7 color combinations and how to apply them to your designs

    7 color combinations and how to apply them to your designs

    Have you ever wondered why some designs receive lots of attention, while others can’t get a single like? Of course, there are dozens of reasons here,...

    Have you ever wondered why some designs receive lots of attention, while others can’t get a single like? Of course, there are dozens of reasons here, but your color choices are at the top of the list.

    Now, the color combinations you’re using in your design project are not just a secondary attribute of a good visual. In fact, the colors you use have the power to transmit your brand’s idea and set a certain mood in your communication.

    In crafting your next design project, you want to be sure all colors complement each other, while presenting a consistent, on-brand color scheme. 

    So, if you’re wondering how to make a good color palette choice for your project — keep reading, we’ve got you covered.

    How to choose a color palette for your next design 

    Choosing the right color palette for your next design is a very responsible process; it needs to be approached with all due respect and, ideally, unified. Below, we’ve prepared a selection of the best practices that will help you not make a mistake when picking the best color combination.

    Set a clear goal for your project

    Every great color choice starts with setting a clear goal for your project. Here, you need to align with your brand’s strategy. As you start, ask yourself these questions: 

    • Who are you designing for? Who is your target audience?
    • What emotions do you want to evoke with your design project? 
    • What is the goal are you trying to achieve with your project?

    With these questions answered, it will be easier for you to define a proper color palette. Here, you can also do a little research on which colors are more appealing to your target audience. 

    Grasp the basics of color theory

    Now, color theory is your go-to guideline for choosing a color combination that will work just great. Color theory says colors fall into a couple of categories. The color wheel presents a palette of 12 basic colors — these are primary, secondary and tertiary colors. Let’s recap what these are:

    • Primary colors are red, blue, and yellow
    • Secondary colors are created from a combination of primary colors. These are orange, green, and purple
    • Tertiary colors are combinations of primary and secondary colors

    Color properties 

    However, these are just basic colors — you can do a lot by mixing up their properties. Here’s what you need to know about them:

    • Color saturation is how opaque or bold the color is
    • Color value is the lightness or darkness of the color
    • Color chrome is the purity of the color, with no white, black, or gray added to it

    Color associations

    • Red is associated with passion, power, and energy
    • Blue transmits the idea of calmness, stability, and trust. It’s widely used by communication platforms — think Facebook or Twitter
    • Green is the color of safety, growth, and freshness 
    • Yellow is often associated with joy, happiness, and bright emotions 
    • Orange is the color of creativity and success
    • Black is a classic color that transmits mystery. It’s often used for luxury brands
    • White is commonly associated with youth and purity

    Keep up with color trends

    Each year has its trendy color. Make it a habit to check out color trends of the year. For example, 2022’s color is Very Peri, as stated by the Pantone Color Institute. This doesn’t mean you have to include it in your next design project — but it pays to at least know this color trend. 

    In 2022, you also want to pay attention to these color trends — nature-related hues, minimalism-inspired color choice, psychedelic color schemes, and Y2K-inspired pastels and metallics.

    Keep up the pace with what other brands are doing. See what colors fashion brands are using in their palettes. Look up projects by famous designers from all over the world. Research what your competitors are up to with their color choices. 

    If you want to differentiate from others, you can go for previous years’ color trends as well. Check out what was popular in 2007, 2011 or 2019. Can you make use of them in your designs? 

    Know which platform you’re designing a visual for

    The type of platform you plan to post the visual on itself might dictate your color choice. It’s important to note that the same colors will look different when presented online and offline. So, if you’re designing printed brochures, check to see what the colors will look like in real life with your printing company. 

    When designing, also mind how your visuals will work with the surroundings. That is, if you’re coming up with any form of outdoor advertising, make sure your color choice is a good fit for the location.

    As for social media, you want to pay special attention to certain color options for every social media. Take the interfaces of the platforms you’re posting on into consideration:

    • Facebook. Some great color schemes here include bright colors like yellow, purple, red, and orange. This is because the Facebook interface is white and blue, and these colors make a great combination with warm colors.
    • Pinterest. How does one pick colors here? Opt for red, purple, and pink, as they are known to promote sharing. 
    • Instagram. Here, your top choices are shades of blue, pink, and yellow. In fact, images using these colors are known to perform better than others. 
    • Twitter. On this social media, it’s best to use yellow, black, blue, and white.

    Stay color consistent

    Last but not the least, you still have to be color consistent in your choices. Now, if your brand kit consists of yellow, green and white, it will be strange to use hints of red in your design project. Staying color consistent means you use colors that are on-brand, and generally go well together.

    Top 7 color palettes by VistaCreate 

    How about choosing your color palette from VistaCreate’s premade palettes? This way, you can be 100% sure that the colors complement each other. You can always check the full range of palettes, but we’ll give you an overview of our seven favorite ones.

    So, here’s a short color palette guide from VistaCreate:

    1. Game Color Palette

    These fancy colors are bound to instantly attract your customer’s attention! Choose a game palette to add playfulness to your next design project. The clean orange will project the idea of brightness and joy, while other colors will set proper contrast. Use this color palette for promoting good for kids, restaurants and cafes, organic products, and more. 

    Here are a few examples of this color palette being used in templates:

    Looks inspiring, right? Now, let’s have a look at the 6 palettes we have left for you!

    2. Moon Color Palette

    Moon palette is a great option if you want to set an inspirational tone for your visual. Note the dark blue that will be an anchoring color here, and the other three, which will complement it. Use this sample palette for your educational projects, posts with inspirational quotes, clothing, and wherever you see fit. 

    Take a look at some of our templates in these palettes:

    3. Psychedelic Color Palette

    Psychedelic colors are a big trend nowadays. This colorful palette is set to give your design project a vivid look. These four colors will be a great addition to designs for parties, cultural events, and more.

    Take a look at some of the examples:

    4. Fire Color Palette

    How about adding some fire to your designs? Pick a central color — this could be scarlet or orange, and start experimenting with your visual. This color palette will be suitable for different types of art projects, foods, sales promotions, and more. 

    Let’s have a look at some examples:

    5. Farmhouse Color Palette

    Farmhouse color palette will set a friendly and inviting tone for your brand. It’ll be a good choice for brands for kids, beauty care products, natural cosmetics, and home goods stores.

    Here are some examples of templates:

    6. Bright Color Palette 

    Bright color palette is your go-to choice when it comes to all-things summer. It’s vivid and will surely be an asset to your designing aspirations. Use it for promoting foods, clothing, hot summer sales, and other activities. 

    7. Black Color Palette

    In graphic design, black is a simple, yet effective choice for almost all occasions. We recommend using this palette for promoting luxury goods, clothing brands, real estate, and tech services and applications. Shades of gray will help transmit the idea of stillness and calmness, while black will make this palette a contrasting one. 

    And, of course, this one will go great for your Black Friday promotion activities.

    VistaCreate Styles Feature

    VistaCreate also has a Styles feature for your designs. It allows you to choose a template and pick different color palettes for it. See which one looks best — and go for it. 

    With the Styles feature, you can also transfer a style from a photo so your design looks even more unique and on-brand. Plus, experiment with dozens of different fonts to create the design you want. 

    Key takeaways 

    Choosing a color palette for your designs is an important task, because it determines your audience’s response and the overall tone of your project. To choose your go-to color combinations, we suggest following these recommendations: 

    • Stay clear about your design goal, as it defines your color choice
    • Explore color theory, as it contains basic recommendations on colors that go nice together
    • Keep up with the color trends to see different color options for every year
    • Know which platform you’re designing for, as there are great color combinations for Facebook, Instagram, and other social media
    • Stay color consistent. You want to choose a color palette that is on-brand and coherent with your company’s style 
    • Experiment with VistaCreate’s premade color palettes

    On top of that, stay creative and happy color mixing!

    Mariia Shnyrkova

    Never miss a thing

    Subscribe to the VistaCreate newsletter and never miss out on fresh template collections, essential service updates, and other helpful information.

    Contribute to VistaCreate Blog

    Share your story with millions of creators using VistaCreate worldwide.