Seven Basic Color Guidelines
- color harmony in cardmaking - 

Here are some color guidelines for choosing the right colors for our handmade cards.

Before you sit down to create your homemade cards, just run through these basic guidelines and you should be able to decide on a color palette for the card and thus make sure that there's balance and color harmony for your handmade art.



And once you have decided on this, you will be able to easily look for relevant materials to use for creating the card.


Seven Basic Color Guidelines

  1. Know who you are making that particular card for? The sex and age of the person, his or her likes and dislikes - all these are deciding factor in choosing colors when making cards for a particular person in mind.
  2. What is the occasion? A festive or holiday card calls for a festive color palettes whereas a Sympathy Card needs a more subdued set of color palettes.
  3. What is the message you want to bring to the recipient? Colors communicate emotions and many times, speak more effectively than words. For example, red is a powerful color. It's the color of love - which is very appropriate for a Valentine Card. It's also the color that warns of danger which we see being used for traffic lights and danger signs.
  4. Set a color tone by choosing a dominant color. This could be a light tint of a hue or its dark shade. It is this main color that will set and bring out the overall effect of your card design. Then add one or two accent colors that match the first color you have chosen.
  5. Do not use too many colors in your design. Two or three colors should be sufficient. More than that, you will need to be very careful that the colors don't crash or cancel out one another.
  6. Use black, gray or white to bring harmony to your color scheme. Black, grey and white go well with any color palettes. Use either one of these to bridge two strong contrasting colors. You can use this for texts, frame or just the outline of your pictures or cliparts.
  7. To play safe, use the colors of nature. Natural colors are familiar colors that we see around us all the time. For example, the color of autumn; brown, orange and red.


So lets hope that the above seven basic color guidelines will help you in making beautiful handmade cards for friends and family members.

Have fun and be creative!


back to The Study of Color for the Card Designer


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Hi! I'm Flora Tan and I love making greeting cards. Do you? 

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