Color Theory for Design – MDIA 1140 – January 10 to March 28, 2013 – Instructor: Negin Etemadi/Nola Johnston

Course description

Colour is one of the most crucial elements of design. This course introduces the principles of colour and light in relation to psychology, physics, design and communication. It also explores the additive primaries (red, blue and green), the subtractive primaries (cyan, magenta, yellow). Hands-on exercises will lead to an understanding of the use of hue, saturation, value, tint and shade, contrast and harmony. The students will be learning how to visually and psychologically use colour to convey a message effectively to various target audiences. Use of Adobe software will assist students in understanding the application of colour techniques on practical projects and exercises for both print and web. In addition, the Pantone Matching System to accurately produce colour for various reproduction methods will be explored in the various Adobe software. The sessions will also help the students comprehend and analyse how others solve visual colour problems in an effective manner so they can themselves be inspired to make unique and outstanding use of colour.

Course learning outcomes / competencies

Upon successful completion, the student will be able to:

  • Define and create primary, secondary and tertiary colours.
  • Predict how vision, brain interpretation and light quality will affect human colour perception.
  • Analyse the different uses and functions of colour within a design project.
  • Demonstrate use of the colour wheel to create and recognize various colour schemes.
  • Select colours for design using principles of colour theory to communicate a mood and message.
  • Demonstrate the layout of colours within a design composition, using principles of design and colour theory in order to organize content and direct the eye.
  • Use the principles of colour theory to make adjustments to colour to correct it, and to bring it within a gamut.
  • Create, apply and mix colour using graphic applications features including the Kuler panel.
  • Define various colour terminology and their applications.
  • Demonstrate use of the Adobe Colour Guide to edit colours for any design and apply different colour schemes.
  • Communicate effectively by using contrast of colour in typography.
  • Recognise and apply colour trends.
  • Identify, and illustrate appropriate colour schemes.
  • Differentiate the use of colours for the web versus colours for printing.

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