I am looking at the Cadbury Dairy Milk colors on this link and obviously the colors are well matched and complementary.

So I try to generate something similar using a tool like Adobe color wheel but I really can't seem to be able to do it.

Any help to figure it out will be very appreciated.

NB: There are other questions about suggestions for tools to use to create palette. Adobe kuler and paletton are among the popular recommendations, but using them in the obvious/standard ways doesn't lead to this specific color combo, hence the question.


2 Answers 2


Use the personalized option and move each color selector individually.

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Design is not a recipe, it should be a methodology, and fortunately, it still has one human component of "taste" and personal preferences.

Complementary does not mean an exact mathematical opposite. It is also relative, because there are many "opposites" depending on which you define as the opposite.

Color is a 3D solid, not a 2 D circle; there are several color models, each having its own opposites. Lab, RGB+CMY, RYB, etc, even if you want an "exact opposite" you still have room to choose from.

Take a look at this: Is there a standard for color wheels? I have some observations on the color wheel used in that website.

  • 1
    Hola Rafael, this is really nice, thank you. Now I can use it to figure out suitable greens (which is actually my main problem). You are right that there is "room to choose". Because I wanted to make it a little more objective (because I am not good at inventing palettes), I kinda reverse-engineered how to get the Dairy Milk colors - first choose the middle tan shade, the complementary of that is an indigo blue, and second, check the Analogous colors for that blue - it includes the purplish shade - which is what we want because we want to add a little red to make the blue color more exciting.
    – ahron
    Commented Jun 22, 2021 at 3:57

Color theory, or atleast its naive implementation, is almost certainly somehow broken. Why?

If you are selecting based on a color wheel. Then your entire selection crieria is perdicated on the fact that the color wheel is correct. But you have many different color wheels. Thus many different selections are possible to fullfill the result it just depends on what colorwheel you use.

Color science answers your question here better (as opposed to color theory). It turns out that we can measure what the diametrically oppsite color of each color is. Because we can measure the after glow of the color. We can also see how the sensors are laid out on the retina. So we have concluded that the oppiste of red is green and the oppsite of blue is yellow.

Color science also tells us that there is a fancy white balance on top of the system. So you should be able to put a color filter on top of the system and it should work just as well because the whitebalance shoukd handle this. OK so if you now put a red filter with a hint of orange on top you should be able to move them into a position where they are allmost dimetrically opposed colors.

This nicely explains why the color wheel construction matters as little as it does. But also explains that the color theory aspect probably has no super deep meaning after all.

The exact colors problably jitter a bit because they were almost certainly selected form some color mixing guide book.

  • Very insightful, thanks for explaining. If the colors were taken from a book, the printers inks would also have played a significant role. I know from firsthand experience that what is seen even on a 100% sRGB monitor is not necessarily/exactly what gets printed, it depends on ink/paper/etc.
    – ahron
    Commented Jun 22, 2021 at 10:58

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