Using bright colors is a great way to make your videos more attractive. But not all colors go well together. Some color combinations don't work or even result in the opposite effect: they make your video painful to watch. We'll show you how to find complementary colors that work well together.
What are complementary colors?
Briefly put, complementary colors are colors that are opposites on the color wheel.
These colors are complementary because they aren’t involved in the creation of each other. Red, blue and yellow are primary colors. The complementary color of a primary color is the color you get when mixing the other two primary colors. For example, the complementary color of red is what you get when you mix blue and yellow: green!
Likewise, every color has its own complementary color. Check out Adobe Kuler’s color wheel to easily find complementary colors.
When to use complementary colors?
Complementary colors have a high contrast and because of that, they intensify each other when they’re used together. So if you want the colors in your video to look brighter and more vibrant, you should definitely consider using complementary colors. For example, when using blue and orange next to each other, the blue and the orange will be more intense than when they’re used in combination with other colors.
When you use complementary colors, your video will look bold and full of action, especially when the colors are used at full saturation. The contrast between the colors creates a certain harmony and allows your audience to easily read your text and see your objects, even from a distance.
When not to use complementary colors?
You can use complementary colors when you want to make a color pop or make it appear brighter but not if you want to tone down the colors in your video. In that case you're better off with a less saturated shade of the complementary color, a neutral color or a color similar to the ones you’ve already used. In the end, it’s all about maintaining a balance that suits your message or your (personal) brand.
Not all complementary colors work well for your audience: red and green, for example, are not that easy to combine. If you’re using these colors in a text-background combination, it will seem as if your text is vibrating. This makes your text harder to read.
On top of that, people suffering from color blindness typically have difficulties distinguishing between red and green. So using these two colors together - to make them look more vibrant or intense - may not always have the desired effect.