Tone is the ‘value’ of a colour. We speak about tone when we discuss ‘light’ and ‘dark’. Pictures can be made entirely from tone, without colour. This is the nature of a black and white photograph. Look below for a table of tonal values from white to black.
Tone in black and white (mono tone)
· be used to represent things, objects, people or places in descriptive or symbolic ways
· communicate emotions, feelings or ideas
· appeal to our senses
· be used for practical purposes.
Colours can be in different tones too. Look below for the three primary colours in different tones from light to dark.
Tone in three colours
You can see that there are light and dark tones in these three colours. Can you tell which colours are warm or cool colours?
*Note: We need to remember not to confuse the terms ‘light and dark’ with ‘warm and cool’ colours. Both warm and cool colour can be light or dark toned.
Consider the roles of tone, colour and contrast in creating an effective hierarchy in this web page. It is a sophisticated design that presents a lot of information in a highly organised and gentle way.
Go to www.donnahay.com for a better view. (This image made, 2013)
Tone design Examples: