What Color Theory goes into designing camouflage?

I don’t have an actual project, but I saw this photo today

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And noticed that even thought the person is in front of a white background, their jacket still allows them to look relatively flat, and blended in, like a pile of wet leaves. If someone were half-looking at the photo, they may not even realize that’s a person.

I know not all camouflage is looks the same, but is there any color theory applied when designing it? If so, what?


Camouflage–in the context of clothing–works due to the patterns more so than the colors–though the color obviously has to match the surroundings or else it will stand out.

The patterns in camo break up any discernible shadow lines–which is what can give an object volume. Hence, the ‘flatness’ that you see in the image.

Back to color, the only real color theory is that you want to use a palet that matches the terrain you are in. Tans for desert, greens for jungle/forest, white for snow. And more recently, blues and grays for urban.

Wikipedia has a rather interesting and exhaustive list of camo patterns:


Source : Link , Question Author : MDMoore313 , Answer Author : DA01

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