In color theory, a color scheme is the choice of colors used in design for a range of media. For example, the use of a white background with black text is an example of a basic and commonly default color scheme in web design.
Color schemes are used to create style and appeal. Colors that create an aesthetic feeling when used together will commonly accompany each other in color schemes. A basic color scheme will use two colors that look appealing together. More advanced color schemes involve several colors in combination, usually based around a single color; for example, text with such colors as red, yellow, orange and light blue arranged together on a black background in a magazine article.
Color schemes can also contain different shades of a single color; for example, a color scheme that mixes different shades of green, ranging from very light (white) to very dark.
Use of the phrase color scheme may also and commonly does refer to choice and use of colors used outside typical aesthetic media and context, although may still be used for purely aesthetic effect as well as for purely practical reasons. This most typically refers to color patterns and designs as seen on vehicles, particularly those used in the military when concerning color patterns and designs used for identification of friend or foe, identification of specific military units, or as camouflage.
For a list of color schemes, see color theory.
- Light-on-dark color scheme
- Dark-on-light color scheme
- Color tool
- Monochromatic color
- Complementary color
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