Whether you’re building a new brand from scratch or creating an exciting new product, color can have a huge impact on its overall message and effectiveness. Certain color combinations have the power to catch our attention, generate emotion and ultimately make a lasting statement.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at some great color schemes that can help your brand make a big impact.
Combining colors on the color wheel: a quick overview
Understanding the color wheel and color harmonies (what works, what doesn’t and how color communicates) will help you combine colors, build a better brand and knowledgeably communicate with your designers and printers.
The color wheel consists of three primary colors (red, yellow, blue), three secondary colors (colors created when primary colors are mixed: green, orange, purple) and six tertiary colors (colors made from primary and secondary colors, such as blue-green or red-violet).
Draw a line through the center of the wheel, and you’ll separate the warm colors (reds, oranges, yellows) from cool colors (blues, greens, purples).
Warm colors are associated with energy, brightness, and action, while cool colors are often identified with calm, peace, and serenity. When you recognize that color has a temperature, you can understand how using them can impact your message.
When colors work together, they create a color scheme or color combination.
Complementary colors are opposites on the color wheel. Because there’s a sharp contrast between the two colors, they can really make imagery pop, but overusing them can get tiresome.
Analogous colors sit next to one another on the color wheel. When creating an analogous color scheme, one color will dominate, one will support and another will accent.
Triadic colors are evenly spaced around the color wheel and tend to be very bright and dynamic. They create visual contrast and harmony, making each item stand out while making the overall image pop.
Using the color wheel, you can create all sorts of great color schemes. It’s all about finding the right pairing for the right occasion.
33 beautiful color combinations for your next design
1. Pink and raisin
The high contrast between these two colors creates a bold, dynamic energy. The choice of bright pink evokes fun and youthfulness with a touch of femininity.
2. Red, sea-foam, jade and violet
This triadic-based combination presents muted, floral colors that bring to mind peace and renewal with a vintage flair.
3. Yellow, magenta, cyan and black
Nearly every print project is based on these four ink colors. Together, they can make up any color imaginable. Separately, they create a color scheme that’s bright, contemporary, and full of life.
4. Mustard and black
Yellow and black combine to create a feeling that’s masculine, modern, yet approachable. This combination also has the cultural connotation of meaning “danger” or “warning.”
5. Magenta, goldenrod, turquoise and brick
This multi-colored combination packs a lot of personality into one palette. As the most prominent color, yellow indicates friendliness and accessibility, while the accent colors add a tone of playfulness and maturity.
6. Shades of pink and brown
Pink is modern, youthful and luxurious, and using different shades together adds even more motion and depth to the design. Combining pink with dark brown adds an important level of contrast and seriousness.
7. Gold, charcoal and grey
A perfect combination of sunshine and seriousness. The gold evokes nature and cheerfulness, which combines perfectly with two different shades of black and grey that add a layer of maturity.
8. Navy, almond, red-orange and mango
Against the neutral almond, this color scheme of navy paired with fiery accents conveys trustworthiness and an energetic punch.
9. Tan, deep turquoise and black
On a natural, masculine tan base, this combination brings turquoise to the forefront to showcase its versatility as a color that evokes nature and rebirth.
10. Navy, ochre, burnt sienna and light grey
Neutral backgrounds help the natural colors of this earth-tone scheme spring off of their packaging.
11. Mauve, sapphire and powder blue
Together, the rich mauve and delicate powder blue of this color combination scream femininity. The vibrant sapphire adds a second layer of contemporary chic.
12. Blue, maroon and indigo
As this color scheme’s central color, blue conveys trust and accountability. As the gradient moves towards indigo and maroon, we experience cutting-edge passion.
13. Raspberry and shades of blue
Similar to the palette above, trusted blue forms the foundation of this combination, while the pinkish-purple addition of raspberry adds luxurious femininity.
14. Deep pine green, orange and light peach
As one of the least used brand colors, orange truly stands out in a crowd. This color invigorates and enlivens. Light peach adds a little youth and the deep pine green accents offer some warmth and natural comfort.
15. Sea-foam, salmon and navy
The perfect beachy palette. This pastel combination of sea-foam, salmon and navy showcases everyone’s favorite coastal colors and evokes the peacefulness and warmth that comes from a day at the ocean.
16. Rouge, green and magenta
Vibrant femininity, rich luxury and an accent of bold life. This brilliant combination packs a lot into just three simple colors and livens up any simple black and white design.
17. Teal, coral, turquoise and grey
This complimentary combination blends the peacefulness of blue-greens with little pops of coral passion. An elegant grey rounds out the palette.
18. Fuchsia, sepia, hot pink and dark violet
Brilliant warmth brings a golden hour sunset to life in this stunning combination. Three shades of different pinks and violets evoke luxury, while the sepia accent adds vintage friendliness.
19. Light pink, sage, sky blue and grape
Another beautiful tropical palette: these four colors bring to mind the best of beach life. Their pastel shades keep their personality young, modern, and lighthearted.
20. Beige, black-brown and tan
Three shades in the brown color family combine into a vintage-inspired palette that is both classic and serious, as well as warm and welcoming.
21. Sepia, teal, beige and sage
Perfect for a food product or restaurant, this organic color scheme combines four pastel earth tones to highlight nature and the environment.
22. Yellow-green, olive and forest green
These three shades of green are the perfect palette for this mint and lime beverage. Together, they combine into a brilliant blend of excitement and youthfulness.
23. Fuchsia, yellow and magenta
Modern: check. Young: check. Bold: check, check, check. This dynamic color combination doesn’t have to work hard to make an instant first impression.
24. Mustard, sage, and forest green
These three rugged tones hint at wood, trees and leaves—the same natural colors in the product itself.
25. Beige, slate and khaki
Two complimentary shades of brown lean masculine. An accent of khaki-grey adds a touch of elegance and maturity.
26. Turquoise and violet
Cool tones don’t have to mean subdued tones. This turquoise and violet pairing offers a high-contrast pop of excitement.
27. Light pink, green and sea-foam
A triad of soft shades: this combination blends natural greens and blues with a feminine, pink accent for a feeling of serenity, warmth, and luxury.
28. Scarlet, light olive and light teal
An extremely subdued take on the primary colors, this combination adds a lot of grey to keep the palette’s personality feeling serious and mysterious.
29. Red, yellow, cyan and bright purple
This palette is a party! With kid-friendly primary colors, you’ve got a combination that is full of joy, youth, and optimism.
30. Olive, beige and tan
A beautiful pairing of brown offers up serious professionalism. The olive offers a hint of nature. Together, this is a color scheme that conveys grounded maturity.
31. Shades of blue and green
Filled with vibrant, natural colors, this cool-toned combination still manages to capture a feeling of movement and life due to its high contrast.
32. Turquoise, mustard and black
This classic pairing of both a cool and warm tone evokes calmness and cheerfulness. The black adds a bold, contemporary accent.
33. Peach, salmon and teal
Salmon and peach are two shades that complement each other perfectly. The teal accent provides a second layer of depth.
Build your brand with flying color combinations
From color theory to classic combinations, we’ve taken a look at great color schemes from across the spectrum. Be it sleek and simple or edgy and eclectic, the right color palette will support your brand in every way, elevating it to become recognizable and iconic.
Go ahead, chase some rainbows.