Sunday, 28 March 2010

Phi Colours

I’ve looked at using Phi, the golden section, as a means of selecting colours and so far it seems very worthwhile to explore – there are so many variables to play around with, all the while using the same proportions. You could, for instance, draw a golden rectangle on  top of a colour wheel and take the colours marked by the four corners. A similar test could be made with a the Phi triangle and pentagon. I plan to post more on this when I can.

The images below show a simple start to choosing colours with the golden section – Fibonacci’s sequence is a simplified version which avoids decimal numbers and has therefore been used here.

I took white as a base and a blue colour…reducing the blue by equal steps 100 times down to pure white. You can then make a selection of colours using the Fibonacci sequence – 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89. Not much point using the first few, as there’ll be very little difference between them. Also, even though I started with my 100th shade of blue in the sequence of 100 steps, I don’t use it in the end because it does not relate to those selected with the Fibonacci sequence – the number after 89 is 144…not 100. You would, ideally, start at white and add an equal amount of blue at each step.

Anyway, the result looks like a quite pleasing group of colours with good contrast and yet comfortable similarity. The trick is, I think, to go with the largest contrast first (1:89 in this case) and then take the neighbouring selections of each number– 55 and 2, instead of, say, a selection of numbers 1, 21 and 55 (they don’t link up in the sequence). In geometry things begin to lose clarity a little if you don’t use numbers that link up within the proportional sequence so it most likely would work the same way with colour.

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