Element of Tone

Tone

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)

Tone can:

·   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.

 
These are tones of black all the way from white to black. Designers use the word 'percentage' to describe the 'weight' or strength of the tone.
These are tones of black all the way from white to black. Designers use the word ‘percentage’ to describe the ‘weight’ or strength of the tone.

 

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

tone in three colours
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.

Donna hay website
Donna hay website

Go to www.donnahay.com for a better view. (This image made, 2013)

Tone design Examples:

Gabriel Tam RCA Vehicle Design 002 images Matching-tonal-values-001 silver_black_two_tone_mix_1 Sleek-Soft-Tone-Kitchen-Design-From-Pedini-550x337 unity eagle face FigureDrawing_2ToneConteHand

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