colours 30 degrees apart, neutral harmonies use colours 15 degrees apart.
2. Colour Shades, Tints and Tones: are created by adding black, white and gray respectively to a chosen colour. They can be very useful in web design for backgrounds and typography and are often paired with a complementary colour for contrast.
2.1. Colour Shades: Adding black in varying levels to a colour produces gradually darker variants, or ‘shades’, of that particular colour. Shades work well for link hover effects, or as footer and header backgrounds.
2.2. Colour Tints: are made by adding white to a colour, resulting in increasingly lighter versions. Tints can also be used for CSS hover effects, and perform nicely as modal backgrounds.
2.3. Colour Tones: recreated by adding gray to a colour, and produces an almost endless variety of colours depending on what level of gray is used. Less common in web design, tones could be useful for typographic elements like comments, quotes or highlights.