Colors have been around and will be without end or beginning. And sure, as designers, we do understand the importance of colors and a good color combination. Howsoever, most of us have not grasped the fact concerning how a good color combination can strengthen a design in its entirety – and to what extent. Perhaps, it is not a crucial element for every designer and company. Nevertheless, colors have been affecting customers’ and clients’ perceptions in numerous ways.
For instance, the blog you are reading currently is placed on a clear and selective color palette, which is smooth to your eyes. Now, take a moment to place this blog on a plain black and red color combination. It visually hurts, right? This is merely by interchanging the colors in our minds; individuals and organizations have been coming across its real-time effects much drastically than we can fathom.
The White Lab Coat Effect
As per a study conducted by Kellogg School of Medicine, measuring attention span and accuracy, it was discovered that the students who wore a white lab coat while giving their exams performed better than those who didn’t. Psychologically decoding, as the specific color symbolizes the medical industry, the spirit of the same uplifted the students to live up to it.
The Blue Light Effect
With the pandemic locking us within the four walls for a long time, we all had to ensure to keep our eyesight safe from never-ending blue rays thrown at us through our screens. However, the same shade of blue is used to paint offices’ infrastructure and furniture; ensuring employees are alert at all times.
Branding and Color Combinations
Alright, colors make a difference concerning our day-to-day decisions; I presume that’s agreeable given the above-mentioned effects.
Let’s talk about how good color combinations can benefit a company with its branding strategies and vice versa. For perspective, Starbucks, the coffee giant, attracts its customers through a blue-green color palette, which signifies health and richness. On the other hand, Apple’s rebranding in terms of logo, from bright colors to grey, has been simply helping Apple to target the masses. As grey is a neutral color, it fits perfectly with the sophisticated technology company.
Thus, evidently, your brand, project, design, and everything in between needs to be in perfect alignment with how your clients visually catch the same. It may seem overwhelming, but learning it from tried and tested can certainly increase the chances of high effectiveness associated with design and color combination.
Eye-Catching and Selective Color Combinations
We know that branding is mostly about identity and attracting. Well, a good color combination is a base for the same. You may or may not like it, but color combinations affect the purchasing behavior of everyone. If you have tried implementing a well-thought color combination into your designs, you know it is a winning secret; if you haven’t, it’s no more a secret. Keeping color psychology and its effects in mind, I have profiled the best color combinations for your next design (and for the ones after the next).
Yellow and Blue
When it comes to hitting customers’ eyes, yellow is a definitive color, and it sets up a youthful scenery for the shades in the blue color family, enhancing its authoritative aspects. Moreover, with a color combination with blue, you can never go wrong. Accordingly, a blend of distinctive yellows and oranges with a dim, moderate blue and a solid yellow make this an appealing mix for pretty much any piece of design that requires communicating something in direction of energy and essentialness. This particular color combination can likewise be utilized to share a thought that the organization is lively yet confident, in the end, expanding the organization’s reliability.
Pinks and Maroon
While people have been stereotyping pink, giving it a label screaming “feminine” and more, it has proven to be quite an approachable shade. Thus, as a new designer or startup, if you aspire to reach a large section of potential customers, this could be your go-to color combination. On top of that, the entire pink family, combined with maroon, creates an aesthetic appeal that is simply hard to ignore.
Black and Orange
A solid dark intertwined with a fun and positive shade of orange can do some amazing things for an organization that is at its underlying stage. Energetic orange associates pleasantly with solid black, building a general vibe of rush and thrill. With the right volume and shade of orange, this color combination can suit a brand that is focusing on a fitness-enthusiasts audience. In any case, it’s not restricted to the fitness industry as this combination is a strong and memorable mix that overflows contemporary style. Dark is genuine and viable, while orange is loaded with imagination and extravagance.
Lemon, Orange, and Purple
This combination of light and soothing colors simply reminds us of fruits, making it a suitable color palette for a company in the FMCG industry. Moreover, all these colors work truly wonderful in bright lights, for graphic t-shirts, in packaging material, and make the branding easier and more attractive without having to put extra push of effort. One reason that makes these colors unforgettable is their use in the highlighter pens. Also, most of the sophisticated companies have benefited from a well-thought-out color combination with purple.
Turquoise, Beige, and Dark Blue
I cannot emphasize more the appeal of color combination with blue. This combination is perfect if you want to remain within a single-color family of shades. Both the blues compliment each other like siblings while ensuring that the company offers a level of trustworthiness like no other. For some of us, turquoise is the shade of summer, so blending it with a delicate, beige shade makes an organic and harmonious seeming equilibrium. This color combination is energetic yet natural and could be utilized for brands built out of individuals (a.k.a. influencers) and the healthcare industry. Give a firm goodbye to the dull long stretches of winter with these beautiful tones!
Bonus: Color Combination Chart
If we dig a bit deeper into the world of colors, we wouldn’t want to get out. Therefore, if you feel like any of the above-mentioned color combinations does not work for your design, you can always create your own color combination chart.
- Each color has its own meaning and appeal. Understand the psychology of colors and decide which colors match your company’s core values.
- Along with matching the colors with your company, it is important to take your customers into consideration. There are color combinations based on gender, geography, and a lot more factors – making it easier for you to pick the colors based on your target customers.
- Moving further, select the colors and categorize the same in different combinations.
- Set aside the action colors for future reference concerning your design and color palette.
- Explore the ones that align the best with your style, products, and company as a whole.
The right choice of color combinations will appeal to the right set of customers. However, instead of taking a long leap, I would suggest starting by simply understanding what message you want to send to your customers, and let the colors do the rest.
Besides having grown up in the design Industry, Christiaan has advised some of the world’s largest companies on their branding & packaging designs. Has been the resident judge for design awards, and has spoken at numerous global design & marketing events. Christiaan founded the London office of the award-winning Cartils agency, and has founded the DesignBro.com platform.