Blog 14 – Part 3 – 11 Major (Advantage) Tools

Blog 14 – Part 3 – 11 Major (Advantage) Tools

Welcome back. We will continue with the third part of the 11 Major Tools (continuing with Steps 9, 10, and 11 from Blogs – 12 & 13):

  1. Choose best colors for borders and backgrounds, using Hex color codes.
  2. Use “Shade” options for any color (when available) on a product.
  3. Use “Tint” options for any color (when available) on a product.

Before we continue, please be aware that this is not a blog about color theory. We will explore some possibilities of color compatibility and application for the products on this website ( http://www.mitchell-watrous.pixels.com ).

These last three parts are very powerful and versatile. You can use these color tools on just about anything you purchase online (or in any physical locations) … if you are given the tools to manipulate or modify colors on your product purchases.

  1. Choose best colors for borders and backgrounds, using Hex color codes.

Here is a very useful link I like to use because it lists popular colors by names and Hex codes:  http://www.colorhexa.com/color-names  (plus, I will show you where the RGB values are if you are comfortable using them elsewhere).

Note: Color Hex codes are designated by a pound sign # followed by a combination of six letters and numbers (i.e., the color Red has a Hex code of #ff0000). Be aware that the letter o is never used in these codes … if it looks like an o, it is really a zero 0.

There are many things you can do with the ColorHexa link … but for now … I do not want to overload you with things you will not use right away. This will not be a blog about color theory … but your eyes can be your best guide for color compatibility.

Before I show you color applications for your images, let me show you some types of color combinations that go well together.  And, even though you might not be able to get the “exact” color combinations on images, close color matches still work very well.

The best way for you to learn this color information is for me to just pick a color and “talk” about what you can do with it.

According to surveys, the most popular color in the world is “Blue” … with Red and Green cited as the second most popular colors.

I will discuss the color Blue … but what I say about the color “Blue” can be applied to any other color that you may find for your images.

Click > http://www.colorhexa.com/color-names

Type > Blue … into the search box with the magnifying glass L

Click > Enter Key … (or click on the magnifying glass if you like)

Your computer monitor should now display these sections related to “Blue”:

#0000ff  Color Information (note: the Hex code for Blue is #0000ff).

#0000ff  Color Conversion (this information not needed for our purposes).

Color Schemes with #0000ff  (we will use this information a lot.) Note: If you hover your mouse pointer over any of the colors in this section, you will see their Hex Code.

  • Complementary Colors:

These two colors are often used together to provide the greatest contrast. For example, one color may offer great contrast when used on the background of its complementary color (i.e., text, outlines)

  • Analogous Colors:

These three colors look good together because they occur next to each other on the color wheel, but the do not provide great contrast. They may help “blend” certain color combinations similar to those in our natural environments.

  • Split Complementary Color:

These three colors are made by choosing one color, and then looking at its complement color on the other side of the color wheel. Then, the two colors on either side of the opposite complementary color are chosen (making the “split” colors). The two “Split” complementary colors are often less harsh than the two Complementary Colors together.

  • Triadic Colors:

These three colors are actually spaced at equal distances from each other on the color wheel (whereas, Analogous Colors are next to each other). When used together, these three colors to provide a lively but harmonious relationship.

  • Tetradic Colors:

These four colors are created by choosing the two colors on either side of two Complementary Colors (sometimes called “double complementary”). While the Tetradic Color scheme is considered to be the richest of all color schemes, it is also one of the hardest to get a pleasing color balance (especially if the colors appear to be competing rather than blending). But still … it’s worth trying.

  • Monochromatic Colors:

These color schemes are often used for interior decorating (and you can do fantastic things with Wall Art on various monochromatic color schemes). But, can also look great on various art images and websites. Monochromatic color applications mean to use variations of the same color such as shades, tints, or tones.

So, why did I present this color information to you?

So that you can make many interesting color combinations on the image selections for the products that interest you. You could give the same product, with the same image, to 100 people and never give anyone an identical gift.

But, before I show you how to do that … let’s complete the next two sections so that you will know the full set of tools you have to work with.

As a matter of definition, people often get confused over the differences between a Color and a Hue.

And, as a matter of practicality, most professionals use these two words interchangeable to refer to the same thing (i.e., a Color).

But, technically, Hue refers to a pure color with a name such as red, green, blue, etc. In general, Color can be used to refer to variations of any pure color. (I would not get too concerned about that, though … some people have calculated that there can be millions of hex color codes!)

  1. Use “Shade” options for any color (when available) on a product.

To understand the concept of a color SHADE, it can best be understood by the way it is made.

Any color can be “Shaded” simply by the addition of the color Black to it. The quantity of Black added to a color will determine the degree of “Shading” that occurs.

That’s right. Adding Black to ANY color will shade it. To “Shade” a color will make it darker. Perceptually, any color can be “Shaded” all the way to Black (hex code = #000000).

We can “Shade” a color on our computers by the use of a “Shade” tool with a Shade/Tint box, or slider bar. We will do some “shading” in the next blog.

Here is an example of some “Shades” of our color Blue:

Color Hex Code: #000014

Color Hex Code: #0000ff

Looking at the scale from left to right (above) we can perceive a Black (#000014) gradient all the way out to Blue (#0000ff). Be aware that there could be thousands of color hex codes between Blue and Black, depending upon the dilution quantities of Black color.

Note: The “final” Shade is not totally #000000 because of remnants of blue color left in the mixture.

  1. Use “Tint” options for any color (when available) on a product.

To understand the concept of a color TINT, it can best be understood by the way it is made.

Any color can be “Tinted” simply by the addition of the color White to it. The quantity of White added to a color will determine the degree of “Tinting” that occurs.

That’s right. Adding White to ANY color will Tint it. To “Tint” a color will make it lighter. Perceptually, any color can be “Tinted” all the way to White (hex code = #ffffff).

We can “Tint” a color on our computers by the use of a “Tint” tool with a Shade/Tint box, or slider bar. We will do some “Tinting” in the next blog.

Here is an example of some “Tints” of our color Blue:

Color Hex Code: #0000ff

Color Hex Code: #ebegff

Why did this tint above not go all the way out to White #ffffff? We could actually dilute (or Tint) this color further, but we could never get it to “total”  #ffffff because of remnants of the Blue pigment remaining in the mixture.

  1. Use “Tone” options for any color (when available) on a product.

I told you there were 11 major tools, but there are actually 12. Tool number 12 is one you have to do manually because you cannot actually do it on a computer very well.

I did not call these 12 major tools because we cannot actually tone a digital color on our computers with the tools we have … and you will see why. (However, we might be able to make a tone color close to what we want with our computer tools.)

To produce a “Tone” color, we need to add “Gray” to a color (not Black or White colors). This technique can be used best in mixing paints for various applications.

The color Gray (or Grey) is made by adding mixtures of Black and White Pigments to each other. That is how we can get light gray, medium gray, dark gray, etc.

From an application point of view, the lighter or darker (and the amount) of the color of Gray used, will determine the difference in the final mixture color (i.e., the final Tone color could be a darker or lighter tone … depending on the color of the gray color used).

In other words, it is not possible to “Tone-Darken” a color beyond the Gray-color hex code. So, the darker the Gray color is … the darker you can go with the “Tone.”

Note: In order to get the correct visual interpretation of the “Blue Tone” process below, look at the right side of the scale below … and watch the tone develop from right to left.  We will start with Blue hex color code #0000ff and add a Gray color hex code #808080 until we reach a Gray hex color #767689.

Here is an example of producing a blue Tone color by adding Gray “toner” color hex #808080 to the Blue color hex code #0000ff until we reach a tone color of hex code #767689 (but we could stop anywhere we wanted to).

Result: Blue/Gray Color Tone hex code: 767689

   Starting Blue Color to be toned: hex code # 0000ff

What that confusing explanation in the box above means is this: The most saturated color Blue #0000ff has more Blue pigment … while Gray #767689 is less saturated (i.e., has less Blue pigment in it).

Also, note that starting with a darker or light Gray color would also produce a darker or lighter final Blue-tone color.

We can come close to these “Tone” approximations with our computer tools, but we cannot duplicate them exactly.

In the next “Bonus” Blog 15, I am going to show you some applications that we can make with these tools to make your products and image colors come to life.

See you soon … in the meantime … best of success, peace, and prosperity.

Professor “Bumblebee” Watrous

PS: Coming soon … Bonus Blog 15, where you can learn “advanced” techniques and skills for adding colors to your greeting cards (and just about anything else on this website with color on it).