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Color Harmony Calculator

A color harmony is a set of colors that work well together. If you mix your colors from the same set of pure primaries, your colors will automatically harmonize because they contain the same color components. You can achieve even more effective and harmonious color schemes by taking advantage of certain geometric relationships that exist between the colors in a color model.

The color harmony calculator uses a three-dimensional color model, instead of the two-dimensional color wheel, to represent the full range of colors that can be created by mixing the three primaries — yellow, red and blue — in varying proportions. You can use the color harmony calculator to calculate the color formulas for the following color schemes:

  • Analogous — A set of three evenly spaced adjacent colors.
  • Analogous colors are pleasing to the eye when there is sufficient contrast between the colors. In your designs, let one color dominate, use the second color for support and the third color as an accent. The color harmony calculator returns up to three analogous harmonies for your base color and contrast — because the calculations are based on a three-dimensional color model.
  • Complementary — A set of two colors, consisting of a base color and its opposite.
  • Complementary pairs of color are vibrant because of the high contrast between the colors. You can tone down the intensity of a color by mixing in a little bit of it's complement. Use complementary colors carefully in your designs to avoid too much tension.
  • Split Complementary — A set of three colors consisting of a base color and two colors adjacent to the complement of the base color.
  • Split complementary harmonies are a good choice to use in your designs because they have the strong visual contrast of complementary color schemes without the high tension. The color harmony calculator returns up to twelve split complementary harmonies for your base color and contrast between the two adjacent colors — again, because the calculations are based on a three-dimensional color model.
  • Triadic — A set of three maximally spaced colors.
  • Triadic harmonies work best when one color dominates and the other two colors are used as accents.

Enter the formula for your base color in parts or percentages and select a harmony type. For analogous and split complementary harmonies, select the amount of contrast between the adjacent colors in the harmony. If you aren't sure how much contrast to use, start with Medium. Click on the Submit button to calculate and display the formulas of the colors in the harmony. Round the results up or down to values you can measure with a plastic syringe or graduated cylinder. For example, if the formula is 5.9% Yellow, 78.4% Red and 15.7% Blue, round the values to 6% Yellow, 78.5% Red and 15.5% Blue. The numbers should add up to 100.

The results are based on mathematical calculations, not on the reality of dyeing real fiber with real dyes, so it's important to test the formulas to make sure you like the colors and color combinations before dyeing your yarn or other fiber for a project. You can quickly pre-screen each color before sampling on fiber by painting the color onto a white coffee filter or by adding a few drops of the color to hot water in a clear container and swirling it to mix.

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Enter the formula of your base color in parts or percentages.

Adjacent colors contrast: