tints, tones and shades

tints, tones and shadesTINTS

Adding white to a pure color creates tints. Tints are often associated with pastel colors because they are softer and subtle. You can mix any of the basic twelve colors together and then add an amount of pure white to get a tint or pastel palette. In the graphic design world, you can adjust the opacity in your software to create a tint.


Adding black and white, or gray, to a pure color, creates tones of a color. Most of the colors we see in our world on a daily basis are tones of a pure color. Tones have the qualities of a pure color but are not as intense, they are “toned down.”


Adding black to a color creates shades. Shades can range from medium to very dark colors depending on the amount of black added to the color. Black should always be added with caution because it can easily become overpowering. Increasing the contrast will also produce a deeper shade of a color.

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Susan Sullivan

Susan lives in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex area with her husband and children. She is an avid distance runner, environmentalist, part-time beekeeper, chicken farmer and amateur photographer.

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