6 New Color Palettes for your Next Design Project

image of King House Chinese Food Restaurant at Night

If you look around, life brings us a plethora of fresh tones. If you walk around with a camera, you can capture some fascinating color combinations to inspire your graphics. I keep a file with my favorites that I pull out anytime I need a new design.

If you’re on the hunt for some new color combinations to amp up your next design project, check out these color palettes.

“Crave” Color Palette

bright color combination for graphic design

Inspired by the sight of a flashing neon sign, my “Crave” color palette evokes that frantic feeling of a midnight snack run. The bold, bright colors tell you one thing: chow’s on. When I snapped this shot, I was waiting for my order at a local chinese food restaurant. Everyone who came to the door seemed like they were stopping with the same impulse. They were hungry and wanted something fried and fast.

This color combination evokes those energetic emotions. The warm red tones are known to stimulate appetite, which is why they’re often used in restaurants or in food logos. The mustard and eggshell white offer a less-traditional pairing, making a feast for the eyes.

“In a Jam” Color Palette

country color combination for graphic design

I pulled this image from a recent visit to a local market, offering a range of small-kitchen foods. Something about the off-white, country labels paired with the honey-colored contents brought me back to the fairs of my childhood. In the 80s and 90s, there was a serious revival of primitives and country style — especially in interiors. This color combination pays homage to that feeling (and you know it smells like Pearberry from Bath and Body Works).

I imagine it would work well for event advertising that aims to recall the (not-musical) festivals of the pre-smartphone era. Keep it current by avoiding serif or script fonts. Then, you’ll have a reinvented (not reused) look.

“Sock Rock” Color Palette

retro 90s color combination for graphic design

Much like I want to hate the Wild Fable line at Target, I appreciate the wish-fulfillment of throwback noughties fashion. We went to sock hops. These Zoomers are walking around in the Steve Madden “Slinky” sandals that my mom banned (too slippery).

But, those orange color pops are back. While I mourn my Aguilera-inspired parachute pants, the acid wash indigos and Ked’s sole creams can live on forever. This would color combination would work well for any retailer that wants to lean into the Insta-bait graphics that make young influencers swoon.

Spring Harvest Color Palette

orange natural color combination for graphic design

Pink! Flowers! Sunshine! Spring motifs typically follow a pretty predictable pattern of girly, blooming designs. Recently, I was looking for a fresh take and remembered that apricots have a spring harvest. With the warm orange tones complementing the fragrant greens, this color combination makes a great substitute for any springtime event design.

Pairing it with a vintage, but not over-styled font, can create something warm and whimsical. Personally, I see it working well for a spring craft fair or some other handmade festival.

Thirsty Color Palette

pink color combination for graphic design

Watermelon is everywhere and it’s deliriously sexy. I noticed it first in cosmetics from lush lipstains to creamy nail polishes. It pops against a lot of skin tones and recalls that watery but not over-sweet fruit of the summer. This one can probably replace cherries as the sauciest fruit.

I like this color combination for anything that needs a little tease. Jewelry, body products and luxury cosmetics reek of indulgence when they are nestled in a flat-lay with these tones.

“We Need to Chalk” Color Palette

candy heart color combination for graphic design

Tired of pink and red for romantic designs? Try a clashy combination of pastels and neons! Candy hearts may have fallen out of production but their monotone madness lives on. I put this one together because I wanted something both cheeky and heartfelt for a gift-oriented sales event.

These colors signal something reinvented but, still familiar. I would reccomend using the color combination to replace anything predictably romantic or sexy.

Like and Follow

If you found these color combinations helpful, make sure you let me know in the comments below. I would love to see your fresh to death designs. Also, follow me on Instagram to see future color palettes as soon as they drop.

Published by Danielle

I'm a writer and artist in Lynchburg, Virginia.

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