For those wanting their work to stand out, a little vibrance can go a long way. This can be attributed to our shortening retention and constant exposure to media. When you scroll through images, it's easy for a group of photos to blend and mesh until you scroll across something that catches your eye. This could be an interesting composition, something unnatural, or simply... color. Psychologically, a big colorful object will stand out on a less colorful background, so it's no surprise that an image like the one above causes you to take a pause for a longer look. Here are a few color blocking techniques that may help your work get a longer gaze or second glance.
Pick Your Color Palette
There are two types of palettes that could help when deciding on colors, monochromatic and contrasting colors. If you are going monochromatic, pick tones that accentuate your composition. If you're going contrasting colors, limit your colors to 2-4 hues. If you need help, reference a color wheel. What is important to consider here is that some colors are more dominate than others and that you should have a hierarchy of color in your compositions. Think of how they play together and use them accordingly. Examples below:
The most basic and easiest color combination is complementary colors, colors opposite of each other on the color wheel. For simplicity and to help something stand out, complementary is the way to go, especially when using one as a primary color and the other as an accent.
Analogous colors are those next to each other on the color wheel. These work great as they are essentially color transitions which are easy on the eyes. Hierarchy becomes more important when using more than two color, so having one as primary color followed by the second as a support and third accent will help with compatibility.
Triadic colors are colors spaced evenly around the color wheel. To make triadic color schemes work, it is important to have one primary color dominate your composition with the other two as accents.
Split-complementary is an expanded variation of complementary colors and an easy tri-color palette to work with. The same rules apply as complementary colors, but you have the added flexibility of a third color to smooth out your composition.
Tetradic colors are two adjacent complimentary pairs. To make this work it often helps to have a dominant primary color and balance among the rest in your color hierarchy .
Similar to the tetradic, the square is made of four colors spaced evenly around the color wheel. It's also in most cases best to have a strong dominant primary color when using this scheme.
If you want to learn how to apply color blocking, check out the tutorials below by RGG EDU instructors, Jake Hicks and Tim Tadder.