Color Systems

In consideration of defining your application's Context Colors, there are a number of Color System design philosophies that provide insight on this topic.

This is a rather large topic. You can choose to follow one of these designs, or simply derive your own. Regardless, it is worth a quick review, to get a better feel for some of the concepts.

I do not claim to be an expert on this topic. However a quick web search reveals a few Color Systems:

I am most familiar with Material, where they define:

  • Primary Color:

    A primary color is the color displayed most frequently across your app’s screens and components. It can also be used to accent elements, if you don’t have a secondary color.

    To create contrast between elements, you can use lighter or darker tones of your primary color. The contrast between lighter and darker tones helps show division between surfaces, such as between the status bar and a toolbar.

  • Secondary Color

    A secondary color is used to accent select parts of your UI. It can be complementary or analogous to your primary color, but it should not simply be a light or dark variation of your primary color. It should contrast with elements that surround it and be applied sparingly as an accent.

    Secondary colors are best used for:

    • Buttons, floating action buttons, and button text
    • Text fields, cursors, and text selection
    • Progress bars
    • Selection controls, buttons, and sliders
    • Links
    • Headlines

    Using a secondary color is optional. It’s not necessary if you use variations of your primary color to accent elements.

Color Tools

You can find find a number of interactive tools that will assist you in getting started. This will help define the Context Color structure you wish to use.

As an example, the Material IO Color Config Tool is a sandbox playground that allows you to interact with various colors and see how they look in various scenarios. Once you are happy with your color selection, you can simply translate your chosen colors to "close" colors in the tailwind color pallet.

Accent Colors

Ever wondered how designers find the perfect color combinations? Well there is a formula for that! It uses a color wheel invented by Isaac Newton in 1666!

There are several color combinations that you can use, to ensure your colors are in harmony ... read all about it here: Color theory and the color wheel.

You can use a Color Calculator to assist in the process. Simply seed it with one of tailwind's base colors, calculate your accent color, and translate it back to a "close" tailwind color ... Easy Peasy!

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