Which is the best choice? Clashing or harmonious colours? There isn’t a right or wrong answer and it often depends on the context and your personal taste.
On a recent visit to Whitehall Gardens in London, I came across some very vibrant colour combinations, some of which I vehemently disliked – like this one.
Was the gardener colour-blind?!
However, when I posted the picture on Instagram, some people absolutely loved it. Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder, and wouldn’t it be boring if we were all the same.
Why do some colours clash?
A variety of factors contribute to clashing colours, but the main reason is that the colours are on the opposite side of the colour wheel.
You can see that purple and yellow are on opposite sides. This makes them ‘complimentary colours’. Complimentary colours are usually good combinations, but adding a third colour can alter the effect considerably. Here are some of the other schemes in a similar vein (click to enlarge): what’s your opinion?
I much preferred the colour combinations shown below which are harmonious. These colours sit near each other on the colour wheel (these are also called analogous colours).
About the author
Annette Peppis leads the team at Peppis Designworks, a creative hub of established publishing industry experts who create books, branding, marketing material and design templates for leading publishers and businesses. Keep in touch by subscribing to her bi-monthly emails.