In order to use colour effectively throughout your web designs, you will need to know some of the main colour concepts and terminology used. Understanding these concepts is the key to creating interesting and successful colour schemes.

The hue is basically an object’s colour. When people use label’s such as ‘blue’, ‘yellow’ or ‘red’ they are actually referring to a hue.

The chroma is the purity of a colour. A hue with a high chroma will have no grey, white or black in it. Adding grey, white or black to a hue increases its chroma. Chroma can be thought of as the brightness of a colour when it is compared to white.

Saturation is how a hue appears under certain lighting conditions. The easiest way to think about saturation is to consider it as pale versus pure hues.

Value refers to how dark or how light a colour is. Darker colours have the lowest values e.g. black is the colour with the lowest value. On the other hand, lighter colours have a higher value, with white having the highest value of all of the colours.

Adding grey to a hue creates tones. Tones tend to appear softer or duller than pure hues.

Adding black to a hue creates shades, making it darker. It is important to remember that shades are only created by adding black and that this term should not be confused with tints or tones.

Tints are formed by adding white to a hue, making it lighter. Any pure hue with white added to it is classed as a tint.

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