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“Why do two colours, put one next to the other, sing?”

Seems Pablo Picasso was on to something. It’s a concept that great designers and painters understand. If you’re trying to create an eye-catching and beautiful piece, but you’re not a professional, there are some rules that you can follow and some great resources out there to help. Canva, the graphic design platform has 10 top tips:

01. Capture inspiration on-the-go.
Take photos of beautiful colours such as flowers, or sunsets and then sample those colours directly in Photoshop or Illustrator.

02. Use a colour wheel
Click here to learn how a colour wheel works.

03. Borrow inspiration from interior design
There’s an interior design rule that is can be applied to graphic design too. That is,
60% – dominant colour
30% – secondary colour
10% – accent colour

04. Create colour mood boards
Sites like Pinterest that allow you to save and catalogue all kinds of digital palettes but try using a notebook or folder for physical examples.

05. Use colour swatches
Pantone swatches are perfect, but expensive. You can find limited and free paint sample swatches in DIY stores that could work for a particular piece.

06. Take inspiration from nature
Landscapes, foliage, fruit, all things natural can be amazing, accessible and free sources of colour inspiration.

07. Less can be more
Stick to just 3 or 4 colours. It’s usually enough.

08. Match colour to your topic’s mood
Consider the topic and use that to help drive the colour. If it’s a serious, informative document then a corporate colour rather than a baby blue or cute pink will be a better fit.

09. Use Pinterest for other’s ideas
Pinterest holds an impressive amount of colour palettes curated by creatives all around the world.

10. Follow sites for colour lovers
Colourlovers is one such. A creative community where people from around the world create and share colours, palettes, and patterns. uses cookies to enhance your experience

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