graphic design

Color theory: Tints and shades

Graphic Designers deal with tints and shades in their work. Tints and shades deal with the contrast of dark and light which determine the strength of the colors of an image, rather then the hue. So it is the contrast in values that effects readability of text, for instance, not the hue in itself. Tints and shades are the less saturated version of a color and are are used more often then the full saturated version of a color. Diluting a fully saturated color results in tints and shades.

You can see in this example how tints effect readability.

Shade: a darker version of a hue, shades are sometimes described as hues with black added. Can be referred to as “added dark”

Tint: a lighter version of a hue, tints are sometimes described as hues with white added. Can be referred to as “added light”

Tinting will increase the light reflective properties of a hue. A small amount of white added to a hue will create a strong and brilliant tint and create a stronger effect then the original saturated hue. Shades do the opposite of this. They dillute the intensity of a hue, since black aborbs all wavelengths of light. Using grey can dilute a pure hue, as well as adding some of the compliment of the color.

Here is an example that shows how tint and shade alter the hue of pure red.


Pioneers of compositing

What is compositing? It is the art of combining a multitude of processes and objects to create a complete and final piece of art. Though compositing has been around longer then the advent of computer design tools, todays technology has allowed designers flexibility and precision in their creations.

Four design and art pioneers who created well known and studied layouts and composites are Neville Brody, April Greiman, Stefan Sagmeister and Barbara Kruger



The power of Masking as a design tool

The Masking tool

Masking is a wonderful design tool. It’s used in print, web, and video. It can be used to hide things or reveal things and it allows you to create intricate composition.

The masking tool can be used to hide or expose. It can hide things from sight, but the content is still there and fully editable, separate from the mask. With the creative software used in the design industry, you can resize the towel, change its shape, reposition it, and even use it to restrict certain effects to specific areas. Masking tools also reveal things that were previously hidden. With software like Illustrator, you can create all different shapes that will reveal the composition beneath it.

Masking is the process of making some areas visible, and some not. These are the two approaches to using the masking tool.