10 color inspiration tips for designers

10 color inspiration tips for designers

Color is an essential element of good design. It can be tricky to curate your color palette when designing as it involves so much psychology and emotions. 

Below, we have listed 10 color inspiration tips that will help you get the perfect color combination every time. 

01. Capture inspiration on-the-go. 

When looking for inspiration for a color combination, take photos of beautiful color schemes like flowers, sunset, etc., and later sample those colors directly in Photoshop or Illustrator. 

It’s also a great way to match text or graphics with any photo you’re working with to make sure your work is cohesive. 

02. Use a color wheel 

Artist Marc Chagall came with a beautiful analogy. He said, “All colors are the friends of their neighbors and the lovers of their opposites”. 

In this case, “Friends” stands for analogous colors: Those that are side by side on a 12-part color wheel. On the other hand, Chagall refers to complementary colors as “Lovers”; tones that are directly opposite each other on the wheel. 

03. Borrow inspiration from interior design 

Different design fields share common challenges when dealing with color. Interior designers, for example, have to harmonize spaces using textures, objects, and color schemes that blend well together. 

04. Create color mood boards 

Whenever you see a photo with colors that enchants you, or that really seem to go well, you should take a screenshot or pin it for later. 

Then, when it’s time to find a good color palette, you can go to all those saved images for inspiration and come up with a good color scheme. 

05. Use color swatches 

Sometimes when choosing a color combination, a digital color wheel just won’t get your what you are looking for. It can be really helpful and inspiring to step away from the screen and look at a physical color swatch. 

06. Bring in colors from nature 

Our eyes are used to admiring natural color schemes. If you take your inspiration from the environment, the color combinations are endless. Landscapes, foliage, fruit, all things natural can be amazing, accessible, and free sources of color inspiration. 

07. Stick to three or four colors 

You should avoid combining too many numbers of colors. Use only three colors to make your graphics look clean, and not too overwhelming. If you have to use more than three, add textures to tone down some of those additional colors. 

08. Match color to your topic’s mood 

Consider the topic that you are trying to convey in your design. Is it sports, fashion, beauty, or business? Think about a specific mood that you would like to associate with the activity. Is it a cute fashion flyer, or an aggressive sports brochure? Is it feminine, cheerful, serious, or elegant? Mak your design accordingly. 

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