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The benefits of creating colourways



Today I wanted to come in and talk to you about the benefits of creating colourways of your designs.

What is a colourway?

A colourway is a design that is created in an alternate colour palette to the original design. So essentially you’re going to keep the design elements the same and it’s just going to be the colours that change within the design. As a generalisation, usually you would use the same number of colours in the original design as you use in colourway e.g. if your original designs has six colours, so will your colourway although that doesn’t always have to be the case.

Keeping the number of colours the same

Keeping the same number of colours in alternate colourways is a good idea when you are screen printing your design as you have already paid to have your screens prepared for a set number of colours. This means that the printers only have to change the colour that they are printing with as all the screens have already been prepared and ready to use. This will also save on costs as new screens do not need to be prepared.

Reasons to create alternate colourways

One of the reasons it’s a good idea to create colourways of your design is to give your design a better chance of being sold as colourway give greater options to the consumer. I’m sure you’ve experienced going to buy something and you’ve thought, I love the pattern on that product, but I don’t really like the colours.

So this is what a colorway does, it offers alternate versions of the same design to appeal to a larger customer base. The great thing about doing colourways is that not only is it cost effective but it also saves time as  it doesn’t actually take you that much extra work to create a colourway as opposed to creating a whole brand new design and it is also a great way to offer more choice to your client by offering colourways of your designs.

Colourways with the same tonal values

When you are creating your colour palettes for your designs (both original and alternate) you want to think carefully about what sort of look and feel you are trying to create.

There are a couple of ways you can go about it. First of all, you can create a colourway with the same look and feel of your original design but just in different colours. For example, if your original design has a light base, then you could use a light base of similar tones for the alternate design e.g. if your original design had a dark blue base, your alternate design might use a dark brown base.

Essentially, you would be changing the colours so that your alternate colourway would use different hues but in similar tones to your original design. This would result in your designs having the same look and feel.

Colourways with the contrasting tonal values

Alternatively, you can create a completely different look and feel to your design by contrasting the way the colours are used within the design. For example, if you had a light base in one design your alternate design could use a dark base. This would result in completely changing the look and feel of your design e.g. one version may feel like and bright while the other may feel dark and moody.

By creating colourways of your designs you will open your designs up to a larger consumer base and give your designs a greater chance of being sold. It’s also a great way to repurpose old designs.

The benefits of creating colourways

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