What Are Colors in Graphic Design?

Colors play a big role in graphic design. Colors can be used to create an emotional response, draw attention to certain elements, and set the overall tone of the design.

When used correctly, colors can be powerful tools for creating effective visual communication.

Color theory is essential to understand when using colors in graphic design. Color theory explains how colors interact with each other and how they are perceived. There are three main categories of color – primary, secondary, and tertiary – that are used to create various color combinations or palettes.

Primary colors (red, yellow and blue) cannot be created from any other color and all other colors are created from these three primary colors. Secondary colors (orange, green and purple) are created by combining two primary colors together. Tertiary colors (red-orange, yellow-green, blue-purple) are created by combining a primary and a secondary color.

When choosing the right color palette for a design project it is important to consider the purpose or message you want to communicate with your audience. Different hues evoke different feelings or responses so it is important to understand how each hue will affect your design’s overall message or emotion. Using contrasting hues can help create a dynamic look while using similar hues can create a more cohesive look.


Understanding the basics of color theory is essential for effective graphic design. By understanding how colors interact with each other and how they affect an audience’s emotions you can use color effectively in your designs to communicate the desired message.