Which colour are you today?

Ji Kang
3 min readOct 24, 2020

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I am a UX designer with a fashion background. (Precisely 11years of education + professional experience in London, Paris, and Seoul). Regardless of which design industry you are in, if you are a designer you probably heard/experience about something to do with colour. It could be making a colour chart, a key colour theme for an upcoming collection, the main UI colour for a new project, etc.

Everyone has their own taste, people have their own colour-tone preference. Some like vivid, bright tone, some(me) like dusky, blur, opacity maximum 38%(designer talk right here) and the list goes on and on. Ironically my own wardrobe, my fashion design collections, and UX/UI projects have all different colour tones.

Digital Print design (2015) and personal collection (2014), Still generally dark tone but juxtaposed with point colors.

Yes yes, lot of people already mentioned “Fashion people wear black, it looks fierce, glamorous, etc” but not at all. Black coloured garments are just easy for me to wear head to toe without spending too much time, it’s easy! (also if I spill coffee, no one will notice…)

There are many different colour tones in one colour. If you are a woman who does makeup regularly, you probably heard about “Warm tone & Cool tone” of your skin. Take a look at this grey colour chart example.

“50 shades of grey” wasn’t a figurative title eh?

As you can see there are so many different types of “grey” plus, as a designer, choosing a one or two-tone of the right colour and somehow combine it with another colour on every season can be quite agonizing. Besides, the colour is effective to the audience and their mind too.

#ColourTherapy — and this is just a basic colour chart too.

Each colour element can give a completely different atmosphere, mood, and emotional changes. (Told you, not easy for designers to choose colours every time!)

Green is the color of nature. It symbolizes growth, harmony, freshness, and fertility. Green has strong emotional correspondence with safety. Dark green is also commonly associated with money.

After I study about UX design, I realized that the colour use in UX/UI is quite different than fashion design. Take this website as a reference, they used a similar colour palette as a theme. Can’t really tell which colour they used exactly right?

If we translate the colour use of the website to palette, it would be similar to this. They chose a concept of their company, select the initial colour charts, simplified few and there are the finalized colour palette. As you can see you can tell that there are a lot of Green tones of colours. Interestingly the grey colour you see on the far left also contains some green too. Similar colour charts gives a calm, elegant, and timeless ambience. Therefore you can easily spot these tones from luxury fashion brands, projects that require trustworthy and transparency.

I found https://color.adobe.com/create/color-wheel extremely helpful whenever I worked on the projects. Also, there are lots of open sources are available on various websites.

Next time I’ll talk about the complementary colours (Which I ended up use a LOT in my UX projects!)

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Ji Kang

Former luxury fashion designer, currently focusing on UX/UI design