Color Theory in Floristry

Applying the Color Wheel and Harmonies In Floral Design

Red symbolizes love and passion. Yellow invokes happy and bubbly vibes. White and blue elicits feelings of calm and serenity. In most visual art forms, the proper use of colors is vital in creating pieces. Floral design is no exception! Using color theory is the first step in designing exquisite floral arrangements.

Before this, we explored the origins and styles of different flower arrangements. Now, we'll take up the basics of color and design in the art of floristry. We'll go much deeper into easy concepts like ROYGBIV. From there, we'll go over more complex principles of color combination. Here's the brief rundown of the color theory that every florist in the industry needs!

Floral Color Wheel

Depending on how you want to use them, colors can be soft and gentle, bright and lively, or quiet and serious. But whatever combination you use, it's useful to refer to the color wheel! This will help your floral pieces look more lovely and exquisite. There are three basic terms in color theory: primary, secondary, and tertiary. Primary colors are the three main parts of the color wheel - red, yellow, and blue. These are the only colors that aren't created from the mix of other colors. Secondary colors are combinations of any two primary colors. Orange is the mix of red and yellow. Green is the mix of yellow and blue. Purple is the mix of blue and red. Tertiary colors are combinations of any primary color with any secondary color. Red orange, yellow orange, red violet, blue violet (indigo), and blue green (teal), are good examples of this.

Color Styles You Need To Know To Make Harmonious Arrangements

It's useful to use the color wheel in appropriate and creative ways. It can help speed up the process of selecting flowers, foliage and accessories. With this, you can create charming, harmonious arrangements and decor with ease. There are a million and one ways to mix your colors and styles to suit the theme and occasion! To launch your creative flow of ideas, you can use these four basic color harmonies. (Tip: Keep that color wheel in view for an easy focal point with these combinations.).

Complementary.

These are pairs of colors right across from each other on the color wheel. Examples include red and green, yellow and violet, and blue and orange. They create an exciting palette due to their sharp contrast to each other. This is ideal for building intense or radiant floral arrangements!

Analogous.

These schemes consist of three colors beside one another on the wheel. It the two most prevalent divisions of colors: warm (red, orange, and yellow) and cool (blue, green, purple). Florists match these color harmonies to various themes! Whether for solemn moods or exciting motifs, they mix well to yield a flowing look.

Monochromatic.

On a strict budget? These arrangements are easy on the pocket but pleasing to the eye! Simple yet elegant, they suit any theme or occasion with ease. Referred to as "greenery", they add the grace of nature's touch to any arrangement.

Triadic.

This scheme uses three colors in equal distance from each other on the color wheel. In floral arrangements, this appears in bunches of the primaries and secondaries. Florists often select subtler or lighter shades of the triad. They also aim for a mix of deep and soft shades for a pleasing, balanced aesthetic. Want a more detailed guide on making floral designs for specific containers or events? Check out our two-part series on how to craft floral arrangements!


Read all about Flower Ornaments in our next article.