Choose Colors that Go Together: 15 Examples with Stock Photos

Triangular multi colored building with a blue sky and clouds in the background

Choosing colors that go together is crucial when making decisions about your brand colors and marketing efforts. The meanings of colors and the interplay between different combinations are important factors to consider when creating your unique and memorable brand.


We’ve picked out the trending color combinations of this year that will make your business stand out. Get inspired by our list of eye-catching color combos and think about how you can use these proven color schemes in your design.


Looking for color schemes to use specifically for your website? Learn more about web design trends in 2021 in our recent post.


The Trendiest Color Combo of 2021: Yellow and Gray

Landscape photograph of yellow line on grey road

Yellow is a primary color while gray is achromatic, which means that it’s a color lacking in color. One of the powers of primary colors is that they can become another color by using a different shade or tone without mixing it with another color. 


This combo works well because you can just use a vibrant yellow and add a darker shade of yellow to create a dark or light gray. Using various shades of gray conveys finesse. A bright yellow in the foreground with gray as its backdrop creates a splash of energy for your designs.


Yellow makes us think positive thoughts. It’s the color of happiness, sunflowers, and emojis. It sticks out to us in post-its and signs that warn us of dangers ahead. On the other hand, gray is a neutral emotionless color associated with depression but also with formality and sophistication.

 

Pantone has picked this color combination for their Color of Year Award. Ultimate Gray (Pantone 17-5104) like solid concrete and Illuminating (Pantone 13-0647), a soft yellow that warms your heart, are combined to create a feeling of strength and support with a hopefulness we all need after 2020. 


Keeping up with the latest trends is crucial to stay at the top of your customers’ minds. Using trending colors in your ad campaigns and on social media can give your content a sense of freshness and vibrancy. Boost your online presence and place yourself in front of competitors with the trending color combo of 2021.


Down to Earth Greens

Aerial image of green fields color combination

Green is a secondary color created by mixing primary colors blue and yellow. You can use the analogous color scheme of various shades and tones of greens to create your own attractive down-to-earth palette.


Various shades of green evoke nature and the outdoors. They have a soothing effect and symbolize hope and growth. Green is the color of life, harmony, and safety, but can also be associated with money and envy.


The use of different hues of green can help establish a connection with customers on a personal level with its natural tones and the sense of calm it conjures. It’s most commonly used to promote sustainable and eco-friendly products as well as for marketing medical products.


Powerful Color Combinations: Blue and Orange

Edited image of a yellow light street lamp with a sky blue background

Primary color blue and secondary color orange sit opposite each other on the color wheel, which makes them complementary colors. By mixing different shades and hues of these, you can create a fun and vibrant color scheme.


Blue has connotations of depth, loyalty, and stability, but not all blues represent serenity. For example, electric blue is seen as more dramatic and can be used to express exhilaration. Orange is associated with wellness, compassion, and joy. It’s a stimulating color that can help with recovery and promote a healthy happy mind.


Blue and orange can dominate an image even in a monochromatic color scheme. It’s an interplay of cold and warm between the cool blue and the fiery orange channeling opposites like fire and ice, land and sea, or old-fashioned and futuristic.


Apply hues and shades of this color combo effectively to create a contrast that draws consumers in. Use this color combo in your advertising when you want to evoke a sense of innovation and energy around your brand.


Noble Monochromes: Purples

Purple filter placed over a photograph of a lighthouse landscape

Purple is a secondary color achieved by mixing primary colors red and blue. The monochrome color combination consists of various shades of one purple color. To create a monochrome effect, you can use different shades, tones, and tints for harmonious and visually cohesive designs.


Meanings attributed to purples are royalty, ambition, grandeur, mystery, and magic. It rarely occurs in nature and when it does it’s on delicate flowers like lavender, orchids, and violets conjuring up a sense of something sacred and precious. Purple has a calming effect on the mind and body but also encourages creativity.


This noble color has been taking over many brand designs and clothing lines, quickly becoming another trending color of 2021. Use a mix of a bright neon shade of purple with a more toned-down faded purple to create interesting and engaging visuals that hook your target audience.


Colors That Go Together and Draw You in: Red, Orange, Green, and Blue

Colourful image of inflatable pool toys - red, orange, green and blue combination

This tetradic color combo is made up of red, orange, green, and blue. The color scheme is formed by placing a rectangle on the color wheel and picking the colors at each of its corners. That creates a mix of two primary and two secondary colors.


This is a vibrant and fun color combination that you can play around with to create a striking color palette with different shades, tints, and tones. If you’re struggling to find what’s pleasing to the eye, choosing one of the four colors as the leading one can be helpful.


Red represents a wide range of emotions from passion to love to anger. Red is daring, impulsive, confident, and enthusiastic. Mixed with blue, green, and orange, it conjures up feelings of excitement. Orange adds a sense of creativity, blue brings imagination, and green relaxation taking you back to the times of childhood adventures.


By way of its nature, red often dominates a design, and brands that use it usually aim for a sense of strength and power. To create effective graphics for your business, use red for some elements in your design and get creative with the interplay of the rest of the four colors between your background and font.


Revitalization and Strength: Red and Teal

Image of red boat on dark teal water

The popular color scheme of red and teal is formed by using red with a shade from the blue-green section of the color wheel. This split complementary scheme creates a strong visual contrast but is not as intense as direct complements.


Created by starting with one color, finding its complement, and then using the two colors on either side of it on the color wheel, this split color combo is perfect for beginners in graphic design. When combining red and teal, make sure your design is dominated by teal. Then add some warmth with red to make it pop.


Teal combines the calming nature of blue and the qualities of renewal of green. It promotes rejuvenation and symbolizes individuality, morality, and practicality. Teal is a calming, enlightening, and healing color. As much as teal dampens the emotional and powerful red, it also makes a splash of red stand out.


In advertising designs, you can use the power of this combination to draw attention to certain objects or products without overwhelming your audience with a bright red. If you want to create a sense of relaxation but also energy, this color combination is a good one to use for your branding.


The Primary Triad: Blue, Red, and Yellow

Colourful primary triad image of sunset with silhouette of palm trees

A triadic color scheme is formed by taking three colors that are equally spaced apart on the color wheel creating beautiful, contrasting shades. Use the primary colors blue, red, and yellow to establish a harmonious but also vivacious look in your designs.


These colors that are the basis of all other colors can work well together but there’s also the danger of overpowering each other. Red and blue are complementary, which is why they are combined in many designs. Adding yellow to that creates sensations of childhood energy. Let your imagination run wild with different shades, tints, and tones to find the best interplay for your design.


This powerful combination conjures up memories of learning about the color wheel and experimenting with mixing primary colors for the first time in school. They are loud and bright. Yellow brings in the excitement that interacts well with the strong red and the calming hues of blue.


When used in marketing materials blue conveys stability and safety, yellow optimism and affordability. Add a dash of red to highlight a special offer and you have the perfect combination for flyers and social media posts.


Sweet and Strong: Supersaturated and Juicy Pink Colors

Image of pink saturated flowers on branch

Designs using supersaturated pinks are popular right now. This color scheme consists of various shades, tones, and tints of pink. Using various pinks from the same strain creates a monochrome style while combining pink with another version of itself creates a cohesive and natural feel.


This combination works particularly well when pale pinks and creamy tones create a contrast in the background to the juicy colors in the foreground. You can play around with the saturation here and increase it to make colors appear purer, or decrease it to create a washed-out effect.


These rich pinks revitalize and uplift. Pink is usually associated with bubble gum, flowers, and cotton candy. It’s the sweet side of red and instead of stirring up passion and aggression, it represents friendship, affection, and approachability.


When it comes to the use of pink in design for marketing materials, strong gendered associations should be considered. When using pinks for branding, it’s even more crucial to know who your target audience is. Feminine brands often make pink the focus of their graphics. It’s also a good go-to color for bakeries with its delicious and fun hues.


Trendy but Retro Chic: Throwback Orange and Red Tones

Red and Orange retro combination - image of a sunset with silhouettes of horses

The lively orange and powerful red are reminiscent of summer and sunsets. This analogous color scheme of orange and red represents warmth and vibrancy.


You can pair them with cool shades to take away some of the heat, but if you want to create a more energetic design simply use throwback orange and red in all their variety. Nostalgia is the main focus of this color combination and you can continue that throwback vibe by mixing in faded colors.


Retro colors are back for the season with many top brands using popular 70s, 80s, and 90s colors. The new trend combines throwback colors with modern elements to conjure up feelings of familiarity in the latest designs.



Combinations with a Natural Edge: Purple, Orange, and Green

Colorful graphic designs displayed on a wall

Purple, orange, and green are secondary colors that form a triadic color scheme. Combining orange and purple is bold but not unusual. On the color wheel, orange is a warm color while purple represents cold creating a contrast that you can use to your advantage in your designs. Adding green is the natural choice to soothe the conflict here.


Orange focuses on creativity, enthusiasm, and balance. Green stands for nature, freshness, and renewal. Purple is luxury, power, and pride. Combine these and you get a feeling of fun and liveliness. A pro tip here is to use pastel tones to create pleasant and soothing visuals.


Use this color scheme to create edgy designs that explode with different shades of the three colors for posters or social media posts. For example, a rich dark green like emerald or jade works well with burnt orange or tan. Mix that with different hues of purple and you get a style that is right on-trend.


Classic and Monochrome: Blue on Blue

Landscape image of blue mountain tops with a blue sky in the background

This is a classic among color schemes. This monochrome style uses different shades, tints, and tones of blue hues to create a cohesive color palette.


When working with this color combination, make sure you choose which one is your dominant blue and make that one the focus of your design. Blue can be seen both as moody and depressing as well as serene and calming. Play with different hues to vary and balance the emotions you want to evoke. For example, a light baby blue is peaceful while dark blue represents depth and power.


Many businesses use blue on blue to establish security and trust. Find the right balance of lighter and darker blues for your brand and create designs that convey honesty and reliability.


Natural and Vigorous: Earth Tone Red and Green

Close up natural photograph of a red ladybug on a green leaf

Primary color red and secondary color green sit opposite each other on the color wheel and are complementary to each other. Next to their association with the festive season, the more earthy tones of red and green are a trending color combination.


A splash of earthy red makes your design more attractive and reels people in. As the color of nature, green is natural and feels comfortable to us. Pairing the freshness of green with the rocky color red creates earth tones that allow you to speak to people on a more personal level.


Red inspires energy and strength while green stands for renewal and health. Businesses can use the sense of home and calm these earthy tones create to establish their brand as eco-friendly. This creates a positive energy around your products and customers prefer to buy from brands that care about the environment.


A Classic Among Classics: Black and White

Close up black and white image of zebras

With this basic and classic combo, you can choose to use the colors in their purest form, or use the darkest shade of any color to get black or the lightest tint to get white. This color combination always looks elegant and was made popular by the minimalist trend.


At first glance, it may seem like an unimaginative combo but the contrast between dark and light can make for striking visuals. White text on a deep black background attracts attention as do black accents on a white background.


Experiment with various levels of black in your design to make sure it doesn’t get overwhelming. Black is visually heavy and next to associations with strength and authority, it naturally symbolizes darkness and evil. It’s a serious color that can also represent intelligence, professionalism, and mystery.


On the other hand, white is an open and safe color that communicates peace. It stands for clarity, cleanliness, and salvation. The common association with good also makes it synonymous with new beginnings and positivity.


Often used as a representation of good and evil, the opposition of white and black has been used in many cultures throughout history. Probably the most famous display of this is the Yin-Yang symbol that shows the natural interconnectedness of contrary forces.


In marketing, you can use the divergence created by the two opposing colors to your advantage to draw attention to a specific object. Combine the visual balance of black and white with an accent color to create striking visuals for your advertising.


Comforting and Futuristic: Green and Pink

Image of woman wearing pink holding pink flowers with green leaves

As opposites on the color wheel green and pink create a complementary color scheme. The coolness of green balances well with the warmth of pink. Using their natural shades, you can make a relaxing color scheme while bright neon shades lend a futuristic and vibrant feel to your design.


In nature, this color combination most commonly appears among flowers. In design, green and pink work best when one color is more dominant than the other to create a modern and sophisticated look. For example, you can combine a dark emerald green with pale pink for a soft contrast and to add some lightness.


Shades of green are relaxing and pleasant. Hues of pink add tenderness and romance. Combined they bring a sense of elegance and serenity to your design. If you want to evoke more excitement, experiment with neon shades to give this color scheme a boost.


Depending on the style you’re going for and what your brand message should be, pick your tints and hues from this combo. Fashionable and elegant brands use soft pinks and natural greens while fun and vibrant brands go all out with neon shades.


Unique and Warm Skin Tones

Photograph of gay male couple embracing

Each and every one of us is unique and so are our skin tones. The majority of skin colors can be found on the warm side of the color wheel ranging from reddish browns to pinky whites. With a focus on the beauty of the human skin and feeling human, this is another trending color scheme of 2021.


This color combination gives you ample room to experiment and you get a vast range of shades to diversify your design. Create your new color palette with cool, warm, neutral, or olive undertones and define contrasts by using colors from both sides of the spectrum from dark to light.


As natural and human colors, skin tones are relatable and comfortable, which will make it easier for your audience to connect with your visuals. Brands that want to show that they’re natural, caring, and responsible should consider including skin tones.