It’s always good to be able to articulate design choices to your clients; why you put something where, why you chose the color scheme you did, etc. This knowledge is one of the biggest differences between a designer and a non-designer. But there is a lot to remember when it comes to the realm of graphic design – so much so that it’s pretty much impossible to remember everything from all the theories of graphic design, to web design best practices to Photoshop keyboard shortcuts.
With that in mind, I decided it would be useful for me to have all of the basics of color theory contained in one place – specifically, a cool infographic-esque poster. This way, I can quickly reference things that may have slipped to the back of my mind since design school. The end result is this: The Color Theory Quick Reference Poster for Designers.
The idea is that this graphic can be either printed out or used as a desktop wallpaper. During meetings, phone calls, or any other sort of client interaction, you can reference this poster if you need to – either for your own benefit, or to point something out to your client.
The graphic contains info on:
- the basic color wheel
- passive vs. active colors
- cool vs. warm colors
- subtractive vs. additive color
- color types
- color relationships
- meanings attached to colors
- basic terms pertaining to color
Hopefully this will be as useful to you as I’m hoping it will be to me. Here are the various files for download – please share, but don’t pass off as your own! Note: if you’re having issues getting the PDF, right-click and choose “Save Link As”.
- Print-ready, PDF (11″ by 17″, 300DPI)
- Print-ready, white background, PDF (11″ by 17″, 300DPI – click to view)
- 1920X1200 Wallpaper
- 1680X1050 Wallpaper
- 1440X900 Wallpaper
- 1280X800 Wallpaper
- EPS file (if you want to make your own changes)
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If you like this, you might like our Elements of Design Quick Reference Poster too! Enjoy!