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In simple words, complementary colors are pair of colors that are located opposite to each other on the color wheel. It can also be defined as, complementary colors are pairs of colors which, when combined or mixed, cancel each other out (lose hue) by producing a grayscale color like white or black. When placed next to each other, they create the strongest contrast for those two colors.
The modern color theory uses either the RGB additive color model or the CMY subtractive color model, and in these, the complementary pairs are red-cyan, green-magenta, and blue-yellow. RGB color model is for the sensing, representation, and display of images in electronic systems, such as televisions and computers. CMY or CMYK model is used for color printing.
In the traditional RYB color model, the complementary color pairs are red-green, yellow-purple, and blue-orange. RYB color model is mainly used by artists working with traditional art, painting, and interior design.
When using complementary colors, it is important to use them in moderation. Too much contrast can be overwhelming and jarring. However, used correctly, complementary colors can create a stunning and eye-catching design.