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How to Use the Colour Matching Guide to Find the Value of a Colour

I found this Colour Matching Guide and think it’s a nifty tool to help you find the value of a colour.  In fact, using it will make you an expert in finding the value of a colour and then putting together the right value contrast for you.

How to Use the Colour Matching Guide to Find the Value of a Colour

Watch how easy it is to use in this short video.

You may want to find the value for each colour in your colour swatch, and then you can quickly and easily figure out the value contrast of any outfit you’re putting together.  You’ll know if it’s the right value for you or if it’s too low or high.

  • If you are a low contrast – stick to colours on the same level – blue lines
  • If you are medium low contrast – move only one level away  –  purple lines
  • If you are medium contrast – Jump over a level either up or down to create the right value contrast – pink lines
  • If you are medium high contrast – combine colours that are either a light with a medium dark, or dark with medium light – green lines
  • If you are high contrast – choose colour combinations from the top and bottom of the scale – red line

How to use this nifty tool to become an expert and choosing the value of a colour and creating the right value contrast in your outfits

The easiest way of thinking about value contrast is that it’s like a set of stairs.  This tool will help you walk up and down (or jump if that’s right for you) the value contrast scale.

When you’re choosing a print, how do you know what contrast it is and how to choose the right value and colour contrast prints to flatter you?


In the video, I talk about my “stair” concept of value contrast. When thinking about value contrast, you can think about them like a set of stairs.

How to Understand Value Contrast - the stairs concept - click here for more details

High-value contrast – jump from top to bottom step (the easiest example of high value contrast person is Snow White, white skin, black hair, she has the extreme from the light to dark – the top to bottom step).

Medium-High value contrast – jump from the top step to the 2nd bottom step, or from the bottom step to the 2nd top step (so dark to medium light or light to medium dark).

Medium value contrast – jump from the top to the middle step, or middle to bottom. OR step all the way up or down, but no more than 2 steps at a time.

Medium-low value contrast – jump just 1 step away from your starting step

Low value contrast – stay on the step.

How to Break Contrast Rules

I show you how to break your contrast guidelines based on your ideal value and the overall value of the print. Also how to break your colour contrast guidelines based on the intensity of colour.

Using a medium colour to create a medium contrast from high

Here is an example of how I’ve used the pink of my tee and pink pattern with green edges in my scarf to create a medium value contrast with the dark jeans and white jacket providing a high value contrast. It’s easy to break the contrast rules when you know how!

Get your colour matching palette here now!

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