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Colour temperature

Colour Temperature

When selecting or creating colours you need to understand a little about how a colour is either "warm" or "cool". Typically you would classify lime, green, turquoise, blue and navy as "cool" colours while yellow, mandarin, orange, raspberry, red, magenta and purple can be considered "warm" colours.

Where the line blurs a little is when you create a "cooler" purple by adding some blue, or you create a "warmer" lime by adding some yellow. The degree to which you change a colour's temperature depends on the amount of the altering colour you add.

Fighting Neutrals

The basics of colour temperature are important to understand as warm and cool neutrals will tend to "fight" each other if there isn't another colour in between them.

A good way to see fighting neutrals is to take two Taubmans colours – Cottage Cream and Ocean Pearl and put them together. When held together Cottage Cream appears grey and dirty while Ocean Pearl looks a brighter yellow. This is because the warm and cool combination brings out the intensity of each as they are opposite each other on the colour wheel. A better choice than Cottage Cream in this instance would be Milk Cloud.


Example