It’s finished! My self-reference for color combinations, completed and formatted for you, is finally completed.
The file is $5.99 – I promise you’ll find enough colors here to keep you occupied for weeks!
Each of these combinations, no matter how unusual or difficult to “swallow”, was drawn from a painting, a photograph of nature, an Hermes scarf, or some other place where the colors seemed to be happy and compatible together.
The thing I learned from this, more than anything else, is that if you really WANT to put specific colors together, you can. There seem to be no limits in the world to what colors appear together; you just have to get out there and look for the examples.
There are, in fact, two pages of color schemes for each pair of neutral colors. For example, if you’re interested in black and denim, the first page would be under the main heading Black, and the subheading Denim. Conversely, there’s also a page that has the main heading Denim, with the subheading of Black. On these “pairs” of pages, you’ll probably see a duplicate or two (since I just worked through the pages in order!), but there should be a wide variety of combinations to stimulate thought and consideration.
Each page is numbered, and each combination on the page has an associated letter label. This way, using the combination of page and letter, we’ll be able to more easily reference specific combinations when we want to talk about them.
I’ve also included a masking tool (better known as a sheet in which you can cut a hole!) that you can print onto opaque, sturdy paper, and then cut. If you cover all of the other color schemes on a page, you can get a better feel for the one at which you’re looking – you don’t get any “peripheral vision pollution”. (yes, I made that up)
If you’re viewing this on the PDF, you can always enlarge it so that you can only see one scheme at a time. This way, you can also see that the little shapes that make up each grouping do not fit together tightly – this was definitely a hand-crafted project!
Please, when you’ve chosen a favorite combination, send me a note or leave a comment here, and I’ll use the combination as the basis for a travel wardrobe.
While I think it makes sense to focus on two or three accent colors, I think it’s possible to put together a very functional wardrobe that includes a LOT of accents. For example, don’t forget that every shade from very lightest to very darkest of your neutral colors should have a place in your wardrobe. And if you introduce accents into your wardrobe in the way that I have done recently in the Common Colors series (i.e. a garments with one or two accessories), you can have as much variety as you find comfortable. Just be sure not to neglect your core neutral wardrobe in your passion for color!
You will probably notice, as I have, that certain accent combinations show up frequently. When you introduce a shade of green into a color scheme, the whole picture suddenly begs for the color wheel opposite of red or orange. Similarly, pink and soft blue are always drawn to each other (not quite opposites, but you get the idea). In PowerPoint, the application I used, there are over 16.7 million possible individual colors; I think I’ve seen them all.
I’ve made a point in some color schemes to include black and white as the accent colors. While that seems contrary to the spirit of accent, I think we need to bear in mind that there are a LOT of neutral combinations that can work well with black and white, and which will gain a lot of versatility from these most basic of basics.
Let me know what you think. And thank you so much, as always, for supporting The Vivienne Files, and me. It’s my labor of love.
Hugs all around,
PS – You can find the latest Pantone Color Planner and other documents in the Planning Documents section of the website.