Think of a brand, any brand, and one of the first things that comes into your head is probably its brand colors. Best Buy is blue, black and yellow. McDonald’s is red and yellow. Google is red, blue, yellow and green. Part of the reason you remember these brands is because of the colors and patterns they use in their logos and advertising.
Having a good color scheme in a project can be the difference between having a memorable image and one that people wonder if you can even see color. If you’re designing your brand’s logo, the only tool you need is your Android phone and the following basic tips:
A color wheel is the most simple representation of what colors look like relative to one another and a great starting point for understanding color theory. However, colors wheels are generally limited to a dozen colors and modern cameras, even those in smartphones, are able to reproduce millions of colors.
Adobe Color CC solves this issue. Adobe Color is a full RGB color wheel that automatically gives suggestions for color schemes that you might like around your primary color. In addition, you can upload an image and the tool analyzes and gives a color scheme that complements the image, which is helpful if you need to work backward from an image. It is available for desktop work as well as on Android phones through Google Play.
All the color theory in the world isn’t going to help you if the white balance on your image is not set correctly. White balance is a way to make sure the white point on your camera is set so that white will actually be white. Tungsten light bulbs, for instance, have an orange color to them so a white piece of paper photographed in this lighting has an orange tint.
Today’s cameras have pretty good auto white balance, but there are still times (generally in mixed lighting) where the auto can fail. In these cases, it is important to be able to recognize what the color temperature of the room is to set your white balance correctly.
If you can’t get the color quite right while taking the picture, there is still a way to save it. If you know something in the scene is white, or preferably 18 percent gray, you can use Photoshop or Lightroom to set your white balance off this object. It isn’t quite as good as getting it right in camera, but it certainly helps.
It is just about impossible for the average person to remember exactly what color an object was in order to accurately reproduce it. Thankfully, technology is getting to the point that identifying exactly what color you want is easier than ever.
Although most cameras will get you the right color most of the time, there are times when it is more difficult, such as when you are in low lighting. In these cases you need a color meter, like the Pantone Capsure. This tool uses a camera and well-balanced LED lights to identify the color of an object just by placing the device against its surface.
The Capsure then runs the color through its database to find the exact color and store it for later. It works in a similar manner to Adobe Color because it can find complementary or similar colors that might work better for your needs.