16 Most Used Graphic Design Terms About Color

16 Most Used Graphic Design Terms about Color 2021

Color is a fundamental element in graphic design as it plays a huge role in design process as they can transmit different feelings and convey messages that the viewer can feel related.


There are popular graphic design terms about color that many designers use it wrong, that is why I made this post where I show you the 16 most used terms about color and how to use them correctly.


Color Palette

Color Palette in Graphic Design refers to a selection of colors that you will use in your design, you can check this blog post where I show you 5 different tools to create your color palette!

Color Palette Inspiration Graphic Design 1

RGB Color Model

RGB refers to “Red, Green, Blue”  and this color model is used for digital formats and it works by mixing these 3 colors to obtain different tones. RGB Color model is an additive model. When these three colors have 100% value we obtain white light, and when each color is 0% no light is generated and you obtain black.

RGB Color Model in Color Theory Graphic Design Guide


CMYK Role Model

CMYK refers to “Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key” and this color model is used for Print purposes due to CMYK is a subtractive model, and that means that colors get darker as you blend them together. 

CMYK Color Model Color Theory in Graphic Design


Pantone Matching System is the system used to identify every color for printing purposes. Every color has different shades and all of them have a unique number to make it easier for people to identify the exact shade of color.

What is a pantone in graphic design Color Terms



HEX colors are a six-digit combination of numbers and letters and this code is a translation from RGB combinations for digital uses as Web Design and make it simple.

What is a HEX Color in Graphic Design Terms Explained


Monochrome is a simple color scheme built by only one color including lighter and darker tones from the selected color.

How To create a monochromatic Color Palette


Analogous is a color scheme where we combine three colors that are next to each other on the color wheel.

Analogus Color Scheme Definition in Graphic Design


The complementary Color scheme is one of the most used because is the combination of two colors that sit opposite each other on the color wheel and its used to create more contrast in the design.

Complementary Color Scheme Color Theory in Graphic Design

Triadic Color Scheme

The triadic color scheme is built by three colors that have the same amount of space between them in the color wheel.

Triadic Color Scheme Definition in Graphic Design Color Theory Guide

Warm Colors

This is very simple, warm colors define a selection of colors that make you feel heat or warm by seeing them, these colors are usually defined by been more friendly, cozy, and cheerful. Some of these colors are reds, yellows, or oranges for example.

What is warm colors Graphic Design Most used terms about color in design


Cool Colors

Cool Colors are completely the opposite of warm colors, cool colors define a selection of colors that make you feel cold temperatures, and these colors make you feel calm or soothing. Some of these colors are blues, greens or violets.

What is cool colors Graphic Design terms explained

Color Theory

Color Theory is a term used for the psychological study of colors, color theory studies how colors make people feel by seeing them and what thoughts come to your mind by seeing them, for example, blue is related to trust or red with passion. In this blog post, I talk everything about what is Color Theory.

Color Theory Basic



A gradient is a gradual change from one color to another, the most common gradients are linear gradient where each color sits on opposite sides and radial gradient where one color place in the middle and the other one in the edge.

9 Twilight Medium Purple Beautiful Color Gradient Inspiration Design


Opacity is the amount of transparency an element has, when the opacity is lower, the object is more transparent.

Opacity in color Graphic Design terms


Hue is the dominant color family of the specific color also known as pure color, take note that White, black, and grey are never referred to as a hue.


A tint is a mixture of a color with white to create a different version from the pure color.



Hope you find this post useful and learn how to use correctly this graphic design terms, and if you want to learn more about color in graphic design I recommend you read these other articles.

16 Most Used Graphic Design Terms about Color Pin 2021

If you found this post useful you might like to read these post about Color in Graphic Design.


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