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Color Wheel 101

There are entire encyclopedias dedicated to the color wheel, color theory, and how to implement color into design. However, there are a few very basic fundamentals that can help you make good color choices in everyday applications, including your apparel and promo product design. Here is a (very basic) breakdown of the color wheel, and what some fundamental terms mean.


The color wheel is made up of hues, which are the general overall pure colors with no black, white, or grey added. We'll look at your basic red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet to demonstrate:



Let's start mixing! A tint is the hue with white added:



A shade is the hue with black added:


And a tone is the hue with grey added:


A good design doesn't have to have 10 colors to stand out - usually less is more! A rich, striking design can be created with simple combinations of hue, tint, shade, and tone. Once the color of your apparel or promo item is designed into your artwork, it can add even another layer of color to complete your vision.

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© 2020 by Armory Print Works 

509 Tripoli Street • Pittsburgh, PA  • 15212

412-251-0880

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