Ready to level up your knowledge of color harmony so that you can create the best possible resources and marketing assets in your TPT business? This episode is packed with actionable ideas that you won’t want to miss.

Episode Highlights

  • A crash course in color harmony
  • 5 types of color harmonies
  • 8 tips for using color harmonies in your TPT business

Resources and Links

Learn more in this course made specifically for TPT sellers:



Kirsten 0:00

You're listening to the creative teacher podcast, a show for busy teachers looking for ways to engage, inspire and make an impact in their teacher businesses. I'm Kiersten, a teacher business owner who is all about simple and actionable tips, strategies and resources that result in wins, big or small. If you're looking for that extra spark of creativity, you've come to the right place. Let's dive in together.

Hello, and Happy New Year. Welcome to the very first episode of the creative teacher podcast in 2020. For I can't believe it is already 2024. It just seems like just yesterday, it was 2020. And that all happened. But yeah, we are here with a brand new episode with a brand new topic that I don't think I've really talked about that much before. And that is how you can select the right color palette for your TPT business. Of course, there are so many wonderful vibrant colors that we want to use. Similarly, fonts, but that's a whole other story. But it's really hard to know what colors go together really well. And sometimes we may think it looks really good. But then when you actually look at it on TPT or on your website or on your social media, you're like oh, these colors kind of clash like this is not working right here. So that is where color harmonies come in. And with color harmonies, you can select the right color palette for that. Today, we're going to be talking about what color harmony is. And we're also going to talk about five types of color harmonies that are more common and how you can utilize them and when to use them. And thinking about what types of brands might use them. And I'll also be sharing with you some ways to utilize color harmonies in your TPT business and resources that you create. So this is a really nice, jam packed episode talking about color palettes. So let's go ahead and dive in.

Let's talk about what color harmony is. color harmony is the property that certain color combinations have these combinations create contrasts that are harmonious and appealing to the eye. It looks really nice together, and it's just just goes together really well. Now one way to easily find color harmonies is through the use of a color wheel, which is the organization of all of the color hues around a circle. And it always shows the relationships between the primary colors and secondary colors. This can also be called a color circle. But typically you have the main three additive primary colors which would be red, green, and blue. And then you have anything that mix is between those colors. So red and blue would make magenta, red and green would make yellow and then blue and green makes cyan and all of those colors combined as they are spread out on the color wheel. If you ever look at a color wheel that makes up the primary and secondary colors, I'm not going to get too in depth on the color theory and all of that. That is something that is in my course graphic design for teacher sellers. But I did want to give you some background of how color harmonies come together. Another really great source that will help you kind of get a better idea of color harmonies is going to Adobe Color. If you type it in, you can see a color wheel. And you'll also be able to select different color harmonies in the top left hand corner, you'll be able to toggle down and select color harmonies. And then also the color mode is in what we just talked about, which is that RGB, red, green, blue additive primary color mode. So going off of that, I'm going to talk about five different types of color harmonies that you might be already using in your branding, or in your resources in your graphics on your website. So you'll probably hear yours, as I describe it and explain it to you.

So the first one is the mono chromatic color harmony. This is where you have a single base color that is shaded by adding more black or tinted by adding more white. And that is the whole color palette, it's just that core color. And then the shades of black intensive white, this creates more calm and reliability. So if you're a brand who typically goes off of one primary color and just uses maybe shades of that same color, or you know white and black, you're going to be having a monochromatic color harmony. So this is something in my own business, I kind of do, because I have that core pink color. And then I use just the different shades of that pink, mainly 10. So I usually add, I don't really add it, it doesn't have more shades, it's more like adding more whites intense in there. So you'll see it go from that core pink color to a little bit lighter, sometimes a little bit darker. But for the most part, I like to go a little bit lighter, and then have that black with the contrast.

The second type of color harmony is the analogous color harmony. This is where you have different colors located next to each other on the color wheel, this could be three to five different colors. And this is done. And it's a really great way to add visual interest, you can always create a calm, unified look. So this is where you can kind of get a little creative, where you can have like a purple and then some blues and it goes into cyan. So it's a nice way to kind of be similar in color, but not having the exact same color. So that is just one example. But you could also maybe see more warmer colors, that would be an analogous color harmony, you might see more blues and greens. That would be another example, you might see more purples and magentas and reds, it's a nice way to add visual interest again, and then just to be more unified in your overall look.

The third type of color harmony is triadic. This is where you've got three colors evenly spaced around the color wheel. So if you were to be looking at a color wheel right now, very easy colors that are considered triadic would be red, blue, and yellow. And then the other triadic would be purple, green, and orange. And then there's plenty of colors in between. If you ever go on to Adobe Color, you can play around with this and you can spin it around and see all of the different colors that are equally spaced around the color wheel. And this can be used to create drama and contrast without being too in your face. This is another great way to kind of standout in being more bold. However, if you don't want to be super in your face, you can always dial it down by adding tenths or shades to those three core colors.

The fourth color harmony that I'm going to talk about is a split. I'm going to try to describe it as best as I can. But let's say you have a base color and two colors adjacent to the directly opposing color on your wheel. So I will share with you my example as far as my brand, the southern teach designs, I have that core pink color of split. So the opposite of that core color. If you look on the color wheel, it's actually a very lime green color, kind of like a watermelon like if you're envisioning some type of watermelon and directly adjacent to that opposing color. You're going to see those complementary split colors so it's not directly across. It's going to be adjacent to that color directly across, so you're gonna still get some greens. One is a really deep lime green one is more of a yellow, lime green, this could be really good if you want to make an impact, but you don't want to be too flashy about it.

The fifth type of color harmony would be the complementary. So this is located opposite to each other on the color wheel, it's a great way to draw attention and express boldness and inspire action. This is usually used in a lot of lively youthful brands and designs. And it's also very much used with a lot of TPT businesses out there. So some examples would be some green hues. And then a directly across from that would be the red hues, you might have hues of yellow and blue, magenta and green. So it's definitely something that's very vibrant and lively. I would say a lot of TPT brands that I work with and see are mainly falling under the analogous color harmony and complementary color harmony. And then I would say a lot of softer brands, maybe classroom management or things like that might be using more mono chromatic or just having more tents added to their branding so that it's more of a calm atmosphere.

All right, next, I'm going to share with you eight tips to use color harmonies, and your TPT branding and TPT resources and just really anything as you're creating graphics and resources for your store.

The first tip I have for you is to understand color wheel basics, familiarize yourself with the color wheel, and the different primary and secondary and tertiary colors. This is a really great way for creating harmonious color schemes. A good stepping point is to just kind of familiarize yourself with Adobe colors or coolers. Those are two really great resources at finding color palettes and harmonies than colors that go together in general. Or you can also check out graphic design for teacher sellers, which is part of the creative teacher lab. It's specifically designed for TPT sellers just wanted to just point that out, it's a really, really, really amazing course that I know you'll love.

The second tip I have for you is to choose a color scheme. So think about a color scheme that suits the mood and purpose of your TPT resource. Common color scheme such as monochromatic, or analogous and complementary, these are three that we just talked about. Think about those different purposes for each of those color harmonies are you trying to create a calming SEL resource. If that's the case, maybe think about using a monochromatic shade. If you're thinking of a bright visual classroom poster, maybe think about using analogous colors or complementary or triad colors.

The third tip I have for you is to consider contrast, make sure there's enough contrast between text and background colors to make your content readable high contrast can improve legibility, especially for those resources that we create. One easy way is to go into the contrast checker in And this is just a really great way you can pop in the background color and then the text color. And you just put in the hex codes for that. And you can easily check to see the scoring on that. And it'll even give you some other feedback related to those two colors that you pick in there.

The fourth tip I have for you is to use a limited color palette. So don't get too color happy stick to a limited number of colors to maintain a clean and cohesive look. So thinking about three to five colors in a document or on a resource or on a graphic. That's really a great starting point. And then as far as overall branding, I would say the same. But of course this is not a hard or fast rule. I know that there are brands out there that might have up to 10 colors.

The fifth tip I have for you is to highlight important information. Use color to draw attention to key points or important information in your resources. This could be really effective as you're highlighting headers, or key concepts or interactive elements in your resource may be having the header text or subheading text in one color, or it could be highlighted in a shape. So you've got your resource that you've created. Let's say it's about text features and You highlight that not just with bold text, but also with maybe a different color, or a shape with that different color. And it's on that text as well.

The sixth tip I have is just to be mindful of accessibility, you want to make sure your resources are inclusive. So make sure your color combinations are easy for all users, such as those with visual impairments, use high contrast combinations, and consider providing alternative text for color coded information. This is also a really great thing to keep in mind for websites. And I know there are a lot of really great accessibility checkers. coolers, again is another one that you can easily pop in the hex codes and just test it out and see if this is something that works out and has that high contrast. If you have a website, you can go to a website called Accessibility And it's a free Ada and WCAG compliance checker, you just type in your URL and check to see if your website is assessable. And compliant. That's always a really great thing to have.

Alright, number seven, create consistency across resources. Establish a consistent color scheme across your resources to build brand recognition and make your resources and materials recognizable. So be consistent. I talked about this all the time, you want to be cohesive and clear. Have it on your storefront in your branding, in your social media. Everywhere you have a foot or present, you want to make sure you're consistent in some way. And one easy way to do that is through the colors you use.

And the last tip I have for you is to make sure to balance those warm and cool colors. It's always good to experiment and test things out. So make sure you are balancing different colors in your designs. Warm colors have that energy such as with the reds and oranges in yellow, and then the cool colors creates a calm and soothing atmosphere, the blues and the greens and the purples. And having some type of balance can convey the right mood for your resources and graphics that you have.

Alright, so hopefully those eight tips were helpful to you and also this episode on color harmonies. I'm going to plug in the graphic design for teacher sellers because this goes into even more depth about different aspects of graphic design such as color, typography, layout, and there is a video in there. That also walks you through how I am using seven principles of design in a resource and how I can keep this in mind as I'm creating resources. So if that's something you're interested in, you can head over to the southern teach forward slash enroll. It is open and it is at a very reasonable price. So I hope you can check that out.

Alright, thanks for tuning in and listening to the very first episode of the year. I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week.

Thanks for listening to the creative teacher podcast. If you enjoyed listening to today's episode, feel free to subscribe and leave a review. I'd love to hear your feedback. You can also follow me on Instagram at the southern teach dot designs. Have an amazing day.