Scrapbooking Color Terminology

Color terminology for scrapbooking is not any different than color terminology for anything else. However, as a Layout Decorator (rather than an Interior Decorator), color plays an important part in our page designs and a basic knowledge of terms might be useful. I spent a great deal of time learning about color and figuring out the terms that might be helpful to a scrapbooker and am providing that information here.

Primary Colors – These colors are red, blue and yellow. They are the colors that are not mixed with anything to get their colors. They are pure.

Secondary Colors – A secondary color is a color that is only created when you mix two colors together. For instance, orange (red and yellow mixed), green (blue and yellow mixed), purple (red and blue, mixed).

Tertiary colors – A tertiary color, not commonly spoken of, but important regardless, comes from mixing a primary color with it’s adjacent secondary color. For instance, blue and green are next to each other. By mixing these two colors together, you get a new color, blue-green. This is a tertiary color.

Complementary Colors – A complementary color refers to two colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel, for example, green and red. When you place two complementary colors next to each other, they enhance each color.

Triadic Colors – Triadic colors come from combining any three colors that are an equal distance apart on the color wheel. If you use red, yellow and blue together on a layout, you are creating a vibrant, bold scrapbook page. (great for fun and birthday parties!)

Hue – Hue refers to a pure color. One with no white or black added to create a light or dark tone. A color hue would be that such as red, orange, yellow. It is the color that the object is.

Tone – Tone is when you begin changing the color. The tone is the lightness or darkness of a color.

Tint – A tint is when you begin adding white to your color. For instance, if I have red and I add some white, I will end up with pink. Pink is my tint.

Shade – Shade is when you begin adding black. Using the same theory as above, I add black to my red, and I will end up with a more brick or burgundy color. That is my shade.

Working with colors is fun, and can really stimulate creativity. Using this basic knowledge you should be able to better understand some of the colors and techniques that are used.

Related Articles:

Scrapbooking: Setting the Mood With Color (1)

Scrapbooking: Setting the Mood With Color (2)

Scrapbooking Color Terminology