Choosing good colour combinations for my paracord bracelets is something that I always struggle with and I know I’m not alone in this. For several years now I’ve stuck to about 4 main colours of paracord which I know work and paired them with a black or dark gray cord. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with this, pairing an accent colour with a dark base colour can be really powerful and work well.
However, I’ve tried multiple times to be adventurous with mixing 3 or 4 colours on a modified sanctified bracelet and more often than not I’ve not liked the results. This is why I decided to write this article, to look into the different ways to get colour inspiration, learn a little about colour theory and to hopefully inspire you to be more adventurous with your colours too.
I could spend a lot of time waffling on about colour theory, don’t worry I’m not going to. Instead I’m going to point you in the direction of a great article over at 99designs.co.uk which explains it better than I ever could.
To sum up the important bits…
There are warm and cool colours on the colour wheel and these should be taken into consideration when deciding what kind of mood you’re going for with your colours.
Warm colors can be associated with energy and brightness, whereas cool colors can be identified with peace and tranquility.
Three Most Popular Ways to Pick a Colour Scheme
Complimentary colours are found on opposite sides of the colour wheel, eg. yellow and purple. Because of their contrast they can really make a bracelet design pop.
Analogous colours are found next to each other on the colour wheel, eg. red, orange and yellow. They compliment each other really well. The best way of combining them is to let one colour dominate, one support and the other accent the design. This can be done by using micro cord as the accent colour and 550 paracord for the other two, eg. red and orange sanctified bracelet in 550 cord with a yellow micro cord stitching or endless falls modification.
Triadic colours are equally spaced around the wheel in the shape of a triangle. They tend to be bright and add impact to a design while still having a good sense of harmony. As with the analogous colour combination, I’d suggest using two colours as the main colours and the third as an accent so that you don’t overpower the design.
Inspiration From Nature
Fellow paracorder Matt Petersen suggested this to me recently and I have to agree that it’s a brilliant way of finding colour combinations that work. A quick google or pinterest search for ‘colour inspiration nature’ will return a wealth of pre-created colour charts based on photos of animals, landscapes, flowers, etc. When you find a colour chart that you like, you can then buy the closest matching paracord colours from somewhere like Paracord.EU which have hundreds of different colours and shades of paracord to choose from.
Inspiration From Graphic Design
Graphic designers work with colour every day of their life and would be classed as colour experts. So why not take advantage of their expertise by looking at logos and other design items and take inspiration from their colour schemes.
A lot of graphic designers use colour inspiration tools, such as Adobe Color CC which shows a range of pre-designed colour swatches and lets you create your own based on colour type, such as analogous or triad. You don’t have to use all of the colours that are shown, you can pick two or three that work well. These tools are great for coming up with colour combinations for more complicated bracelets, such as modified sanctified bracelets as you can use four or five colours in some designs.
Inspiration From Other Paracorders
During the #knotgames2018 I was blown away with some of the amazing colour combinations that were used. Here are a few of my favourite colour combination designs: