To know how to accurately combine colors is a critical skill that artists, designers, marketers, and brand owners spend years learning and mastering. Science and art aside, a big part of the process is finding the right inspirations. The perfect examples that just click with you, vibe on the same frequency with you and you know this is the right combination of colors just by seeing it. In this article, you will see a rich hand-picked collection of good color combinations that aim to do just that- to inspire and vibe with you. Some combos are pure classic, some more follow the graphic design trends, others rather creative and eccentric but they all look stunning and suit the emotions they want to convey.
You may also be interested in the best color combinations to try in 2020.
1. The Basics of Color Combinations
2. Two Color Combinations Examples
3. Three Color Combinations Examples
4. Four Color Combinations Examples
5. Gradients: Examples Of Gradient Color Combinations
6. Color Combos With Blue: Combining the Color Blue
7. Matching Red
8. What Goes Great With Green
9. Combinations With Yellow
10. Orange In Combos
11. Violet Combinations
1. The Basics of Color Combinations
In terms of science, there are a few interactions of colors that you should know in order to create harmony. With creating good color combinations, it all comes down to mastering the color wheel and knowing your colors.
- Primary colors: red, yellow, and blue
- Secondary colors: green, orange, and purple (these colors appear when you couple any of the three primaries)
- Tertiary colors: blue-green, red-violet (these ones appear when you mix primary and secondary)
Colors also have a temperature. If you draw a line through the very center of the wheel, you will separate the shades by warm and cold.
- Warm colors: reds, oranges, and yellows. They are bright, energetic, and active.
- Cool colors: blues, greens, and purples. They are calm, peaceful, and serene.
When it comes to combining colors, there are five relationships that depend on the positions of colors on the wheel.
- Complementary: Two colors that are on opposite sides of the wheel. It creates high-contrast and impact.
- Monochromatic: Three shades of one base color. These combos are highly harmonious and easy to use and implement into designs.
- Analogous: Three colors side by side on the wheel. The result might get overwhelming so the trick is to choose a dominant color and use the other ones as accents.
- Triadic: Three colors that are evenly spaced on the wheel. It creates an amazing vibrant high- contrast effect.
- Tetradic: Four colors evenly spaced on the wheel. These combos are quite bold, so it’s best to pick a dominant color and leave the rest as accents.
In the following sections, you will see examples of all of this in practice and find out which color interactions you love best.
Do you want to learn more about pastel colors? Read Pastel Colors in Design [Ideas, Examples and Mega Inspiration].
2. Two-Color Combinations
Examples Of Good Color Combinations With Two Colors
Before trying to combine more colors, let’s start with simple yet very effective two-color palettes. In the first example, you will see a visual identity of the INOVA educational center by John William. The author has nailed the innovative and professional look with a classic combination of blue and yellow.
Azure + Lightning Yellow
#38629A — #F8BF28
The next example by Marcelle Teixeira de Andrade shows a street art style design for Impart 20 Social Media with a playful relationship between magenta and electric green. Both colors give a huge contrast on a light grey background.
Right next to Impart 20’s modern street vibe is a daily logo concept by theDesigners Trail design. It shows an interaction between two complementary gradients of purple-blue and orange.
Cerise + Atlantis
#DF3794 — #B0D236
Lavender Purple + Rajah
#9D84BD — #F5AF60
The following are two examples of more formal and professional good color combinations. The first one is by the Russian creative agency Golden Marrow Group with a logofolio of different logos that combine ivory with navy. In the second, the author Martijn Keesmaat shows a case study for the color red by exploring the website elements for Wealth & Status.
Foggy Gray + Bunting
#CAC2B1 — #11123B
White Rock + Sanguine Brown
#E8E6D4 — #893533
Yukai Du is an illustrator and animator with a lovely artwork portfolio. This is one of her works that we’ve chosen because of the brilliant interaction between the deep blues and the warm reds that work well with the Anthology concept of the illustration.
Geraldine + Blue Zodiac
#F79A8B — #121D44
Next on the list is a work by the designer and illustrator J. Jonathan H. Viveros for his 02022020 project. The entire project has a variety of design and good color combinations, but we’ve selected this particular relationship between lemon yellow and raspberry red for its soft and warm feel.
On the right, we’ve included branding design by multiple Spanish graphic designers for Foco. The concept offers three different good color combinations, one of which is dark pink and royal purple.
Confetti + Cerise Red
#E6E55C — #E14061
Hopbush + Minsk
#D568A2 — #492D77
Another classic combination of royal purple is with orange, like in this example from Hycom rebranding by multiple Polish graphic designers. It looks very clean and professional and has a modern and techy feel to it.
Tree Poppy + Butterfly Bush
#F7A31C — #604DA0
Speaking of a modern feel, it’s astonishing to observe the power of colors to completely change the mood and impact. In the next example, we still look at a modern design, but this time it’s darker, dystopian, and even depressing. The author Sotiris Kizilos has illustrated this perfectly through shapes, deep shadows, and, of course, very high contrast of deep blue with dark pink.
Next is some product design done right. The graphic designer Kirsten Collins shows the concept for Hiki–Sweat Products for Any Body and its products in different good color combinations. Our favorite one is the pink and orange deodorant.
Burnt Sienna + Ebony
#EC6065 — #13102B
Shocking + Hot Cinnamon
#E5B7D6 — #FO23
The following concept by the freelancer Daniela Hernández is for odontology icons that looks extremely clean and has high contrast thanks to the simple shapes and eye-catching combo of red and mint.
Still down with the eye-grabbing colors, Diego Abello Rico shows a classic and very effective interaction between black and dragonfruit for promotional flyers.
Carnation + Surf Crest
#F0504D — #C4E3C7
Baltic Sea + Razzmatazz
#1E1C1E — #E0136E
Oh boy! Aside from the fact this drawing by Just MP is lovely, it’s a great example of how to use colors in order to create shading. Cold blue versus cold pale yellow gives the artwork a lot of personality.
With a more inviting vibe, the next concept by Thinking Room combines dark blue and tangerine for Tenda Harmony to create the experience of going to a street food vendor by merging audio and visual elements of street musicians and busy roads.
Malibu + Drover
#84D5F7 — #FEF6AD
Sapphire + Pomegranate
#2D489E — #EF4723
We follow with this eye-grabbing electric combo of green and purple by Korean graphic designers for KakaoM ‘1theK’ Brand Identity. It’s just like K-Pop: colorful, flashy, and electrifying.
The next interaction of colors comes from Stone Art creative designs from natural stones by multiple Ukrainian authors. Very professional looking navy with red on a white background.
Scampi + Wattle
#5C59A7 — #D4DF45
Bunting + Crimson
#191347 — #ED1C24
Stickers should be fun and these certainly look great in teal and rose dust. The bubbly shapes help the color to bring the 90s feeling even closer. Great job by Felipe Salcedo for WEARE92.COM.
With something more futuristic, different authors from Brazil give Plagiados a very futuristic feel with a trendy almost neon yellow and black that simply nails attention.
Puerto Rico + Viola
#51BFA0 — #D099C5
Bunker + Lemon
#000000 — ##FADF00
The following couple of two good color combinations come from the Polish PG Brand Performing for Engie. Suitable for energy drinks, the packaging fills a lot of energy with flavored combos of green and purple, pink and teal, blue and ochre, and yellow and purple.
East Side + Feijoa, Kobi + Puerto Rico
#BA97C6 — #A8D278, #EDA9BD — #41BEB0
The colors look even more delicious with the fun illustrations on the back of the cans.
Turquoise Blue + Buttercup, Ripe Lemon + Trendy Pink
#61C1E5 — #F0C11F, #F9E300 — #925BA5
In the next combo, the graphic designer from Argentina funjuan dg shares an incredible caligraphy design in delicious magenta letters on mint background.
Razzmatazz + Vista Blue
#DC0C82 — #91CAB6
Loudhead is a personal audio show with the best manufacturers of personal audio and connoisseurs of good sound. The designs for this concept are loud, high contrast and instantly nail the attention. Created by different Russian designers, the project offers amazing flashy good color combinations of greens, pinks, magenta, and teal with dark blue.
Red Violet + Minsk, Cinnabar + Minsk
#D71965 — #302F81, #DF4B2D — #302F81
In the next example, the creative designer Mauricio Alves nails the classic purple and dark orange combination for an advertising agency and design studio in Brazil. On the right, we see a brilliant logo design in charcoal and orange by Emir Kudic.
Royal Purple + Cinnabar
#684099 — #E94F24
Big Stone + Sandy Brown
#182F41 — #F19372
3. Three-Color Combinations
Examples Of Good Color Combinations Of Three Colors
In this section, we will upgrade the two colors with one more, in order to have richer palettes for inspiration. You will see one dominant and two accent colors in many of the cases. For instance, let’s start with this example by Jon Stapp for the Don’t Forget About The Music project. One of the designs that we’ve chosen is a book mockup with lovely interaction between mint, navy, and vibrant orange.
Shadow Green + Big Stone + Red Damask
#96C5BD — #182039 — #DB7049
We will continue with two very strong designs. The first one by the art director and 3D artist Rafael Ramirez who has created an amazing collection of African masks. One of those masks, aside from the brilliant design, has a very eye-catching combo of charcoal, green, and yellow, that is accented with a white geometric dotted design.
The other one is a very classy harmony of well- combined warm delicious colors suitable for the Cairo Chocolate Museum. The author of these chocolate designs is Mohamed Loutfy, an art director from Cairo.
Lunar Green + Ocean Green + Gold Tips
#3B3B3B — #43A96F — #EAC11D
Brandy Punch + Tuscany + Walnut
#C2842B — #BF5B28 — #76431B
To keep with the good vibes, we have Dyego Bortoli Design Studio’s lovely warm and sunny design for Flávia Franchini in coral, petrol blue, and beige. This color combination is shining and sparking joy.
The next design is a little bit more on the eccentric side, very creative, artsy, and beautiful. Created by various authors from Honduras and Chile, the People First concept is inspired by ancient Greek art and harmonizes with modern digital textures in vibrant colors. We’ve chosen the Athena concept for its combination of gold with vibrant violet and soft purple background.
Terracotta + Blue Dianne + Corvette
#E66C60 — #27505F — #F7D1A8
Saffron + Tapestry + Amour
#F4C140 — #B05BA4 — #F4DDEC
The next color magic trick is by the graphic designer Fábio Santana from Brazil for his Move in Place project. Naturally, he makes all possible combinations with these neon green, dark pink, and blue in pairs of two, but they also look great together in a three.
To continue with an absolute classic, the next Halloween design captures the perfect spirit of the holiday with charcoal, light grey and vibrant orange for huge contrast. The combo looks pretty neat on a blue background as well.
Pear + Can Can + Minsk
#CADB2A — #D5899D — #363192
Flamingo + Porcelain + Heavy Metal
#F15B22 — #F4F4F4 — #30302F
We follow with two fresh good color combinations for Music Packaging product project by Jasmina Zornic. The designs combine music puns with beautiful typography and color interactions of blue, green, red and pink.
San Marino + Pomegranate + Mauvelous
#3F54A4 — #F05023 — #ED8DBA
Carissma + Pomegranate + Chateau Green
#ED8DBA — #F05023 — #47B861
Time for some candy color palettes in the following designs. Starting from Peter Tarka’s 3D illustrations, we enjoy the warmness of rose dust, ochre, and moss green.
With an even more bubbly version of this combo, the other design for the Poptypes project by Álvaro Studio shows baby blue with baby pink and sunny yellow. There’s a fair chance you will get the munchies for something sweet and we apologize for that. 🙂
Puce + Harvest Gold + Cascade
#CF8599 — #DDB271 — #94AFAA
Aqua Island + Illusion + Ripe Lemon
#A8DDE0 — #F7B7CD — #F5EB17
Next on the list is the Elehoopoe brand design by Baianat for selling unique and trendy items for special occasions. The mockups show all sorts of two or three color combinations. However, we were impressed by the dragonfruit, peach, and lime palette.
Deep Blush + Rose Bud + Wild Rice
#E56FAB — #F8AC8A — #E9EC87
Here’s something classic by Rodrigo Batista for Mover Criativo in yellow and two contrasting shades of blue. It looks very professional and inviting. We follow with another palette of two shades of the same color with a complimentary one by Miguel Dias for Maria Bicuda in green and dark vibrant orange.
Ronchi + Butterfly Bush + Sky Blue
#EBC655 — #5D509F — #71C7EA
Flamingo + Celtic+ Killarney
#E75724 — #172A1B — #376444
4. Four-Color Combinations
Examples Of Good Color Combinations Of Four Colors
Let’s expand on the three good color combinations with one additional color to have an even richer palette. These palettes usually have one dominant or really high contrast dark color (or opposite temperature) while the other three are accents. In our first example by Júlia Accorsi, we see evidence of this in her illustrations. The palette has three warm and cozy colors and one dark and high contrasting.
Mikado + Hot Cinnamon + Mandys Pink + Deep Blush
#2E2B14 — #DE5B26 — #F4D1C4 — #E562A4
Tomasz Woźniakowski uses another classic color palette that combines very dark blue with red, teal, and ivory for a personal project.
The other example by Mink Couteaux goes more cyberpunk with neon violet that goes well with navy, blue, purple, and gold.
Tamarind + Mandy + Gumbo + Pearl Lusta
#2A131F — #DF4B52 — #78A4A7 — #FBEADB
Bunting + Sky Blue + Viola + Sun
#10103C — #6ACDEE — #C071AE — #F6B319
The next palette is more sporty thanks to the combination of orange, blue, and black. We see this interaction of colors perfectly illustrated in ESPN Basketball by Sebastian Onufszak.
We end the four-color palettes with an example by different authors with a brand design for Goldengate. It’s a classy interaction between purple, red, green, and yellow.
Jelly Bean + Jaffa + Jacarta + Rangitoto
#2E7B9C — #EF6C3D — #3F2D65 — #2B281F
Butterfly Bush + Rose + Shamrock + Golden Grass
#654C90 — #D04E59 — #3AB8A9 — #E3AD24
5. Gradient Ideas
Examples Of Gradient Color Combinations
Can’t help it but mention gradients as well. Although gradients were set aside for a couple of years in favor of flat design, they are making a huge comeback, stronger than ever.
Mostly, the classic gradient uses just two colors that blend with a beautiful transition, but sometimes, the designers prefer to have more control of the blending and add more shades or even different colors in the middle. In the following examples, you’ll see classic two-color gradients by Pedro Assis for Institucional BDMG 2020 calendar.
The first two pages have classsic gradients of blue to green and red to orange.
Steel Blue + Mantis
#4E7BBE — #73C164
Pomegranate + Carrot Orange
#EF3D33 — #F39220
In the second pair, blue with yellow as well as red to grey contrast pretty well and look very high tech.
Seagull + Ripe Lemon
#76C8F0 — #F6CA16
Amaranth + Venus
#ED345B — #928A92
Here is a little bit more control of the colors, as the author Garagephic Studio uses two different shades of purple and blue in order to create a gradient with more vibrancy for ButterChat’s logo. We follow with another logo, this time with warmer and even more vibrant combination of dragonfruit and coral by Vect+ for Nunito.
Mulberry + Seance + Dark Slate Blue + Picton Blue
#C8468B — #742671 — #3F3D8C — #57B7E7
Razzmatazz + Carnation
#ED1260 — #F15A51
6. Color Combinations With Blue
Now let’s get more personal with the primary and secondary colors and see some examples of how each interacts in different palettes. Blue is a primary color that depending on its shade can be dreamy, harsh, intense, or even depressing. In good color combinations with other complementary shades, it can even tell stories.
In the first example, the sky blue is very dreamy and welcoming and interacts with coral and peach. It gives a modern high fashion feel and also looks great on Milla Jovovich. This combo is the choice for a fashion app UX UI Design by Ghulam Rasool.
Viking + Froly + Mandys Pink
#6EC9DB — #F18375 — #F5C9BD
The Two-Faced Cat by laaziz shows how darker and more vibrant shades of blue relate to almost neon pinks and create a twilight mood like in a lucid dream. In the other illustration by Lana Marandina, the blue still gives the night sky feel, but this time in different, less vibrant shades. The combination with yellow conveys calmness and solitude, looks inviting and cozy.
Astronaut + Illusion
#2C2A74 — #F39EC4
Blue Zodiac + Azure + Steel Blue + Golden Dream
#111D42 — #3566A4 — #588BBA — #F0CF33
Last couple of examples go even further with the night theme. Colors of Nature by Michał Mleczak inspire the feel of a deep ocean with two gradients of blue and coral. It’s vivid and suitable for an issue of the National Geographic magazine.
There’s also this stunning illustration by Sushama Patel. The dancer works well with a high contrast color combination of teal, charcoal, magenta, and light grey. It looks intense and very artsy.
San Marino + Carrot Orange
#4B5EAA — #1C2A58, #BF5927 — #F39A1F
Downy + Charade + Amaranth + Porcelain
#62C7CB — #262A34 — #EE2E62 — #EAEAEA
7. Matching Red
Red is a very strong color on its own, but with the right colors in a palette can even look calming and soft. In the following illustration Flowers Swim by Rokas Aleliunas, the dark red looks dreamy and calm next to the dark teals.
Merlot + Outer Space + Casal
#8D1920 — #1D2524 — #2D626C
This one for a painting app. The design by Mohamad Chalak shows a vibrant interaction between red, orange, blue, and teal for the lovely parrot character and its surroundings. The even darker teal in the background creates the deep jungle vibe intended.
Nothing beats the classic red-black-white palette, and this one is even enriched by greys. Clean, classy and evergreen. The Early Bird was designed by monaugraphee.
Crimson + Buttercup + Picton Blue + Green Pea
#E92425 — #F4BC18 — #45AEE3 — #206158
Alizarin Crimson + Mine Shaft + Dusty Gray
#E53325 — #333333 — #989898
Marat Vahitov and his illustration for Cassiopeia show another classic red combo with blue and black. It definitely gives a business vibe. What follows is an illustration by Ivan Puzyrev, just for fun, with great intensity of red and green, just a little bit calmed down by lime and brown. There is something indeed magical and electrifying in this combo.
Cinnabar + Steel Blue + Cod Gray
#EF3E3B — #4776BB — #161616
Cardinal + Celery + Hairy Heath + Texas
#C82327 — #9FCE61 — #6D2712 — #F9F290
8. What Goes Great With Green
Green is the next color to look into. In terms of psychology, green is considered calming and relaxing. In terms of marketing, it’s preferable for bio and eco products due to its reference to nature. The moods you can convey through combining green with other colors are limitless. So let’s start with Lucie Bajgart and her Khroma pattern. The abstract shapes look powerful and contrasting in good color combinations of dark green, blue, pink, and orange.
Mallard + Downy + Wewak + Hot Cinnamon
#1F3A1D — #74BBD4 — #F1959A — #E16025
The other two examples of green are completely different in terms of vibe. Here we’ve got the Veggie Shop App design by Toma Li with fresh lovely shades of green, sunny yellow and vibrant orange. The other one, Apple- Six Days of Surprise by Peter Tarka is much more high tech and formal with teal combined with navy and purple.
Sushi + Fruit Salad + Energy Yellow + Jaffa
#73BF44 — #4B904A — #FBE251 — #F0783A
Keppel + Pickled Bluewood + Lavender Purple
#37AB8F — #323D59 — #9586BF
9. Combinations With Yellow
Let’s see also some nice palletes with primary yellow. In the first example, again by Peter Tarka, you will see some lovely geomertic shapes of yellow, teal, rose dust, and blue that work perfectly for the modern UI UX experience. The second example is of a landing page by Outcrowd, that shows a modern geometric illustration with a twilight desert feel with a palette of darker yellow, red, purple, and very dark purple for contrast.
Rob Roy + Fountain Blue + Kobi + Cornflower
#ECCB7D — #59B4B6 — #ECADCE — #8DC6EC
Rajah + Cinnabar + Falcon + Bleached Cedar
#F8BF73 — #E2502D — #705568 — #2C2439
In the last couple of examples, sunny yellow combines great with orange, pink, and porcelan in an abstract pattern by Justin Vinalon. The book illustration by Svetla Morozova, however, has a darker twist on yellow, combining it with liliac, raspberry, and deep purple.
Yellow + Flamingo + Mauvelous + Colonial White
#F7C314 — #F26A21 — #F48EA8 — #FEF5D1
Cream Can + Fuchsia Pink + Chestnut Rose
#F3CD62 — #BB5DA4 — #CF5E79
10. Orange in Combos
According to studies, orange is the least favorite color no matter the gender, however, in the right shade or in transition to another color, it surely gets very appealing. The first example of a web design concept by Mike from Creative Mints, we see orange interacting great with yellow, grey and bordeaux. In the second example, a more pinkish orange gives contrast to pink, blue and gold in an illustration by Gyöngyi Balogh.
Burnt Sienna + Falu Red + Goldenrod + Nevada
#EB6D50 — #8A181A — #FBD75F — #646F7D
Froly + Cornflower + Cinderella + Lightning Yellow
#F0867F — #80B3E0 — #FCD5D4 — #F8BB23
Orange can also give retro vibes. In this Snazzy 90’s Styled Website for Normal Now by Andrey, it interacts well with lighter orange and black for a web design concept. Pure orange in combination of purple, sunny yellow and dark purple, or even teal, gives more psychadelic feel.
Burnt Sienna + Casablanca + Bunker
#E7784C — #F8B454 — #000000
Tango + Wisteria + Fuel Yellow + Valhalla
#E67326 — #A66BAD — #ECB224 — #201B4F
For more attention-grabbing and intense effect, vibrant shades of orange and blue can’t get unnoticed. In this minimalistic illustration by Benoit Drigny, the energy is really powerful. Surely, the intense heat of orange can be calmed with the use of greys, as you can see in the other example by tubik.arts, named Orange Vibes.
Flamingo + Ship Cove + Minsk
#F26522 — #6982C0 — #3A2A7A
Tango + Emperor + Schooner
#F27E21 — #514648 — #908582
11. Violet Combinations
And we’ve arrived at the last color- violet for our good color combinations collection. Let’s start with a logo and identity design for Slickfish by the graphic designer Broklin Onjei. Here violet is in darker shade and combines with white, dragonfruit and sky blue. The created contrast is amazing and looks very modern. The other design, by Vect+, uses different shades of the same violet and even a gradient. The result is a very professionally looking icon.
Minsk + White + Amaranth + Viking
#512E90 — #FFFFFF — #E61D69 — #4CC6DE
East Side + Vivid Violet + Ebony
#B695C5 — #7C3B96 — #13112A
The next pair of violets goes for complementary good color combinations. In the first example, Raven Product identity design by Ramotions shows a palette of violet with teal and very dark green. It looks ideal for an app design. Then we have a lovely illustration by Sushama Patel with a palette of violet, navy and gold.
Deluge + Shakespeare + Green Vogue
#776BB1 — #776BB1 — #776BB1
Victoria + Valhalla + Buttercup
#4A459C — #1E1954 — #F4A91D
The last pair goes a little bit more abstract. In the Digital Interaction by Spencer Gabor, the violet goes with magenta, yellow, and sky blue for an eye-grabbing contrast illustration perfect for web design. Another app design by Outcrowd gets our attention with a stunning palette of dark violet, orange, blue, and yellow.
Butterfly Bush + Brilliant Rose + Saffron Mango + Seagull
#7352A2 — #EF4F98 — #F9C45F — #80D2EA
Finn + Flamingo + Wild Blue Yonder + Sea Buckthorn
#662D58 — #F15D22 — #7171B5 — #F8B42A
A handy catalog of all the color combos from this article
We created a PDF with all the color combinations from this article so you can easily browse and use them in your projects.
That was quite the ride, right? If you’re just like us and love to experiment with different colors, why not sharing some of your favorite combinations in the comments? In the meantime, if you feel inspired, you could also try your version of some of the combinations in the article. We’d really love to see them. What’s important is to always get your dose of inspiration and never stop creating.
We hope you enjoyed this collection of good color combinations. Surely, if you want to enjoy more inspiring visuals, you could also check these out:
- Web Design Trends in 2021 That Blow the Cobs From the Web
- 17 Inspiring UI/UX Designer Portfolios That Take Design to the Next Level
- Logo Design Trends 2020: A Blast of Colors and Shapes