Colors arranged opposite to each other on the color wheel are called complementary colors. When mixed, each complementary reduces the saturation of the other towards grey. In other words, they desaturate each other.
The term desaturation thus refers to the loss of luminosity as a result of the mixture of the complementary color. In contrast, when placed side by side, complementary colors make each other appear more bright. This is a complementary contrast. The contrast between them is one of the most powerful and is marked by a sense of contrast as well as unity.« Back to Glossary Index