The opposite of red, also known as the complement of red, is the color that has the highest contrast with red. This is traditionally listed as green in color wheels based on a 1892 model known as opponent process theory that suggests that humans perceive color as red versus green, blue versus yellow and black versus white. This theory is disputed in several ways and probably isn't completely accurate (see notes below). As such, the complements of red colors are listed below according to optics and the RGB color model.
NotesModern research (see reference below) suggests that the human eye uses red and cyan as opposites not red and green. This makes sense as red and cyan are complements in optical theory. As such, cyan and the complements above are possibly more accurate than traditional color wheels.In theory, if you mix complementary colors, the result is a shade of grey.
This is the complete list of articles we have written about color palettes.
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ReferencesPridmore, Ralph W.. "Single cell spectrally opposed responses: opponent colours or complementary colours?". Journal of Optics. October 2012.
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